From March 21 to 22, 2018, the IREN2 consortium met for the last time. The aim of the consortium meeting was the project completion and the coordination of the results reports, which are now to be prepared in the follow-up phase.
The IREN2 team was especially pleased about the participation of the project sponsor from Forschungszentrum Jülich, who supervised the project over a period of three years and nine months, and could finally give good indications for the follow-up phase and project completion. The activities from IREN2 in and around Wildpoldsried will not be over with IREN2: the quasi-successor, the project "pebbles", is already in the starting blocks. With the success of IREN2, an established team based on a good technical base and committed community support, we were able to successfully apply for a new research project. Pebbles - Blockchain-based peer-to-peer trading - will showcase how new markets can work in the age of local renewable generation and how the innovative blockchain technology can be used.
We look forward to the new challenge and would like to thank everyone who supported us at IREN2 and made the success possible.
In a technical exchange of experience, more than 10 participants, researchers from the University and employees of Siemens Great Britain in Wildpoldsried were able to obtain information about the IREN2 project and participate in the results of our work. The focus of the English guest’s interest was the island capability of the IREN2 system - the stable operation of a local grid decoupled from the main electricity grid. In a live demo our "guests from the island" convinced themselves about the capabilities of our island demonstrator and were impressed by the technical implementation.
There are supposed to be clouds over Wildpoldsried, too. In order to know if and when a cloud is likely to move in front of the sun, a so-called fisheye camera has been watching the sky for some time now. In contrast to normal cameras or surveillance cameras, this camera has a very curved lens and corresponding optics and can thus capture the entire sky hemisphere. The camera is mounted on one of the containers in the Energy Campus Wildpoldsried and provides a picture of the sky every 5 seconds. An image recognition process is used to evaluate and determine the shading of the sun for about 10 minutes in advance, in order to predict the power collapse of photovoltaic systems by clouds.
The aim is to include this information in the control of the system, for example, in time to start an additional generator or to curtail a PV early. Large power gradients in the grid are thereby avoided. This can optimize the dimensioning of electrical storage and thereby optimize the cost of such systems; similarly, contractual commitments to the behavior of microgrids at the grid point of common coupling are better met.
In addition to the camera, the method consists of an artificial neural network for the calculation of the probable cloud movements and thus the probability of covering the sun. Supplementary intelligence also takes into account phenomena such as cloud speed, the spontaneous appearance and disappearance, and other cloud specifics to make the prediction even more reliable.
For the operation of autarkic energy systems, the most accurate prediction possible of the expected generation is eminent for stable and optimized operation. As part of the research carried out in IREN2, measurements were taken at various photovoltaic plants and the forecasts compared with the actual course. Different prognosis procedures were used.
In the research project, methods were developed that could greatly improve the quality of previous forecasts. In doing so, effective radiation values are calculated by mathematical methods taking into account all geometrical properties of the plant and geography of the location, which better map the course of production over the day.
The results are impressive - the forecasts have been improved by 40% and achieve an average accuracy of more than 90% - more than 95% on sunny days. Since mid-November 2017, these methods have been successfully implemented in the IREN2 system in Wildpoldsried.
October 25th 2017, a delegation of ENERNET visited our project within the scope of an evaluation for possible cooperations.
ENERNET is a global company with offices in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia and other countries. ENERNET develops and operates complex energy systems with storage, renewable generation and control technology, both grid-connected systems and electrical islands.
During lectures, live demonstrations and visits, experiences in the implementation of projects of the energy transition had been discussed and the possibilities of using technologies and solutions developed and tested in IREN2, too.
The Turkish utility Enerjisa and people from the Turkish regulatory authority EDPK were able to convince themselves of the innovative technical solutions in Wildpoldsried. In addition to several presentation, interesting expert discussions and a joint dinner the demonstration of the systems abilities convinced the experts in an island grid demonstration.
Additionally on the same day a group of Siemens experts from Brasil, China and Australia was present, getting valuable insights how innovative projects and solutions could look like.
On 13 September 2017 three delegations visited our project.
Romanian energy suppliers, South Korean transformer manufacturers, accompanied by Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen, and researchers from China were able to convince themselves of the innovative technical solutions in Wildpoldsried. In addition to interesting expert discussions, the demonstration of the systems abilities convinced the experts in an island grid demonstration.
On Wednesday, August 30th, 2017, a local grid was disconnected from the public electricity grid and switched to a conscious blackout. In the experiment the "black start" of an island grid was shown. With the decentralized generation and storage facilities of the IREN2 project, the islands grid was again run up and stabilized.
During the demonstration, the network was operated as an island, an seamlessly switched back to the upper layer grid, and the multiple disconnection and re-coupling to the grid without voltage failure was shown.
Many interested people took the opportunity to visit the IREN2-Energicampus, and in a lively conversation many residents and guests ended the successful evening. The IREN2 team would like to thank all local residents for coming and their support.
June 21st and 22nd 2017, the 6th consortium meeting took place in Kempten.
Half-annual reporting were focused, as well as technical discussion of mayor topics for the next half-year planning. Besides technical topics, a visit at rustic "Wachtersalpe" including traditional Bavarian food at perfect weather was a most welcome event.
SP Group (SP) is a leading energy utility company in Asia Pacific.
One of Singapore’s largest corporations, SP owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia, and district cooling. Urban energy supply is different to rural, nevertheless SP was impressed by Germanys "Energiewende" and by the IREN2 demonstrator facility. Singapore has a share of only 1% of renewables so far. IRENE and IREN2's solution approaches are useful to be adapted in cities, too.
VALOREM is a vertically-integrated green energy operator, offering a range of renewable energy solutions while guiding and supporting local authorities and its partners at every stage of a project: surveys, development, financing, construction, operational oversight and maintenance.
April 6th 2017, Brazils ONS "Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico" visited IREN2.
The Electric System National Operator is part of a complex network of institutions and agents, playing different roles in the Brazilian electricity sector.
ONS is a non-profit Legal entity of private law, under the regulation and supervision of ANEEL*, aims at realizing activities to coordinate and control the operation of generation and transmission. (The Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (in Portuguese, "Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica", ANEEL))
January 16th until 20th, the IREN2 control system was updated.
Essetiell for supervisory control, our system was upgraded with new software including the latest release of Siemens' Spectrum Power 5. New 3rd party software and harddisks will secure performance for the remaining time until IREN2 ends.
November 17th, Canadian Utilities from Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontarion visited IREN2.
For Canada, the capability to operate grids independend from the main grid, with high portion of renewables, is of high interest. Several uses cases apply - including the reliable supply of First Nation villages.
The projections for Wildpoldsried are calculated from real-time data in the IREN2 control system in Wildpoldsried, sent to the RWTH Aachen University and are put online refreshed every 5 seconds. In addition to the current mix of generated power from solar, wind and biogas, and the balance of current production and consumption in the municipality, the energy total of the previous day and the previous month are offered. The site is designed in a way that it can be displayed comfortably both classic PC browser or on a mobile device in the appearance of an app.
So far, the office container with the slack IREN2 banner provided a sad picture and suggested rather not, that scientific work is done inside...
The container is used as an office for local experiments. Both, from the road and from the campus, a friendly luminous fabric with the design and the logos of the project and the project partners now appears instead of the gray area.
A camera crew on behalf of Siemens AG was on tour July 19th and 20th 2016, for shots and interviews concerning IREN2 in and around Wildpoldsried. The material is used for websites and videos to describe use cases. The shootings were surrounded by a perfect Allgäu weather.
On July 13th 2016, Asian guests visited our project during a site visit mission, organized by Siemens. Ten management representatives of energy companies and grid operators from India and Sri Lanka could gain a lot of knowledge on the implementation of the energy transition in Germany, during talks with representatives of AÜW, egrid and Siemens. The live demonstration and a tour through the project components achieved a very positive reception.
The event with the IREN2 power pioneers and interested Wildpoldsried residents of July 12th 2016 was well received. Approximately 30 participants attended, on the screen and in spite of heavy rain on the Energy Campus at the "Day of the open container", gathered information about the project, its objectives and the technology used. Even after the official part was over, further discussions showed the high level of interest.
