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Intelligence replaces copper – Siemens and Netze BW make power grid ready for the future


Siemens Smart Grid and distribution network operator Netze BW have started a joint project entitled "Distributed Grid Intelligence."

The project's goal is to equip the power distribution grid in the Niederstetten region of Baden-Württemberg for the challenges of Germany's transition to a new energy mix by implementing a distributed intelligence system. At the same time, supply security is to be maintained at the present high level.

The aim is to allow the existing distribution grid to operate with maximum autonomy by equipping it with as much intelligence as possible and using as few additional medium-voltage cables as necessary. The solution will be based on proven Siemens energy automation technology, which is to be used in a new configuration. The results obtained and the experience gained during the course of this project will be taken into account in future Netze BW projects.

The northern supply region of the Niederstetten substation comprises two circuits with a total of 84 secondary substations and long circuit sections with overhead lines. About 45 percent of the cabling is buried underground. There are already numerous renewable energy sources in the region feeding power into the grid, and this trend is growing.

This in turn is causing ever high voltages in the dead-end feeders. This means that on occasions the power grid in the Niederstetten region comes up against the limit of its loading capacity. Instead of reacting to this through regular expansion of the distribution grid, Netze BW relies on intelligent systems and is using this general framework for implementing the new project. The goal is to make the distribution grid in Niederstetten ready for the future by the end of 2014 through the use of distributed network intelligence while making optimal use of the existing network infrastructure.

"We won't be able to transition to a new energy mix in Germany without intelligent power supply grids. The technology for this has long existed – and Siemens has the most comprehensive product portfolio industry-wide. In Niederstetten, we will demonstrate how existing distribution grids can be made ready for the future with proven products from our Smart Grid modular system," said Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens Smart Grid Division.

Martin Konermann, Technical Director at Netze BW GmbH, added: "With our distributed grid intelligence, we're helping promote the development of a clever and predictive power grid infrastructure in Germany. Our aim is not only to actively help shape the new energy policy. What we're doing is making it possible to implement this policy locally at communal and municipal level in the first place."

The core element of the modernization project is a distributed grid area controller in the Niederstetten substation, based on a Siemens Sicam energy automation system. This is responsible for voltage control and fault management and provides the communications connection. By acting as a link between the central SCADA system and the intelligent field devices, it also enables the controller to restore affected grid sections in case of a fault without human intervention.

In the "Distributed Grid Intelligence" project, the main emphasis is on network monitoring and fault management with intelligent measuring technology and long-range control for active voltage stability. For this purpose, nine secondary substations located at the most important nodal points are to be equipped with energy automation technology, and five substations equipped with voltage measurement systems in the dead-end feeders. The measured data can be transferred by remote transmission.

During the course of the project, a grid study on the fault management system will be conducted with a detailed reliability calculation for the Niederstetten grid, before and after network automation. Two medium-voltage in-phase regulators including power quality measurement on the primary and secondary side are to be installed for long-range voltage control. Over the entire project run time, the voltage controllers will receive their tap changes from the grid area controller on the basis of the distributed voltage measurement in the medium-voltage grid.

The Siemens Smart Grid Division (Nuremberg, Germany) offers power providers, network operators, industrial enterprises and cities an end-to-end portfolio with products and solutions to develop intelligent energy networks. Smart Grids enable a bidirectional flow of energy and information. They are required for the integration of more renewable energy sources in the network. In addition, power providers can run their plants more efficiently with data gained from Smart Grids. Software solutions that analyze data from Smart Grids will continuously gain importance. Thereby, the division uses in-house developments in addition to systems from software partners. For further information please see:

Netze BW GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany) is the largest electricity, gas and water network operator in Baden-Württemberg and is a wholly owned subsidiary of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. With a total workforce of 3283 employees, Netze BW operates the high-, medium- and low-voltage power grids of EnBW and provides and markets network-related and communal services for local authorities and public utilities in the electricity, gas, water, heat and telecommunications sectors. Further information at

Reference Number: ICSG201405048e


Mr. Dietrich Biester
Smart Grid Division

Siemens AG

Gugelstr. 65

90459   Nuremberg


Tel: +49 (911) 433-2653

Ms. Angela Broetel
Media Relations

Netze BW

Tel: +49 (711) 289-52141

Dietrich Biester | Siemens Division Smart Grid

Further reports about: Division Grid Grids Intelligence Smart copper measurement secondary voltage

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