We had a talk with SGRE partners about the activities they are carrying out at La Plana validation site.
Could you briefly describe La Plana validation site and tell us a bit more about the smart controller validation you are carrying out there since July 2020?
La Plana hybrid facility was commissioned in 2015 to explore the potential of hybrid power. It combines a wind power, solar photovoltaic panels, three optional diesel generators and two types of battery energy storage technologies with a novel hybrid plant controller (HPC) that manages the mix of generating technologies in real time.
La Plana is one of Siemens Gamesa’s facilities for its main validation and verification activities in Spain.
The plant can work in Ongrid but also in Offgrid operation mode and is also able to work in Offgrid zero-diesel operation mode with gensets turned off. Transitions between Ongrid and Offgrid are also possible thanks to the Weak Grids control mode. Currently the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) control mode is being also developed.
We are validating first version of the MUSE GRIDS Smart controller successfully since July 2020, tests are mainly focused on testing the control architecture and the optimal control of storage systems.
Which are the main results you have achieved so far?
We have demonstrated the control architecture designed for the Smart Controller and its main functionalities such us the optimum control for the storage. With this control we are able to define when the produced energy should be storaged or injected to the grid to increase the economic benefit according to the predicted energy generation, demand and prices of the energy in the market.
Communications, database, remote control and other features have been demonstrated successfully.
In addition, we have tested the behaviour of a Lithium storage system controlled by the Smart Controller and the main complications that can be found such as the State of Charge automatic recalibration.
Finally, all Ongrid control modes developed in the MUSE GRIDS project have been validated and certified by DNV GL achieving a type certificate in Grid Code Compliance for hybrid plants which demonstrates that hybrid plants can collaborate in the grid stability.
What are the next steps?
We are currently involved in the challenging work about looking for similarities between Oud-Heverlee, Osimo and La Plana hybrid facilities. Those are different facilities since Osimo’s Smart Controller is focused on the CHP Plant (thermal energy), Oud-Heverlee’s controller is focused on distributed control and La Plana in the energetic generation (electric), in order to validate main Osimo and Oud-Heverlee main features at La Plana Hybrid Plant.
Thus, next step will involve more tests at La Plana facility testing new Smart Controller features and new scenarios.