An efficient power grid for Solothurn

22.05.2024 Researchers at the Power Grids Laboratory at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH are carrying out a target grid planning project in collaboration with Regio Energie Solothurn. Power grid simulations will be used to define recommendations and measures that will enable the grid to meet the challenges presented by the increasing level of electrification.

The growth in electric mobility and increased use of heat pumps and photovoltaic systems are creating a challenge for the power grid and can result in operational systems being overloaded and voltage limits exceeded. To avoid such incidents and to ensure reliable grid operations in future, the electricity supplier Regio Energie Solothurn gave researchers at BFH’s Power Grids Laboratory the task of planning a target grid for the medium and low voltage levels.

Simulation of future scenarios

The first phase will evaluate the medium-voltage level, using the existing grid model in the NEPLAN grid simulation tool. The procedure includes a thorough analysis of the situation in 2023 in terms of the capacity utilisation and voltage of the sub-stations, medium-voltage lines and transformer stations. This is done by estimating performance values, factoring in various scenarios. Based on the 2023 scenario, future development is estimated up to the years 2035 and 2050 for traditional consumption, electric mobility, heat pumps and photovoltaic systems per transformer station. The assessment of the future scenarios includes both the normal state and the state during disruption/switching, whereby various scenarios will be defined and simulated. Once the evaluation of the medium-voltage level has been completed, the entire low-voltage level will be analysed. The 2023, 2035 and 2050 scenarios will also be simulated on this grid level.

Sustainable and efficient solutions for grid infrastructure

The results of the grid simulation will serve as a basis for defining recommendations and measures. They will help to optimise and develop the power grid to meet the growing challenges presented by the increase in electrification and decentralisation. Future trends up to 2035 and 2050 will be taken into account to structure sustainable, efficient solutions for grid infrastructure. The insights gained will provide Regio Energie Solothurn with a reliable basis for future-oriented and resilient grid planning.

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