Project goals

The decommissioning of nuclear and coal-fired power plants, the accelerated expansion of renewable generation plants, most of which are located at lower voltage levels, and the electrification of the mobility and heating sectors will disrupt the way in which the electricity supply system is operated. However, the existing grid levels, the grid interconnection and the segmentation of the distribution grids will remain as they are based on the physical properties of the transmission of electrical energy and the equipment used. However, the provision of ancillary services (AS), which are necessary for secure and reliable grid operation, will not be carried out in the same way as before, primarily by large power plants at the upper voltage levels. In particular, ancillary services for frequency maintenance, such as instantaneous reserve, frequency containment reserve and frequency restoration reserve, will increasingly be provided at the lower voltage levels by distributed generation plants, storage facilities and loads. In addition to the creation of technical prerequisites and concepts, the existing market and system concepts must be further developed in order to enable the secure and energy-efficient integration of many small systems into the AS regime.

The aim of the SysZell research project is to use and expand the system model developed in ZellNetz2050 and to use it to design and investigate the future provision of ancillary services for frequency response in a system dominated by renewable electricity generation. In addition to questions about the mechanisms of procurement, this includes the question of how the availability of AS for frequency maintenance can be estimated, forecast and evaluated during operation, the conceptual design of measures that can be taken to activate sufficient AS reserves and the development of corresponding exemplary software tools to support operational management in grid control centers. An important part of these considerations lies in the robustness and resilience of the solutions, e.g. against communication link failures. Due to the comprehensive cross-sector and cross-voltage level modeling, it is possible to carry out detailed quantitative studies for the provision of AS. For this purpose, further supplementary sub-models must be developed in order to map the provision of AS and, in some cases, their call-off in detail. In SysZell, the high-priority issue of the secure design of the provision of ancillary services is thus being investigated in a practical manner in a joint project involving universities and transmission and distribution grid operators.

Project overview

Project duration: September 1st, 2023 to August 31st, 2026

Sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Project partners:

  • Bergische Universität Wuppertal
  • Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Rheinland-Pfälzische Technische Universität Kaiserslautern-Landau
  • DUtrain GmbH
  • Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz GmbH
  • 50Hertz Transmission GmbH
  • E.DIS Netz GmbH
  • Netze Magdeburg GmbH
  • Institut für Klimaschutz, Energie und Mobilität e.V.
  • PSI AG

Goals of RPTU

The primary goal of RPTU is to develop prototype awareness and decision support tools for grid control centers that support operations management personnel in handling the electrical system and, in particular, in providing system services from distributed, stochastic sources. These tools will build on successfully completed preliminary work in the area of grid restoration tools. Linked to this goal is the development of an online simulation environment on DUtrain's Power System Handler, which will be used as a real-world replica to validate both the awareness and decision support tools and the concept for the provision of AS itself. RPTU also aims to adapt the components of the scenario framework, the technology models and the offline simulation model to the updated framework conditions that were already within its remit in the previous project and to adapt the grid models accordingly. In addition,  RPTU supports the creation of the technical concept for AS provision and the development of the dynamic simulation model. Finally, RPTU is also contributing to the investigation of ICT aspects and the derivation of recommendations for action.