Network conditioning for secure industrial networks

Project state

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, whereby in particular more modern technology has lower tolerances. In addition, changes to the energy network resulting from the energy transition and the commercial orientation during the grid expansion are increasing the frequency of critical network situations. This has a negative impact on the availability of production facilities and production quality. The aim of the project is to develop a decentralised, intelligent and modular network conditioning system that reliably and quickly recognises the respective network state regardless of the occurring fault event, carries out effective countermeasures and is thus suitable for securing and increasing the network quality for production facilities in a needs-based manner.

In the course of the energy transition, the share of renewable energies in the energy mix is increasing, whereby more power is being provided in a decentralised and stochastically fluctuating manner. This is reducing the voltage quality in the interconnected grid. At the same time, the proportion of loads and feed-in units that are connected to the grid via converters is increasing. These cause grid perturbations and lead to a reduction in the short-circuit power. In addition, modern converter-fed plants are more sensitive to interferences in the grid quality, which increases the failure rate and impairs the efficiency of industrial processes.

Basic scenarios for industrial networks

  • Voltage fluctuations or interruptions in the supply network spread via the Point of Common Coupling (PCC) into the industry network.
  • In a weak network, power peaks from a local large-scale load impair the voltage quality at the supply node of an internal sub-network (IPC2).
  • A process at a node of the internal sub-network (IPC2) impairs the voltage quality for the remaining processes at the node (IPC2) through procuring reactive power and loading the network with harmonic distortions.
Example of an industrial network structure
© EneSys, RUB

The objectives of the project

  • Securing and increasing both the voltage quality and supply reliability for production facilities in accordance with needs
  • Stabilising the voltage by supplying reactive power and compensating for harmonic distortions.
  • Highly dynamic protection against supply interruptions: Temporary formation of isolated grids and continued operation for the duration of the supply failure as well as resynchronisation
  • Inherently stable mode of operation with rapidly changing grid properties
  • Decentralised provision of short-circuit power and limitation of peak loads
Concept for the modular network conditioning system
© EneSys, RUB

Within the scope of the project, a multifunctional network conditioning system is being developed whose structure is divided into individual modules. Two differently specialised modules (HF and P) are being developed based on active power-electronic converter topologies connected in parallel to the grid, whereby the P-module is supplemented by at least one energy storage module (ES). The power efficiency and the storage depth can therefore be scaled in each case by the parallel connection of several identical modules. The regulation of the individual modules as well as the switch for separating from the supply network will be coordinated by a superordinate operational management. The components address the following objectives:

  • HF module: Provision of distortion reactive power
  • P module: Provision of shifting reactive power and frequency setting as well as the provision of active power, for example in isolated grid operation
  • ES module: Energy storage for network-independent power provision
  • Switch: Transition to isolated grid operation as well as switching to the grid following synchronisation

Cooperation partners and sub-projects

Employees from the EneSys Institute testing the MuNeSIP system for emulating faults in the laboratory at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
© EneSys, RUB
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum - Institute for Power Systems Technology and Power Mechatronics: "Design and realisation of hardware and operation of the MuNeSIP system"
  • Evonik Technology & Infrastructure GmbH - Energy and power engineering: "Development and classification of solution strategies for plant failures and fluctuations in the production quality in industrial facilities"
  • Avasition GmbH: "Conception, implementation and testing of control software"
In the laboratory at Ruhr-Universität, an employee from the EneSys Institute commissions the demonstrator for the MuNeSIP network conditioning system
© EneSys, RUB

After identifying the effects relevant to the industrial environment as the first milestone and completing the concept phase as the second milestone during the first project year, the construction and modular commissioning of the subsystems for the demonstrator at Ruhr-Universität Bochum will be progressed and completed by the end of the second project year as the third milestone. During the third project year the system behaviour will be investigated in different scenarios in the laboratory.

Project duration

09/2014 - 08/2017


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Constantinos Sourkounis
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 150
44801 Bochum
+49 234 32-25776
+49 234 32-14597

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