Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark
take the lead in a new project that will pave the way for an integrated energy system across the Nordic countries. The project will develop methods to optimise the management of electrical connections, which annually can save Denmark more than 100 million DKK.
Denmark is one of the countries in Europe that has the largest amount of direct current (HVDC) connections, and yet we lack methods for optimal coordination and management of them. A study from the Danish Energy Association has shown that an increase in performance of 10 percent on the connection between Denmark and Germany will result in an increased income of 113 million DKK for Denmark and the Danish electricity consumers. This example shows the possible gain of one specific bottleneck in international electrical connections. By looking at the general system, which includes several bottlenecks, a much higher output could be achieved.
DC connections are more flexible and more controllable than the AC connections that most power systems are based on. By utilising the benefits of the DC connections, a new Grand Solutions Project supported by Innovation Fund Denmark will ensure a sustainable system with higher performance.
“We will take advantage of Denmark’s many DC connections where we will test and demonstrate new innovative methods for coordinated control. This will not only strengthen the current system, but also support a future power system based on more renewable energy,” says Professor and Head of Center, Jacob Østergaard, from the Center of Electric Power and Energy at DTU Electrical Engineering.
It is expected that the findings of this project will be of great value for the new Energy Island in the North Sea (Dogger Banke) as an optimised management of the electric connections will enhance the efficiency and lower the cost further. In the course of this project, researchers will benefit from the data collection and results from the much mentioned Kriegers Flak project that will connect and integrate the Danish and German electricity system through an offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea.
Optimised management paves the way for 2050 objective
A more coordinated management will utilise the power more efficiently; it will reduce losses on longer distances; and it will optimise those AC systems that the DC connections links together, which increases the reliability and efficiency of the overall system.
Furthermore, the DC connections are more flexible, which means a better handling of renewable energy, which currently is a challenge for the traditional connections. Optimised management of these connections is therefore an attractive solution – not only for the current power grid, but also in relation to the Danish Government’s Energy Strategy to become independent of fossil fuels in 2050.
"By utilising the benefits of the HVDC connections, this project will ensure a sustainable system with cheaper and higher performance"
Finally, the project addresses the much debated topic of optimal distribution of electricity between neighbouring countries. The findings of this project are expected to reduce the current challenges when one country either produces too much or too little renewable energy.
“Denmark and all of Europe are engaged in a green transition in which renewable energy becomes more important in the power system. Much of the energy comes as the wind blows and the sun shines, which means that the connection between countries (and cross-border electricity) will play an even larger role when we are to ensure power to the electrical contacts in the future,” explains Anders Pallesen Jensen, Head of System Optimisation at Energinet.dk.
It is expected that customers in both Denmark and our neighbouring countries will gain from a more coordinated management of our DC connections. Our neighbours will have access to cheaper wind energy and Danish customers will experience a lower cost connected to the transmission network.