Using Power Electronic Systems for Smart Local Grid Transformers

Project RELINK


The primary objective of the RELINK project is the development, design and practical implementation of smart power electronic systems that improve the operation of regional and national grids and make their operational functions demand-responsive. Power electronic control components provide new opportunities to improve distribution grid operation by making the power electronic control components, which are the node between medium voltage grids and low voltage grids, the heart of a distribution grid that can be controlled and optimized on both sides. Such power electronic control components can also control the energy consumption of consumers and storage systems, making them a smart node in the grid. Efficiency has to be maximized in every operating point. There is a substantial capability to do this, especially in part-load operation. Not utilizing every cell fully makes it possible to load exactly the number of cells needed to maximize efficiency. Moreover, a cost-benefit analysis will be performed based on the defined current and especially future standards for such components for grid control and their potential grid services (short-circuit power contribution, voltage regulation, microgrid, service restoration, service quality up through instantaneous reserves) to define the relevant use case (technically and economically) and derive the specifications for it. Pilot implementation based on theoretical analysis, development, laboratory testing and accompanying grid sensitivity analyses will demonstrate that such systems’ capability to play a major role in improving regional grid operation, which can stabilize and make regional grids and their services demand-responsive, and that their existence is essential to implementing the regional smart electricity grid.


Project period:

  • 01.06.2017 - 31.05.2020


Project partners:

  • Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
  • ABB AG, Germany