EnergyVille provides the necessary know-how to realize the energy transition focusing on high and low voltage direct current grids, decision support for grid operators, and digital substations in order to enable the seamless integration of renewable energy sources into distribution and transmission systems. EnergyVille has the expertise in developing simulation and optimization models and tools for planning, operation and control of electrical networks in a digital world.
Dirk van Hertem
EnergyVille believes in High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Grids as key enabler for large scale integration of RE in the energy transition. The technology offers new perspectives for cross-border infrastructure investments and at the same time, it is the only technically feasible solution for connecting remote offshore wind farms. EnergyVille’s activities to move towards HVDC grids are centered on control and protection of HVDC systems, as well as on planning aspects.
Decision support for grid operators
EnergyVille provides new computational methods and tools to assist the grid operator to take decisions proactively and to allow optimal integration of all service providers in the market, making use of various optimization techniques. Transmission and distribution system operation and planning is becoming ever more complex, due to uncertainty caused by renewables and new sources of flexibility provided by demand side management, storage and flexible grid elements. Using decision support tools, system operators can improve utilization of equipment and avoid over-investment.
Digital emulation of electrical networks
The EnergyVille team provides expertise for hardware-in-the-loop tests of electrical power system equipment coupled to real-time electrical networks computation thus testing device interoperability under realistic test conditions. The energy transition has resulted in a fundamental change in the behavior of the power system, with increasing renewables, new organizational structures and faster interactions. In order to ensure a reliable operation of the power system, new test procedures are necessary.
Although electrical power networks in buildings and districts have been for about a century equipped with AC technology at 50 or 60 Hz, the energy transition is putting into question whether that is still the right choice. The transition to decentralized production, energy-efficient technologies and the electrification in heating and transportation all contribute to the question whether the current “lock-in” of AC technology for building technologies is still justified. EnergyVille is investigating low-voltage DC technology and the potential safety concerns. To do this, a representative building-level bipolar DC nanogrid (as opposed to the wide area microgrids) was set up in the Home Lab of EnergyVille I. For this we now mainly focus on protections and a stable and flexible way of managing the DC nanogrid.
Device interoperability testing using hardware-in-the-loop
The energy transition has resulted in a fundamental change in the behavior of the power system, with increasing renewables, new organizational structures and faster interactions. This has led to smarter electric grids, the development of new devices and new interactions in the grid. In order to ensure a reliable operation of the power system, new test procedures are necessary. The EnergyVille team performs hardware tests on power system equipment, coupled to the real-time computer to perform hardware-in-the-loop tests, testing device interoperability under realistic test conditions.
What clients have to say:
“The deep theoretical knowledge and scientific productivity of the research group led by Jef Beerten, the first ever awardee of the ABB research award in honor of Hubertus von Gruenberg, helps ABB and Power Grids to convince customers of the technical and economic feasibility of a next generation HVDC-based SuperGrid, by their research on DC grid economics, control dynamics and protection. They provide not only excellent results supporting our internal research group, but are also a reliable and able partner to work with in international study groups and committees.”
Bazmi Husain, Chief Technology Officer, ABB Ltd
‘’ KU Leuven/EnergyVille has been a key partner for Mitsubishi Electric (MELCO) in the development of protection solutions for DC grids. Mitsubishi Electric has benefited from the experience from the team at KU Leuven/EnergyVille while developing the first industrial HVDC protection IED. This Mitsubishi Electric HVDC IED has been tested at the EnergyVille labs using novel testing procedures.’’
Kuroda Kenichi, Senior Manager Power System Technologies Group, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
"Fluvius has been working with EnergyVille to better understand how we can tackle the challenges in our distribution system with rising deployment of electric vehicles and photovoltaics while making use of new ICT approaches. EnergyVille has helped us in performing detailed studies using state of the art approaches, resulting in clear recommendations and helping us in the decision making process."
Filip Van Rompaey, Chief Strategy Officer, Fluvius
- BREGILAB - Support for research into the development of renewable energy in the Belgian electricity grid
- DIGSUB: Transition towards digital substations: ensuring enhanced reliability in digital substations through failure mode and effect analysis
- FlexPlan: Advanced Methodology and Tools taking Advantage of Storage and Flexibility in Transmission and Distribution Grid Planning
- ICON BIDC: Introducing DC technology in tomorrow's power system