Smart Grids Research Group

About the lab

Featured projects (8)

The main goal of Task 14 ( is to promote the use of grid connected PV as an important source in electric power systems on a high penetration level where additional efforts may be necessary to integrate the dispersed generators in an optimum manner. The aim of these efforts is to reduce the technical barriers to achieving high penetration levels of distributed renewable systems on the electric power system. Due to the fact that a number of distribution system integration-related issues are emerging first for PV systems, Task 14 will focus on working with utilities, industry, and other stakeholders to develop the technologies and methods enabling the widespread deployment of distributed PV technologies into the electricity grids. The objectives of this task are • to develop and verify mainly technical requirements for PV systems and electric power systems to allow for high penetrations of PV systems interconnected with the grid • to discuss the active role of PV systems related to energy management and system control of electricity grids Task 14 will address mainly technical issues to high penetration of PV in electricity networks. Technical issues include energy management aspects, grid interaction and penetration related aspects related to local distribution grids and central PV generation scenarios. A strong focus will be on inverters with multifunctional characteristics aiming the smart interface between the generator and the electricity network. In order to evaluate the aforementioned technical issues, modelling and simulation techniques will be applied. Work in pursuit of the foregoing objectives will be performed by photovoltaic system specialists and engineers working in the fields of planning, installation and research in the Participants' countries. The work programme is organized into four main subtasks and one cross-cutting subtask, which will be a hub to all subtasks.
The OrPHEuS project aims at solutions for optimizing the interaction among multiple energy grids which are connected through coupling points and defined as hybrid energy grids. The project evaluates how ICT devices along with control algorithms can build strategies for energy optimization. Using the cases of existing energy systems setups in two cities, Ulm (Germany) and Skellefteå (Sweden), strategies for hybrid energy grids controlling and cooperation will be developed and evaluated. The strategies will consider the perspective from different key stakeholders: - Research organizations - ICT providers - Energy actors
The project SecureEnergyProsumer will map a secure information and communication structure for a decentralized energy system with prosumers, storages and e-mobile charging stations. A smart grid infrastructure with smart meter gateways and controllable local systems (CLS control boxes) forms the basis of the distributed energy system. Securing the communication structure between the components includes payment systems and a large part of the communicative process chain of the smart grid. The direct information flows between the components are realized by blockchain / tangle technology, which ensures the integrity of the data packets between the individual components by means of cryptographic encryptions.

Featured research (53)

As a result of the energy transition, an increasing number of Decentralized Energy Systems (DES) will be installed in the distribution grid in the future. Accordingly, new methods to systematically integrate the growing DES in distribution power systems must be developed utilizing the constantly evolving Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This paper proposes the Automated Data Model Integration of DES (ADMID) approach for the integration of DES into the ICT environment of the Distribution System Operator (DSO). The proposed ADMID utilizes the data model structure defined by the standard-series IEC 61850 and has been implemented as a Python package. The presented two Use Cases focus on the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) on the DSO operational level following a four-stage test procedure, while this approach has enormous potential for advanced DSO applications. The test results obtained during simulation or real-time communication to field devices indicate that the utilization of IEC 61850-compliant data models is eligible for the proposed automation approach, and the implemented framework can be a considerable solution for the system integration in future distribution grids with a high share of DES. As a proof-of-concept study, the proposed ADMID approach requires additional development with a focus on the harmonization with the Common Information Model (CIM), which could significantly improve its functional interoperability and help it reach a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL).
Die Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm Netze GmbH (SWU) und die Smart-Grids-Forschungsgruppe der Technischen Hochschule Ulm (THU) untersuchen bereits seit zehn Jahren den Einfluss dezentraler Energiesysteme auf die Verteilnetze, entwickeln Lösungsansätze im Smart-Grid-Labor der THU und erproben neue Produkte gemeinsam mit den Kunden in den Smart-Grid-Testgebieten in Ulm-Einsingen und Hittistetten.
The PV penetration in many countries is continuously growing and PV is becoming a major energy source in the future electricity grid worldwide. Therefore, PV systems and PV hybrids need to take over more and more system responsibility by providing ancillary services. Ancillary service “means a service necessary for the operation of a transmission or distribution system” [1], such as frequency control, inertia, operating reserve, voltage or reactive power control, and black-start capability. These services can be provided by grid users, such as conventional power plants, renewable energy sources (RES), storage units, or flexible loads, to support or ensure a secure and reliable power system operation. The specifications, types, needs, and procurement procedures of these ancillary services can vary in different power systems and are changing with the progress of the energy transition in many countries. This report highlights the status and the potential of PV and PV hybrids as an ancillary service provider. The focus is set on mainly good practice examples from different IEA PVPS countries. In addition, improvement and further development potential and needs for the application of PV as an ancillary service provider are also addressed and discussed.
The German national implementation of a smart metering infrastructure includes not only the electricity meter but also its own communication device, the smart meter gateway. These devices can provide secured communication channels to other devices for different services, e.g. sub metering, energy trading aspects and tele-control for decentralized energy resources such as photovoltaic systems. The created ICT network ties into the private ICT network of customers. In German national regulation, this network segment is named Home Area Network. The aspect of responsibility for the infrastructure as well as the definition of boundaries of property are critical aspects to be discussed. This contribution structures available implementation options and presents considerations from various research projects, where these systems have been put to the test in a field trial.

Lab head

Gerd Heilscher
  • Smart Grids Research Group
About Gerd Heilscher
  • Gerd Heilscher is professor for “Energy Data Management for Decentralized Renewable Energy Systems” at the Ulm University of Applied Sciences and head of the Smart Grids Reserch Group. He was director of meteocontrol from 1991 till 2006 – an energy and weather service company based in Germany. Main research topics are energy, meteorology and ICT aspects of high penetration of photovoltaic in distritbution grids.

Members (6)

Basem Idlbi
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm
David Emanuel Langer
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm
Christoph Kondzialka
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm
Shuo Chen
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm
Heiko Lorenz
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm
Kaouther Belkilani
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm

Alumni (6)

Holger Ruf
  • P³R Gmbh
Falko Ebe
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm
Matthias Casel
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm
Konstatin Ditz
  • Technische Hochschule Ulm