DC grids are becoming increasingly attractive due to the proliferation of renewable energy sources along with the increase in DC loads linked to the use of electronics, LED lighting and technologies such as electric vehicles and energy storage.
In this sense, DC grids allow for greater energy efficiency, less complex power quality control and seamless integration of renewable energy and energy storage, thus increasing the sustainability of the power distribution system. However, the lack of DC microgrids prevents them from evolving from a promising solution for future smart grids to a commercially available technology.
Today, for DC-based grids to become a commercially available option within future smart grids in hybrid systems, their potential as well as the network topologies need to be demonstrated. For this purpose, a modular DC-based Network Topology concept consisting of an MVDC line connecting the main grid to the hybrid grid is proposed.
The network topology proposed by TIGON includes some innovations, such as the use of a solid state transformer (STT), which forms the link between the hybrid network and the main AC network. In this respect, TIGON will integrate novel high-efficiency DC/DC converter topologies thanks to the latest developments in SiC power semiconductor technology. The protection schemes will be complemented by a WAMPAC (Wide Area of Monitoring, Protection and Control) system, which will allow the monitoring of AC/DC connection points.
The topology is accompanied by a cybersecurity defence system, as well as the generation of an intelligent energy management system (EMS) capable of centralised control of the microgrids under analysis.
Based on the results obtained, a Decision Support System (DSS) will be developed to provide guidelines to facilitate the planning of grid expansions or the development of new hybrid grids across the EU.