Sunday, 20 April 2008

New Power Electronics Lab to Improve Smart Grid Research

A laboratory, partly financed by KEMA and partly by the Ministry for Economic Affairs, has been opened with a view to helping companies and universities test and research the integration of decentralized power generation in the electricity network better.

The laboratory offers an ideal test and research environment for advanced power electronics. These power electronics will be needed in the future for connecting large amounts of electricity generated decentrally by, for example, windmills, (micro) HEP and solar cell converters to the existing electricity network.

With the continuing increase of the number of decentralized energy generation units – partly as a result of concern about the changing climate - and new developments such as the HSL and smart grids ('intelligent electricity networks'), the Flex Power Grid Lab anticipates the aspect of energy security. A subject that will be placed higher and higher on the agenda. The electricity network of the future must be setup to deal with the increase of electricity from these decentralized units.

What makes the Flex Power Grid Lab unique is the possibility of creating a flexible medium voltage network that is intentionally polluting. If two power electronics components are placed too close to one another, this can cause instability in the electricity network, with power failures as a possible consequence. The new laboratory is able to accurately simulate this instability. In the laboratory, equipment can be tested at continuous industrial medium voltages (ten times higher than in other laboratories), where the programmable converter acts as a 1 megawatt amplifier with a capacity that is ten times greater than that of the largest pop concert.

So far, a great deal of attention has been to the development of the separate technologies for the sustainable generation of electricity. Too little study has been conducted into the question of how that electricity must be transported and possibly stored. With the Flex Power Grid Lab businesses and universities can test and research how power electronics can be improved to prevent disruptions in the electricity network, among other things by the additional of sustainable energy. It is specifically this data that will enable industry and researchers to develop the components for the electricity network of the future.

No comments: