Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz GmbH: No more surprises on the grid

16. February 2023

The occurrence of an unbalanced load or load overruns are just two scenarios that Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz GmbH has identified and rectified at an early stage thanks to SMIGHT Grid2. The IoT technology developed by SMIGHT GmbH, consisting of sensors, folding converters and a gateway, measures outgoing and phase-sharp directly in the local grid station and supports employees in mastering daily grid operations. SMIGHT Grid2 is also an important component of the future digitalization strategy in Völklingen with regard to the effects of electromobility and the heating transition in the low-voltage grid.

Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz GmbH has its low-voltage grid firmly under control. “Thanks to SMIGHT, we know that we have not yet reached the limits of our capacity – that is a reassuring feeling, especially as we can foresee that higher loads will be placed on the grids in the foreseeable future,” explains Dr. Karsten Wünsche, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz GmbH.

The company has already been working intensively on the digitalization of its distribution network for several years – especially in the local network stations. The SMIGHT solution was particularly convincing due to its fast and flexible rollout and uncomplicated installation. It took less than an hour to equip a station and the first data can be seen on the web platform after 15 minutes. Michael Trautwein, Head of Grid Operations, was able to identify the need for action in some areas of the grid. For example, single-phase PV systems, which were predominantly connected to one phase, caused a significant unbalanced load in the grid.

In the area of a waterworks, the starting currents of several pumps switched on at the same time caused the limit values of the protection devices used to be exceeded, which could be detected and rectified before a possible failure thanks to SMIGHT Grid2.

SMIGHT technology has also become an integral part of forward-looking grid planning in Völklingen. In order to determine the actual number of charging stations in the grid, the data from the KFW subsidy was evaluated and compared with the measurement data from the local grid station. The result: “Many of the installed charging points are not yet in use,” explains Michael Trautwein. “But that will come – the only question is when. With the use of SMIGHT technology, we are prepared for this.”

Prepared for the future

Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz knows that it needs to think holistically in order to master future challenges: the rollout of the intelligent metering system (iMSys), increasing electromobility, the heating transition, but also the legal requirements of the Energy Industry Act (controllable consumption devices according to EnWG§14a).
Dr Karsten Wünsche sums up: “Combining the data from the GIS, the iMSys and the load comparison measurements and using it specifically for control and regulation tasks by means of dynamic grid calculation – that will be the major challenge for our digitalization strategy in the coming years. And SMIGHT is an important building block for this project.”

Photo: SMIGHT Grid2 in use at Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz GmbH. Source: Stadtwerke Völklingen Netz GmbH