By the year 2020, thousands of kilometers of new grids will be operating in Germany to permit even more extensive use of power from renewable sources. However, these new "smart grids" also come with increased complexity, costs and vulnerability. Fraunhofer researchers developed new software that can be used to analyze and optimize transport grids for electricity, gas and water even at the planning stage, based on numerical simulations. This can lighten the task of retrofitting and expansion for system operators, saves energy and cost outlays and additionally enhances safety and security. Fraunhofer will be exhibiting the software from April 23 - 27 at the Hannover Messe (Hall 7, Booth B10).
This new simulation software, called MYNTS (Multiphysical Network Simulation Framework), helps with the operation and planning of such complex networks, and was jointly developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI and the team under mathematics professor Dr. Caren Tischendorf of the University of Cologne. The program models the transport grids as systems of differential-algebraic equations. Thus through numerical simulations, the grids can be flexibly analyzed and better planned. Specifically, the simulation immediately demonstrates the effects of changes in various factors. Using MYNTS, for example, one can calculate how temperature fluctuations alter the flow measurements, or how the failure of subnetworks influences the other grid components.
This software is also of interest for smart grids, construction of which over the next few years is being promoted by the German government. Because intelligent networking and controlling of electricity producers, storage facilities, electricity consumers and network resources within supply networks are considered to be among the greatest economic and environmental technology challenges.