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Incorporating "Green" Power from Small Sources

30.04.2012
While Siemens has already put its first virtual power plants into operation, the company's global research department Corporate Technology is also forging ahead with the development of a decentralized communications unit.

This powerbridge will enable operators of solar or wind power facilities to logon to a virtual power plant through the Internet with just a few mouse clicks.



The operators will retain full control over their facilities and can decide how much of them they wish to integrate into the virtual power plant. A non-commercial prototype of the system was presented at the Hanover Fair 2012 by the RegModHarz project team for renewable energy in the Harz region.

At the fair, the project team demonstrated all of a virtual power plant's components, ranging from the powerbridge and the control center to the network surveillance system and the market platform for operators and consumers. The project's virtual power plant already encompasses several electricity generation and storage facilities in the Harz region, including wind farms, cogeneration plants, and pumped-storage power stations, which were operated live at the trade fair.

At the heart of the control unit is the powerbridge, which can operate all of the connected power generation, storage, and load systems in a coordinated manner. A security architecture protects all of the communications activities. The powerbridge was designed in accordance with the internationally standardized protocol IEC 61850.

Germany's Harz region is already home to hundreds of small energy generation facilities, which could be integrated into the virtual power plant. The number of facilities is increasing daily through the installation of new photovoltaic systems. Experts forecast that virtual power plants spanning entire regions will one day combine thousands of wind turbines, solar power plants, geothermal facilities, and other energy generation systems in Germany.

They will be joined by buildings and electric cars, which will serve as flexible energy sources and increase the number of facilities into the millions. This huge number of distributed energy generation systems can only be coordinated and managed if the decentralized control units are interconnected in an automatic, easy-to-use, and secure fashion.

The powerbridge is one of Siemens' contributions to the renewable energy system of the future. It will enable the individual energy generation systems to exchange data with one another and with the virtual power plant.

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Further information:
http://www.siemens.com/innovationnews

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