This is how a synchronous grid takeover works
During a synchronous grid takeover one energy source takes over from another, without the final consumer noticing anything. This method requires more preparation than a regular grid takeover. This article elaborates on the situations in which a synchronous grid takeover would be preferable, how this works and which energy solutions you can use.
All systems, devices, networks and machines will eventually require maintenance. When it’s the main power supply that requires maintenance it’s often necessary to find a temporary alternative, such as a genset. In most situations the main power supply will temporarily be shut down, after which the genset takes over. However, during this process there will always be a time during which your location will temporarily be without access to power. How long this takes depends on the required power; a small building with only a few connected computers can be powered faster than a large factory.
However, in some situations it is unacceptable to go without power, even if only for a moment. This applies to hospitals, where life-saving equipment cannot fail, or a data center that requires a constant energy supply in order to guarantee both the safety of and access to data. During grid maintenance a temporary power outage is unacceptable as well, as the connected households would have to go without power. In these situations a synchronous grid takeover provides the solution.
What happens during a synchronous grid takeover?
Proper preparation is the key to a synchronous grid takeover. For example, when doing this for a network operator the exact location of the planned maintenance is already known in advance. The genset that will be used for the takeover is based on the power the grid usually provides on this location.
The day of the planned maintenance starts with setting up the genset, but the genset won’t take over the main power supply straight away. First the mains voltage must be measured, as well as the desired frequency. The genset deployed for this takeover must be equipped with controls specifically designed for this process. These controls allow the genset to reach the exact power and frequency provided by the grid, which is required in order for the transition from grid to genset to go as smoothly as possible. Once the genset and the grid are running synchronously the power provided by the grid is slowly, step by step, taken over by the genset instead. Once the grid cannot possibly drop further in power, it will be shut down, at which point the genset is fully handling the energy demand.
Depending on the location and the required power a synchronous grid takeover will last between part of a day to multiple days. After the maintenance has taken place, the process explained above will be repeated in reverse order, to return the energy supply back from the genset to the grid.
Which energy sources can be used for a synchronous grid takeover?
Generally synchronous grid takeovers are executed by gensets. The chosen power and the composition of the setup depend on the client’s needs and the project that requires the grid takeover.
Some projects involve an additional backup genset during the synchronous grid takeover for extra power certainty. Should something go wrong, then the power supply will still continue. Universities, banks and other large organizations that require access to power no matter what often choose this option. In this case both gensets will run synchronously throughout the entire takeover.
Synchronous grid takeover with energy storage
An increasingly often recurring problem with synchronous grid takeovers is the unpredictability of the amount of solar power returning to the grid. More and more people install solar panels on their roof, which net operators are not always entirely aware of. Thus, on sunny days it can occur that solar panels suddenly return considerably larger amounts of power to the grid than can be used. This problem is now solved by deploying load banks that absorb the surplus energy. A new, interesting alternative to this is energy storage in batteries, since some systems, such as the Battery Box, can absorb and deliver power simultaneously. An additional benefit is that this takes place in full silence and without emission. This technique is in full development and is put to practice more and more often.
Does your location’s main power supply require maintenance but do you need your power supply to continue at all times? A synchronous grid takeover provides the solution. Please contact Bredenoord’s experts for assistance in finding the most fitting solution.