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Electric LOsses Balancing through integrated STorage and power Electronics towards increased synergy between Railways and electricity distribution networks

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - E-LOBSTER (Electric LOsses Balancing through integrated STorage and power Electronics towards increased synergy between Railways and electricity distribution networks)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-09-30

The main objective of the E-LOBSTER project is to develop and demonstrate up to TRL 6 in relevant environment (a real underground railway in Madrid connected to a local power distribution network with a high penetration of RES) an innovative, economically viable and easily replicable Electric Transport-Grid Inter-Connection System that properly managed will be able to establish mutual synergies between power distribution networks (DN), electrified urban transport networks (metro, trams, light railways etc.) and charging stations for electric vehicles.
In particular, E-LOBSTER is developing tools and technologies, software and hardware to assess the source of losses of both the networks prioritising techniques for their minimisation via a coordinated control of the power supply for electrified transport and recharge stations for EVs and towards the maximisation of the local consumption of RES production thanks to the use of Electrical Energy Storage (EES) and advanced power electronics devices.
Actually, European distribution networks and light-railway networks present common issues: both have been developed as independent networks, relying on the resilience and robustness of existing power supplies. However, RES progressive penetration introduced an increasing degree of uncertainty on the direction of power flows. In this context, both networks are looking at integrated solutions targeting the reduction of electricity losses, the increase of the grid stability in a high local RES penetration scenario and the meeting of the needs of new energy actors such as EVs, electrical storages and prosumers.
Electrified transport networks could act to enhance distribution grid stability providing ancillary services inter-exchanging electricity. However, such potential is still unexploited. E-LOBSTER intends to capture such potential through the development of innovative solutions.
The proposed solution encompasses the integration of high power flow Electric Storage with smart Soft Open Points providing flexible control. The system will be managed by an integrated Railway to Grid Management System which starting from the analysis of energy losses will be able to optimize the interexchange of electricity between the networks maximizing local RES self-consumption.
The main objectives of the project are:
• To develop an innovative unique tool for the assessment of losses and energy consumption of power DN and railway electrification networks validated through real data
• To develop advanced power electronics that will allow a unique management of the energy between traction substations and DN
• To develop and validate the new real-time optimized Railway to Grid energy management system
• To identify and validate the most suitable storage technologies for the mutual synergy interconnection of the 2 networks increasing the penetration of RES and promoting EVs solutions
• To demonstrate E-LOBSTER innovative solutions and technologies in real conditions in the Metro of Madrid
During the first 16 months of the project, the work has been focused at the beginning on the identification of the most suitable technologies and the main specifications for electricity losses reduction in DN and Electrified Railway Systems. Then, the focus was moved on the definition of a preliminary architecture and possible Distribution and Rail networks interconnection arrangements. In particular, 3 potential configurations were defined as well as the overall system requirements. The activities continued with the identification of correlations and all possible shared degrees-of-freedom between Railway Energy Network and Distribution Electricity Network.
Special attention was then paid to the Smart SOP (Soft Open Point) Power Electronics Specifications and the identification and design of the most suitable Electrical Storage for the mutual benefit interexchange of electricity.
In parallel, an accurate analysis of the energy losses within the traction chain and the power distribution grid and the identification of measures for energy losses prevention were performed through specific simulation activities.
Then part of the work was devoted to the design of an advanced simulator for rail electrification systems fully integrated with the power distribution system via a SOP and a DC bus connection.
Among the most relevant activities of the reference period it is worth to mention the preliminary architecture of R+G system and the definition of specifications from loss analysis for control strategy for Rail to Grid Management and sSOP control.
Concerning the transverse activities, an accurate assessment of current technical framework and standards was carried out. Furthermore, a deep analysis of the policy framework for promotion of interaction between Distribution and transport networks and EU policies towards grid and electrified transport network losses reduction was carried out.
Special attention was paid on the dissemination and communication activities for raising the awareness on the project solutions.
While energy storage for power distribution systems and railways has been widely explored in the last decade, there is knowledge gap to understand a comprehensive rail-to-grid with storage power supply, especially in terms of interactions between the individual energy networks.
In this context, the E-LOBSTER provides a unique platform for the energy flow management between rail, grid and storage aiming at a multi-objective optimization of the three energy networks. This will lead to a substantial reduction of power losses and improved power quality.
The technologies proposed by E-LOBSTER can act as an “enabler” for the transformation of power distribution grid by incorporating grid elements of smart functionality to balance supply and demand exploiting the synergies offered by electric transport, together with information and communication technologies to increase flexibility (distribution grid would be able to better exploit local RES and to reduce its unbalances supplying or getting power from transport network), improve reliability and efficiency and support the integration of renewables.
The E-LOBSTER project is relevant with respect to recent EU directives and Energy targets:
• promote the penetration of RES in the future EU market
• increasing energy systems efficiency
• limiting transport emissions promoting electrified urban transport and electromobility
• empowerment of the role of the consumers in the electrical market
• increasing of the resiliency of EU Distribution Networks increasing their stability and reducing losses
In particular, E-LOBSTER will have the following main impacts:
• reduction of energy losses both at Distribution Network level and at Railway Electricity level through a proper R+G management system
• support in ongoing policy developments in the field of the design of the internal electricity market, also supporting energy efficiencies policies in electrified transports and demonstrating new schemes for their “local smart” contribution to the DN management
• demonstration of stable and secure operation of smart grids integrating variable energy sources.
• renovation and installation of new “Smart Light Railway Network” to be implement on light-railways installation that are already planned or in construction all over EU
• enlargement of RES hosting capacity particularly at urban and railway station level