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Flex Power Grid Lab: KEMA Labs’ commitment in the integration of VRES

Flex Power Grid Lab: KEMA Labs’ commitment in the integration of VRES
28 . Oct . 2020

Due to the severe increase in generation from Variable Renewable Energy Sources (VRES) that occurred over the last twenty years, electric networks are requiring increasingly higher flexibility. In addition, as our recent study has demonstrated, it is necessary to anticipate and accelerate the concrete use of additional flexibilization measures (i.e. pumping, batteries, storage, etc.) in light of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, it has emerged that energy storage is one of the components that improves the flexibility of the system. Electrochemical accumulations, together with Demand Side Management (DSM), represent one of the solutions to meet this need and, currently, we are already witnessing the installation of batteries next to solar and wind farms in renewable energy plants. Exploiting the full potential of solar and wind power, which are inherently variable source of energy, is indeed paramount to meet the necessary flexibility currently required by the entire electric system.

In this respect, CESI helps manufacturers through independent testing and verification of energy storage systems under realistic yet controllable conditions. Through the Flex Power Grid Laboratory in Arnhem, The Netherlands, KEMA Labs (our Testing, Inspection and Certification Division) offers system-level battery testing showing the major role played by the inverter in determining the grid performance of energy storage systems. In fact, the Flex Power Grid Laboratory’s flexible grid connection allows it to mimic real-life grid conditions and vary parameters such as frequency and voltage. This permits the behavior of systems to be verified during both standard operation and extreme scenarios such as frequency variations, over- and under-voltage, grid pollution and more.

Moreover, the laboratory provides a fully controllable grid-equivalent capable of operating over a wide range of frequencies, harmonics, voltages and power levels. The KEMA Labs system in place in Arnhem provides complete control over harmonic distortion, unbalance and other transients. Furthermore, machines and power converters can be tested to ensure that they possess sufficiently low-, high- and zero-voltage fault ride-through, reactive current support and active power control capabilities.

Due to the state-of-the-art technology at our disposal, in the Flex Power Grid Laboratory, our KEMA Labs experts can subject equipment to severe symmetrical and asymmetrical voltage disturbances as well as fundamental frequency excursions, according to the following ratings and performances:

  • Voltage levels of up to 24 kVAC
  • Fundamental frequency controllable from DC to 75 Hz
  • Continuous power rating of 1 MVA
  • Control of harmonics up to the 25th
  • Bidirectional power flows in four quadrants
  • Passive loads of 0.5 MW and ±1 MVAr

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