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FlexFuture! Biogas Ensures Stable Networks

Biogas plants enable load balancing by means of intelligent control management.

Ingolstadt, June 11, 2018 - Biogas plants are regarded as the wildcards of the renewable energy system, as they can feed in electricity and heat flexibly and thus compensate for fluctuations. A practical plant proved that shortages and overloads in the electricity grid can be avoided if photovoltaic and biogas plants feed in electricity in a coordinated manner.

Ensuring the stability of the electricity grids and thus the security of supply in Germany at all times is a key focus of the energy turnaround. However, the increasing feed-in of fluctuating renewable electricity producers, such as wind power or photovoltaics (PV), is increasingly leading to shortages or overloading of the distribution networks. The junction to the medium-voltage distribution grid, into which PV and biogas plants feed (up to 50 kV), is the so-called grid connection point (NVP), which is designed for maximum electricity feed-in. If this capacity is exceeded, the systems are shut down to ensure grid stability. The Institute for New Energy Systems (InES), together with the project partners, has set itself the goal of reducing this load without cost-intensive grid expansion in the project "FlexFuture - Integration of biogas plants in electricity grids with a high share of volatile power producers" (FKZ: 03KB102). The scientists used the controllability of biogas plants for load balancing. This means that short-term fluctuations in the electricity grid are compensated by the controllable electricity production of the biogas block-type thermal power stations (CHP units for the generation of electricity and heat). Load balancing is carried out on the basis of PV feed-in forecasts.

More information (German press release).

The grid connection point of a renewable energy system with the medium-voltage grid always has a maximum feed-in power. If biogas and PV systems are fed into the grid simultaneously, the permissible feed-in power can be exceeded, which disconnects both systems from the grid. (Source: InES / THI)
The gas from the biogas plant is flexibly converted into electricity in order to prevent the plants from being shut down and not to exceed the capacity limit of the grid connection point. This avoids current peaks that could overload the grid and cause the systems to shut down. (Source: InES / THI)
The demonstration plant Zellerfeld in Egling an der Paar in Bavaria (Source: InES / THI)

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