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Co-ordinating virtual power plants intelligently

28th May 2015


Virtual power plants which combine different sources of renewable energy provide a solution to the problem. In order to guarantee a stable energy network, the relevant sources will be combined automatically based on availability. Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV
"There is no readymade solution for virtual power plants. Every installation is designed to meet individual requirements and is dependent on the specific type and number of participants." - Dag Hoeft, Process Industry Technical Sales Consultant, Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV. Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV

The use of renewable energies such as hydroelectric, wind, solar and biomass energy has increased significantly and is still on the increase. The policy which promoted this energy revolution is formulated in the Renewable Energies Act (EEG).

As a result of this, the number of units feeding the energy network has risen. However, the amount of electricity produced by renewable energy sources can sometimes fluctuate significantly, making the network unstable. Support from conventional power plants is required in order to balance out the situation.

However, insufficient planning certainty can cause problems for the operators of conventional power plants since installations of this type are not necessarily suitable for flexible control.

Virtual power plants which combine different sources of renewable energy provide a solution to the problem. To guarantee a stable energy network, the relevant sources will be combined automatically based on availability.

In order to facilitate the linking of individual energy sources to create virtual power plants, Mitsubishi Electric offers useful products for coordinating different energy sources intelligently, namely the process control system PMSXpro and the life-cycle software tool MAPS (Mitsubishi Adroit Process Suite). These can ensure that the installation responds quickly and flexibly to demands from the grid and control the sources connected to the virtual power plant according to their utilisation and capacities. As a result, this opens up new economic possibilities for the owner to participate in the energy market.

PMSXpro is certified to power plant standards and facilitates the reliable monitoring, operation and control of highly distributed systems in a way that is easy to understand. PMSXpro is a finely-tuned process control system based on standardised automation components and characterised by highly uniform hardware and software. It also fulfils all the necessary requirements regarding availability, economic efficiency, expandability and flexibility.

MAPS can ensure an increase in value along the entire value chain. An integrated project assistant can generate PLC and SCADA projects automatically, resulting in significant time savings during the planning and configuration phases. This can also ensure a structured system design, thus significantly facilitating the ongoing maintenance of the installation throughout its whole life-cycle.

Mitsubishi Electric's portfolio also includes a wide range of other automation components for ensuring energy- and cost-efficient, smooth and flexible operation within virtual power plants such as PLCs, inverters, low-voltage switchgear, remote terminal units (RTUs) or HMI from the GOT series. 

Dag Hoeft, Process Industry Technical Sales Consultant, Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV, explains: "There is no readymade solution for virtual power plants. Every installation is designed to meet individual requirements and is dependent on the specific type and number of participants. The Vertical Solutions Team from Mitsubishi Electric helps engineers to formulate suitable solutions for the energy supply of the future."

The virtual power plant can be tested by clicking HERE.









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