Releasing the Power of Grid Simulation Software in the Control Room
October 7, 2016
For utilities, the situation is more complex than ever. Dispatchers have to try to find a balance between optimal use of assets on the one hand and the demand for more flexibility on the other. To keep up with the ongoing transformation, you need to bring your control room to the next level.
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The energy transition is no longer a pie in the sky, it has arrived. Over a decade ago the government liberalized the market. Back then, there were only a few energy suppliers. Now, there are many parties operating on the grid; consumers have become producers by locally generating power; and in the meantime the market authorities are pressing grid companies to lower their tariffs.
The situation is more complex than ever as dispatchers have to try to find a balance between optimal use of assets to lower costs and the demand for more flexibility because of the many market participants. Times are hard for dispatchers to keep up with the ongoing transformation.
How will the grid respond to power fluctuations from renewable energy? Or how can an outage be prevented? The true answer is that no one really knows. However, there is software out there that does know. State estimation or simulation solutions mimic the grid to help dispatchers understand the grid in these turbulent times. Simulation software predicts the behavior of the grid to identify potential problems.
In order to fully unleash the power of simulation solutions, you need a real time integrated architecture. If you'd like to know how, have a look at this article: 3 steps to create an integrated decision center in your grid company.
In this article you will be guided through the process of integrating simulation solutions in the grid company.
To start, let’s focus on the two major hurdles dispatchers need to take in the era of the energy transition:
The question arises: how to cope with this changing environment and become a high performer in the industry? Simulation software is the answer.
Nowadays, grid simulation solutions are available that can support operational decisions based on real data and accurate forecasts. Simulation solutions support dispatchers in uncertain situations or provide insight into the consequences of their actions. During an outage for example, simulation software brings you the latest insights on how to create alternatives routes for transporting energy, so that downtime is kept to a minimum.
Furthermore, grid simulation provides insight into the real time status of the grid using advanced analytics, even of locations where no measurement devices are installed. Thus, no need to invest tons of money in an abundance of field devices.
In short, grid simulation helps the dispatcher to operate its network more effectively and more economically. In order to remain relevant in the changing energy landscape, a good control room requires a good simulation solution.
So how does it work? The solution simulates the physical behavior of the grid by combining the static grid data with the dynamic field data, offtake, temperature and laws of nature. The static data contains information about the physical properties of network elements such as power lines, transformers, pipelines, and compressors. The dynamic data contains all real time measurements of voltage, current, frequency, pressure, flow, temperature, and other relevant energy transport parameters.
There are two types of simulation: current state simulation and future state simulation.
Current state simulation has one major advantage: it decreases dependency on measurements. Using the laws of physics, a handful of measurements like voltage, pressure, current and flow can be analyzed to estimate values in any place in the network, and correct for measurement inaccuracies. This allows dispatchers to follow how certain properties propagate through the network. The simulation fills in the blind spots in the grid where certain measurements are not available.
These Are the 3 Main Purposes of Current State Simulation:
Future state simulation combines the current status of the network with the energy demand and supply forecasts to predict the future status of the network. Future state simulation brings you insights about voltage, frequency, gas flow, pressure and composition in the future. Formulas and algorithms are in place that mimic the behavior of individual network components. This allows the model to predict how these components will react to changing circumstances. The forecasted energy demand and (matched) supply shape the future boundary conditions. This information is combined in the future state simulation model to calculate what the network will look like over the next several minutes or hours.
These Are the 3 Main Purposes of Future State Simulation:
As you would have probably guessed by now, simulation software can bring you indispensable insights to become an outstanding performer in changing circumstances. So what do you need to be aware of when implementing simulation software into your organization?
Integration between ADMS and the simulation solution is key, either to provide data or to present simulation results. There are three possible levels of integration between simulation software and ADMS. The more ADMS and simulation software are integrated, the more value you will be able to obtain. These are the three levels of integration:
Based on multiple implementations done in Europe, we’ve distilled the following 7 best practices to implement simulation software in your organization:
Integrating these best practices into your approach will allow you to unleash the full potential of simulation software into the integrated control room. A necessary step for all control rooms to survive in these turbulent times.