Dutch system divides grid into self-healing cells for stability
To improve on the resiliency of power grids, in response to the rapid increase of intermittent renewable energy, Dutch energy infrastructure expert Alfen announced the launch in mid-October of a platform that allows local parts of the grid to disconnect from the central grid and “self-heal.”
Alfen’s Cellular Smart Grid Platform (CSGriP), divides the central grid into many small cells that have the ability to function autonomously. In case of a central grid power outage, these local cells take over control. They automatically start restoring all local sources of energy supply, such as solar and wind, and distribute the energy among local consumers.
At the core of such a local grid is an energy storage system developed by Alfen, that ensures the balance between production and consumption is maintained. Once the grid balance within a cell is restored, it automatically reconnects to other cells and, as such, quickly rebuilds the larger power grid. Both the size and duration of central grid power outages are reduced significantly.
CSGriP was field tested at the Application Centre for Renewable Resources (ACRRES) in Lelystad, the Netherlands. At its heart is a 0.5 MW energy storage system and a complex algorithm used for local energy management. Both solutions are developed and delivered by Alfen.
The company says its platform can prepare grids that are already well-developed for a future that will be significantly more decentralized and renewables-oriented. Even bigger opportunities exist in parts of the world that still need to be electrified.