Regional power consumption helps avoid grid expansion

Project state
Im Modellprojekt wird das Energiesystem bestehend aus Strom- und Gasnetz exemplarisch modelliert.
The graphic shows the basic idea of RegEnKibo: Gas and electricity networks are interconnected and ensure a reliable electricity supply together with generators and consumers . | Graphic: RegEnKibo research network

Renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage technologies and smart grid technology, as well as the interaction of these energy technologies are the mainstays of the energy transition concept. The research project RegEnKibo (Regionalisation of energy supply on the distribution grid level using the model location Kirchheimbolanden) takes up this concept, and exemplarily models the electricity and gas network of Kirchheimbolanden based on real-time data. It is then validated and reconciled. The project partners use optimisation algorithms and take into account electricity from renewable energy sources fed into the medium and low-voltage levels.

RegEnKibo project logo

The main objective of this research project is to achieve a regionalisation of energy supply on the distribution grid level of the model location Kirchheimbolanden, while minimising the exchange of balancing energy between the transmission system and the distribution grid. This will help lower the demand for grid expansion. In addition to merging the two energy systems of electricity and gas, another focus is on tapping efficiency potentials in the household sector, in the public sector as well as in commercial enterprises by using energy-efficient power and heat-led energy systems. This will further reduce the exchange of balancing energy. In addition, the researchers are investigating the option of employing a virtual power plant.

Storage systems are the key to local energy production

In order to minimise the exchange of electricity between transmission system and distribution grid, the right energy storage technologies and smart grid technology are still required. These challenges are also part of the research project. First studies have shown that Kirchheimbolanden requires a long-term storage of electrical energy in addition to a short-term storage of excess green electricity. The project has taken account of this. In terms of long-term storage of electric power, engineers are modelling the power to gas process. They validate it with the two-step process of converting electricity into hydrogen and then converting this hydrogen, along with carbon dioxide, into synthetic natural gas. With this method, the gas network can store excess electricity in the gas network in a climate-neutral way, so that it is available for local power generation and heat supply in case of high demand and low power generation.

The tasks of the project partners in detail

Staff of the Institute of Electric Energy Systems and High-Voltage Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) model the energy networks in a subproject. The Research Centre of the German Association Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V. at the Engler-Bunte Institute of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will validate the grid models, in particular the gas network model, and the integration of the long-term storage system into the overall system. The Engler-Bunte-Institute is experimentally investigating the dynamics of the conversion of hydrogen and carbon dioxide to synthetic methane. The optimisation of the combined energy subsystems of electricity and gas regarding the overall energy network is being undertaken by the Institute for Control Systems at KIT. The Transferstelle Bingen liaison office at the University of Applied Sciences Bingen develops components required for the integration in the control room. It is assisted by the Viessmann Group in the selection and operation of energy-efficient turbines. e-rp GmbH manage  the consortium and the overall project. Moreover, they simulate and validate the overall grid after virtually modelling, consolidating and optimising it. This virtual operation mode draws upon the actual generation of electricity from renewable energy sources and on the consumption of energy in Kirchheimbolanden.

First results are expected in 2016

First results of the research project are expected by spring 2016. According to the schedule of the research project, modelling should be complete by the summer of 2016. The final validation and optimisation of the overall energy supply system will take place by the end of 2017, including the creation of a virtual power plant in the same period. Subsequently, the entire energy supply system will be operated by means of simulation and testing until the completion of the research project in May 2018. The coming milestone was set upon completion of the modelling work on energy networks.

Project duration

06/2015 – 05/2018


Prof. -Dr.-Ing. Peter Missal
Project coordinator
e-rp GmbH
Gartenstr. 22
55232 Alzey
+49 6731 405-238

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