Beginning in July 2016 new large displays have been installed for the IREN2-control system. In the office container on the Energy Campus and at the control system user interface in the “Kultiviert” building, operation can now be performed on three 42-inch displays. The high resolution and the large-screen display support simultaneous visualization of many information. Thus, a safe operation is supported during the experimental procedures is ensured, and the displays also improve the opportunities for presentations.
May 25th 2016, a high-level delegation of scientists visited our project at a conference of the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft”. More than 40 professors from Asia, North America and Germany took the chance for discussions in lectures, live demonstrations and site visits, and exchanged their experiences in the context of "Frontiers of Multimodal and Distributed Energy Systems".
May 2nd to 4th 2016, a larger group of IREN2 researchers went for first trials within the isolated grid in Wildpoldsried’s Energy Campus. From de-energized state, the so-called blackout, the power grid was “booted” using the vegetable oil generator and thus re- supplied. In conjunction with the load bank and the battery storage first tests for stability of frequency and voltage could be successfully carried out. From blackout, no residents are concerned - the campus grid is unconnected to the local grid.
April 20th 2016, an additional component for the system IREN2 could be delivered. The Power Link* allows an exchange of electric power between the medium voltage and low voltage grid in both directions. Various scenarios in production and consumption can be adjusted. For example, the Power Link alternatively behaves like a battery, as a group of consumers, or as a generator - for example, as a photovoltaic or a wind turbine. Thus, attempts at any time, regardless of wind and sun, will become possible.
*A power electronics link using inverters can connect two or more seperate medium voltage AC grids with different voltages, frequencies or phase angles.
On invitation of the „Initiative Intelligente Vernetzung“ (intelligent networking initiative), the research project IREN2 had been presenting at the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi – German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy) booth March 14 – 18. 2016.
At the largest information technology exhibition worldwide, experts and individuals from Germany and abroad gathered information on IREN2.
December 2nd 2015, IREN2 hosted the cluster meeting of “Bayern Innovativ” in Wildpoldsried.
In this workshop-kind event titled “decentralized energy supply consequently – the pilot project IREN2”, about 40 interested person took the chance in discussions with the projects team experts. Solution approaches, targets and challenges of the IREN2 project have been transferred in speeches, and the survey of significant grid componants directely on site provided interesting insights.
The IREN2 battery storage has been equipped with battery cells of the newest generation. Their operation and the new hardware configuration requires two additional isolating transformers, that has been built up and tested successfully October 14th 2015.
September 18th 2015, the new control room furniture was set up in Wildpoldsried.
Presentations will be given as well as the tests in IREN2 will be performed here. Numerous events and trainings about Smart Grid topics take place in the room “Bayern” and can be supported by the new environment.
End of August 2015 measuring and communication equipment for the project was successfully installed in and around Wildpoldsried.
The joint Siemens and Allgäuer Überlandwerk task force managed it that several additional components like distribution cabinets for grid metering, photovoltaic plants, biogas-CHPs and wind plants are now integrated. The data are transmitted via mobile communication to the Microgrid Management System. The perfect weather that days supports the side actions at several places, as it is used to be in the Allgäu region.
The IREN2 reserch field has been extended by an office container in July 2015, thus providing the possibility of performing and supervising the projects experiments at site, in close distance to the microgrid-components (stationary battery storage system, vegetable oil generator, inverter coupling), to the project consortium researchers.
The stationary battery storage system, erected in the prior research project IRENE, has been renewed with new generations battery modules, providing capabilities for optimal preparation of planned studies in the project IREN2.
April 9th 2015, a brand new diesel generator has been set into operation at the Siemens site in Erlangen/Germany.
The 80-kilowatts-engine is going to be set major fundamentals for the studies in the IREN2 project. A similar generator will be applied in the village of Wildpoldsried to support stability and secure autarkic grid operation – as an electrical island. The generator, environmentally friendly powered by vegetable oil, will be set up near the sports ground.