Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


UNIFLEX-PM — Result In Brief

Project ID: 19794
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV

Good news for electric grids

High-tech electric power converters may eventually replace old equipment on the electric grid. This has the potential to optimise distribution and electricity consumption across Europe.
Good news for electric grids
If distribution and load of electricity on national grids in Europe can be managed more efficiently, the continent could save significantly on energy and contribute to environmental sustainability. The EU-funded project 'Advanced power converters for universal and flexible power management in future electricity networks' (Uniflex-PM) worked on developing innovative equipment to improve the European electricity network.

The project investigated modular power conversion architectures that could be installed all over Europe to upgrade electric grids, control power flow and optimise distribution. It researched overall control structures to develop modular converters that could efficiently manipulate and store energy alongside coordinated control across the network.

To achieve its aims Uniflex-PM outlined upcoming technologies and performance requirements, covering converter structures, isolation modules, grid control, grid interaction and economics. It studied how to create new intelligent transformer systems that replace the classical iron-based equipment to increase flexibility and facilitate power management.

The project team designed different prototypes and conducted a study on a high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter to assess reliability, economics and impacts of the new system. It found that the Uniflex-PM architecture was viable and could be successfully employed. The designed converter could be adopted in various future types of distribution grids in an economically feasible manner that would achieve the project's aims. The team also developed advanced reliability and availability modelling tools to use with related network equipment.

The in-depth knowledge that the project acquired regarding power electronic systems for medium voltage network applications is set to help future research in this area. Both the research results and the successful multi-cellular, modular and scalable converter prototypes will pave the way for advances in electric distribution and grid efficiency across Europe.

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