The Netherlands pilot self healing grid


In Netherlands, the Application Center for Renewable Resources (ACRRES) has partnered with smart grid solutions developer and integrator Alfen to implement a smart energy pilot.

ACRRES is the national center focusing on experimenting, testing, demonstrating and stakeholder learning and adoption of sustainable energy technologies. Developed in 2007 by the Wageningen University and the province of Flevoland, to date the center has 12 wind turbines used for research purposes across western Europe.

With Alfen, ACRRES is testing the ability of new smart grid solution ‘Cellular Smart Grid Platform (CSGriP) to reduce the effects and duration of power interuptions to consumers.

The technology enables the grid to heal itself in the event of a power failure. The pilot is being done in Lelystad together with the Delft University of Technology, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Avans University, Bredenoord, DNVGL and grid operator Alliander.

According to a statement,CSGriP changes a centralised grid network into a decentralised system to avoid failure on a portion of grid affecting the whole energy network. The system is designed to reduce the duration of outages.

The solution divides an energy network into small cells, which in the event of a failure restores distributed energy generation resources including solar and wind, and provide consumers located in these small cells with energy.

Once the main grid recovers from a failure, the technology reconnects the small cells into a single grid. The solution comprises 0.5MW energy storage system and energy management algorithms to ensure a balance between supply and demand when the grid is operating normally. At the same time, the solution makes sure energy is stored for emergence cases.

The solution is expected to help utilities in and outside the Netherlands to address challenges associated with increased integration of renewable energy resources with grid networks.

The Energy Storage Specialist at Alfen, mister Evert Raaijen, comments: “[What’s] unique about this solution is that the local cells are intrinsically stable through self-adjustment of supply and demand based on the frequency of the electricity grid. This makes the grid truly self-healing in cases of central grid outages. The self-healing mechanism based on frequencies truly sets it apart from many IT-related smart grids that require relatively vulnerable data and data connections for balancing local grids.”


Image Credit: 123rf.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.