DC grids are becoming more attractive due to the proliferation of renewable energy sources (RES) together with the increase in DC loads linked to the use of electronics, LED lighting and novel technologies such as electric vehicles and energy storage.
In this sense, DC grids allow an enlarged energy efficiency, less complex control of power quality and seamless integration of renewable energy and energy storage, thus increasing the sustainability of the energy distribution system. However, the lack of DC microgrids prevents them to evolve from a promising solution for future smart grids to a commercially available technology.
Nowadays, for the Direct Current-based grids to become a commercially available option within the future Smart Grids in hybrid system, there is a need to demonstrate the potential of DC Technologies & Grid Topologies.
A modular concept of DC-based grid topology is proposed to this purpose consisting of a MVDC line connecting the main grid with the LV hybrid grid.
TIGON’s proposed grid topology includes some innovations such as the use of a Solid-State Transformer, constituting the link of the hybrid grid with the main AC Grid. In this sense, TIGON will integrate novel topologies of high efficiency DC/DC converters thanks to the latest developments in SiC power semiconductor technology. Protection schemes will be complemented by the implementation of a WAMPAC (Wide Area of Monitoring, Protection and Control) system, allowing the monitoring of the AC/DC connection points.
The topology is accompanied by a cybersecurity defence system as well as the generation of a smart energy management system (EMS) able to control in a centralized manner the microgrids under analysis.
Thanks to the results obtained, a Decision Support System (DSS) able to provide with guidelines facilitating the planning of grid expansions or the development of new hybrid-grids across the EU will be developed.
TIGON aims to enable a smooth deployment and integration of intelligent Direct Current-based grids architectures within the current energy system, while providing ancillary services to the main network. In this sense, TIGON’s four-level approach aims at improving Reliability, Resilience, Performance and Cost Efficiency of Hybrid Grids.
To do so, TIGON involves a consortium of 15 partners of relevance at EU level that compose a multidisciplinary team with a well-balanced distribution between research organizations, associations, and enterprises, coping with the project’s need by developing innovative DC-technologies in two main demo sites in France (novel topologies of PV plants) and Spain (battery storage systems) together with uses cases in a Finnish residential area and the Sofia (Bulgaria) Metro system (pilots) in order to analyse and solidify the replication of the project’s development beyond.
Seven Specific Goals accompany TIGON’s main objective aiming to:
Facilitate the deployment of DC-based hybrid grids to accommodate the increasing share of RES in the European energy network
Increase the monitoring, control, and protection of DC-based hybrid grids to improve both security and resilience of the system
Develop a cybersecurity defence system able to face potential threats and cyberattacks complying with real-time requirements
Carry out a full demonstration program obtaining reliable results on its replicability and ensuring its attractiveness for stakeholders
Identify and analyse the potential replication of TIGON solutions as well as the technical and regulatory obstacles to innovation of DC-based architectures under the current local and international regulation framework
To ensure the exploitation and dissemination of the project results in cooperation with other projects under BRIDGE Initiative
To raise awareness among public bodies and other relevant stakeholders of the benefits of the transition towards hybrid grids
Apart from its role as leader, carrying out the management and coordination of the project development and its consortium, CIRCE is the main responsible for the design and development of the Solid-state transformer (SST) and the WAMPAC system.
Based on its wide experience in the execution of EU innovation projects dealing with the future electricity grids, CIRCE will set the main indicators (KPI) for the follow up of the project and its main results and will support the demonstration phase both in CIEMAT (Spain) and CEA (France).