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Mix of control – the most challenging aspect of hybrid grids

This is the fifth and final blog on hybrid grids. In the first blog, I talked about the definition of hybrid grids and introduced the four key aspects. In this last blog of the series, I will elaborate on the fourth and final key aspect “mix of control” and the challenge to create robust solutions.

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With a suitable “mix of control”, a safe, stable and reliable electric power system operation at all levels is guaranteed, even when the complexity increases due to variable renewables, new technology and digitalization. Note that the control and protection (C&P) of a power system comprises different generations of technology ranging from mechanical relay, via electronic to software controlled.

The factors that increase complexity, the different C&P technologies, combined with the new demands on power, frequency and voltage regulation pose a huge challenge on maintaining a flexible, fast responding and robust implementation of the power system controls at all times. In addition, there are more interfaces and interactions with other infrastructures like telecommunications, sensor networks for monitoring and prediction and the suite actuators  like (slow) transformer tap changers and (fast) grid connected inverters.

How do you create confidence that the C&P risks are controlled and the power system works as intended? Since software increasingly determines the functionality of power system equipment and its interaction with the grid, new and unforeseen error modes can emerge. This calls for a new ways of validation, not only based on individual performance validation or compliance with the standard(s), but also based on system performance validation or fit-for purpose validation.

If you can’t wait to learn more about a way forward you can right now download our position paper on power cybernetics – the future of validation.

In my next series of blogs I will take a more detailed look and discuss some of the promises and challenges of Power Cybernetics.


Image source: DNV GL

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