Creating The Smart Grid With Distribution Automation From A Single Source

The conversion of power distribution networks into smart grids places enormous demands on suppliers. Only companies that can seamlessly integrate sensors and actuators as well as communication and IT systems into the infrastructure can create genuine added value for their customers.

Solutions from a single source not only equip power distribution grids to address challenges like the increasing integration of renewable energy sources: They also enable utility companies to operate their infrastructure more efficiently in an increasingly price-sensitive environment.

Under the motto "Complete power grid competence in a constantly changing world," Siemens Infrastructure & Cities will present its components and grid automation solutions for power distribution networks and smart grids in Stockholm at CIRED, international conference for power distribution systems. The exhibits (in Booth D:04) will range from grid planning solutions to intelligent transformer substations with compact switchgear and regulated transformers, energy storage devices, network control systems, and energy automation systems for distribution networks. It will also feature decentralized energy management systems and systems for network monitoring.

The fluctuating infeed of renewable energy sources is making it increasingly difficult to operate power distribution grids that are already under enormously stress. Aging infrastructures, non-technical losses, and capacity bottlenecks are additional challenges in power distribution worldwide. Siemens offers a portfolio of solutions to address these challenges as well as to convert traditional distribution networks into smart grids.

But these future grids need to be planned before the conversion can take place. At CIRED, Siemens grid planning experts bring their many years of experience and technical expertise to show how customized smart grid solutions can be developed in collaboration with network operators. We will also utilize the Smart Grid Compass grid planning and consulting tool and the PSS Sincal network planning system, a tool for the calculation and design of utility and industrial networks. Following the analysis and planning phase, these tools provide an implementation plan for future smart grids. In addition, the Smart Grid Compass can be used to develop appropriate business strategies.

At CIRED, Siemens will clearly demonstrate that the implementation of smart grids relies on sophisticated IT and communications solutions operating in conjunction with the requisite hardware. These include intelligent transformer substations with a regulated distribution transformer and communications-capable medium-voltage switchgear that control the load flow in a smart grid.

With 8DJH Compact, for the first time Siemens is showing a new gas-insulated medium-voltage switchgear for secondary distribution grids up to 24 kV. Type-tested in accordance with IEC 62271-200, the switchgear is one-third smaller than a comparable model. Thanks to the 8DJH Compact's smaller footprint, new urban transformer substations, for example, can be built on a smaller scale, which makes them even more cost-effective. This communications-capable switchgear is especially well suited for modernizing existing compact stations and converting into intelligent transformer substations as part of a smart grid. Also on exhibit at the booth, the Siestorage modular battery storage system from Siemens is an additional tool for controlling the fluctuating infeed of renewable energy sources. This storage system optimizes grid stability and increases the voltage and supply quality in the distribution network.

At CIRED, Siemens will also present Sicam energy automation solutions that make it possible for smaller substations and distribution stations to connect to the central automation system while also facilitating safe, reliable network operations management. The Sicam FCM (feeder condition monitor) network condition-monitoring system – with integrated short-circuit indication as well as network condition and load-flow monitoring – ensures transparency in the cable network. As part of a platform, the new Sicam P850/P855 multifunctional devices record measurement values and then evaluate, document, and archive the data. The Sicam CMIC compact telecontrol unit can be used to monitor distribution networks and control their load flows. This device is suitable for use in power and gas distribution stations, hydroelectric plants, pipelines, railway power supplies, and for the control of regulated transformer substations. Among the highlights of the energy automation exhibit are the Siprotec 5 digital protection devices, with their intelligent grid automation and communications functions as central parts of the system architecture.

Siemens will use its Linux-based Spectrum Power system platform for network control centers as an example of efficient energy management in power distribution networks. Demonstrations will include how components can be integrated for specific applications according to a modular concept, and how it is easier than ever to connect other IT systems. At CIRED, Siemens will illustrate how the DEMS decentralized energy management system can be used to control distributed power plants and loads: for example, in a virtual power plant. In addition, Siemens will introduce a demand response management system (DRMS) that can be used to manage numerous loads.

Siemens will round out this year's range of smart grid exhibits with the Siguard PSA (protection security assessment). Using this technical solution along with the corresponding service from Siemens, network operators can improve and further develop their protection systems in a grid. This assessment tool makes it possible for the first time to systematically evaluate the selectivity of the protection system in larger grid areas with decentralized energy sources and different operating conditions. This technology is yet another technique for adjusting distribution network automation that will help get the grid ready for the future.

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