As Energy Transition gathers momentum, operating Germany’s electricity grid becomes an increasingly complex task that in the future will be fully digitalised. Network control systems must be able to process vast amounts of data from supply predictions provided by renewable energy plants to demand (and supply) from industrial consumers, through to individual households with smart metres and everything in between.
Scientists at the Institute for Information Technology (OFFIS) in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, are therefore working on highly specialised software which is capable of integrating Big Data without compromising safety or the security of critical infrastructure, at both a national and a local level. GridDataElectricity (NetzDatenStrom) is a multi-partner software development project which will enable electricity grids to be operated in a more automated but secure way in future.
“We are currently learning how to deal with large amounts of data in network management,” says project manager Prof. Sebastian Lehnhoff from OFFIS, speaking to Energiesystem-Forschung. “We want to use the data to automatically detect disturbances in the network and be able to react to them”. At the moment it is still just theory.
The GridDataElectricity software project also aims to speed up digital innovation amongst smaller operators such as municipal utilities and distribution system operators, who currently have to wait in line behind the major players before receiving the latest software. A cooperative called “openKonsequenz” has been formed for this purpose, which brings local network operators together with software developers and scientific partners in order to drive digital developments in the sector and shorten software cycles.