Grid technology

New challenges in the grid expansion require new operating resources and optimised grid technology. Here there is information on the research projects.

Isolated grid tested

03.05.2016 – A municipality disconnected from the interconnected network.


Project reports

All projects

Network conditioning for secure industrial networks

Industrial production facilities usually have a large number of electrical subsystems, whose functionality is dependent on the supply reliability and the voltage quality of the electrical network.


Service Platform Distribution Grid for Integrated Load Management

The rapidly growing input of electricity from renewable sources into the electricity grid poses huge challenges for energy supply throughout Germany.

Grid Integration

Integrating the market into the smart grid

In the German electricity grid, which has evolved organically over time, the power flow in the medium and low voltage grids used to be typically characterised by centralised energy distribution.


Superconductors protecting the grid

Superconductors can protect the grid. Up to a certain temperature, they conduct electricity with no resistance. Only above this so-called transition temperature does their resistance increase exponentially.


Improved efficiency and availability with DC grids

When alternating voltages reach the limits — for example, during transmission from offshore wind farms to the load centres — high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission could be a solution.


Power outage without consequences: Starting the grid with decentralised plants

In the event of a major fault, or even a complete power outage in the interconnected network, grid operators and operators of generation units have to coordinate the restoration of power supply within their own various grids.


Minimising grid faults caused by domestic appliances

Germany has one of the world’s most advanced grids. In the future, this grid will have to integrate more decentralised electricity generation systems on its low voltage level. In addition, electronic devices are becoming more efficient.


Cheap smart grids with ripple control technology

So far, smart grids have failed due to the high costs of smart meters. The grid can still be operated as a smart grid using other technologies, however. Applying these alternative technologies is a declared goal of CheapFlex.


Detecting harmonics in the grid

Feed-in via power electronics leads to grid harmonics. The NetzHarmonie project aims to identify these harmonics, and then remove them in a second step.


Identifying earth faults on high-voltage overhead lines

In the joint ISOSTROSE project, the project partners are researching and developing a monitoring system for distribution grid transmission lines. This is aimed at precisely localising earth faults on high-voltage overhead lines in order to enable disturbances in the electricity grid to be quickly eliminated. After the theoretical phase, the scientists will carry out example monitoring in a test area.


Ancillary services from the low- and medium-voltage level

In the event of major faults it must be ensured that no photovoltaic systems and wind turbines are shut down because they can contribute to supporting the system by feeding in their power. Within the joint DeF-Neg project, researchers are therefore investigating how measures for stabilising the frequency can be shifted to the distribution grids.


Impact of reduced rotating mass on the grid operation

The electrical power supply in Germany is being increasingly dominated by renewable energy generation systems. This is causing conventional power plants to be displaced. But how is this impacting on the grids?

FiN - "Fühler im Netz" (Sensors in the Grid)

Utilising Broadband over Power Line technology for grid monitoring

If the supply security and grid stability usual in Germany are also to be ensured in future, the grid status will need to be monitored constantly. The FiN ("Fühler im Netz" (Sensors in the Grid)) project is investigating the possibility of providing this monitoring using Broadband over Power Line technology.


Compact transmission line for high DC voltages

With high wind energy infeeds, the transmission grid is already reaching the limits of its thermal capacity. Additional transmission capacities will relieve the grid. The DC CTL transmission line (Compact Transmission Line for High Direct Current Voltages) offers a technical solution for providing gas-insulated DC connections.

Joint switching

DC switches separate loads

Team switching: If several switches in direct current (DC) circuits share the tasks this can provide several advantages for the entire system, for example, greater safety, fewer losses and cheaper operating resources.

Verteilnetz 2020

Optimum interaction in the distribution grid

With the increasing expansion of renewable energies, the medium- and low-voltage distribution grids are reaching their intake limits, particularly in rural areas. This is leading to problems with maintaining the voltage stability and with equipment overloads.


Predicting operating times, minimising downtimes

After which operating time should insulators be replaced? Is it possible to replace them together with other components in order to keep the shutdown periods and costs to a minimum and yet nevertheless use the components in an efficient and safe manner? Are there ways to conduct inspections or special tests that increase the guaranteed service life of the insulators?


Improved grid protection in power converter-dominated networks

An increasingly decentralised energy production requires new technologies for effective grid protection in the distribution grids. The aim of the research project is to determine the requirements for grid protection with a high proportion of decentralised infeeds.


Improved description of partial discharges on high-voltage components

New analysis methods used in plasma technology enable partial discharges on high-voltage components to be better described.


Transferring more power with direct and alternating current

The increasingly decentralised and temporally fluctuating production of electricity from renewable sources makes it necessary to create additional transport capacity for electrical energy. With critical components for the energy transmission, thermal and electrical phenomena depend heavily on each other and determine the current-carrying capacity.


New sensors with non-destructive and label-free measurements

The aim of the research project is to develop a miniaturised sensor platform that utilises the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) principle, whereby it is intended that it should also be capable of recognising changes in the chemical composition of various fluids both on- and inline.


Monitoring operation systems for secure grid operation

The expansion of the grid is also presenting the equipment monitoring with new challenges. In the iMonet project, researchers want to develop a measuring method that can read both discrete and distributed sensors in high-voltage systems. One of the aims here is to enable greater grid security even under critical conditions.


Flexible local network voltage and active power controller

In rural areas, overloading can cause grid voltages that exceed the specified tolerances. The grid voltage can be optimally regulated using the kind of controller being developed in the FLOW-R project.


New aluminium alloys for long-lasting electrical connections

With the expansion of renewable energies, increased amounts of electrical energy will need to be transported in the coming years. In particular the large onshore and offshore wind farms in the sparsely populated north, which have an installed capacity of about 44 GW, along with the load centres in the energy-intensive south make it essential to find new ways for transporting power.


Future-viable grids for the integration of renewable energy systems

The aim of the IREN2 research project is to develop control systems for microgrids. This is necessary in order to integrate the constantly growing share of renewably generated electricity within the requirements made on the network operations management. One focus of the project is on controlling and scheduling microgrids. Using simulations, the researchers are investigating the limits for ancillary services that topological power plants can bring to the network operations management.


Basic information

The energy generated in a grid must always be equal to the energy consumed. The ancillary services are tasked with ensuring this.


Virtual power plants, active distribution grids, smart meters and adaptive protection systems – here you can find information about the most important aspects of smart grids.


What do direct and alternating current mean? How do they differ and what are the advantages and disadvantages?


How is our power grid structured? What sort of networks are there? What do security and quality of supply mean?