New Industry Products

First Excitation Product Compliant with New European Grid Code

August 06, 2019 by Paul Shepard

ABB is delivering innovative excitation solutions that ensure early compliance with new European regulations and will bring broader benefits, minimizing risk in connecting grid networks and supporting reliable and stable operations.

ABB’s UNITROL® 1000 series is the world’s first excitation product that is fully compliant with the new European grid code pioneered in Germany.  Compliance of ABB UNITROL® 1000 devices to the German grid code (VDE-AR-N 4110 and VDE-AR-N 4120) has been validated by the TÜV NORD certification body.

In preparation for the certification, the UNITROL 1000 controller underwent some performance enhancements to ensure full compliance to German grid code requirements. New controller features include: indirect power factor/reactive power control, dynamic limiter prioritization and an overvoltage ride through detection logic.

Thanks to the Excitation System’s team involvement in Grid Code committees, the German grid code authorities presented ABB with the opportunity to perform component certification tests on a hardware-in-the-loop environment. Using the powerful, modern and proven simulator, the SMTS-RT (Synchronous Machine Transient Simulation, Real Time), acceptance of a certification body was achieved. This simplified the component certification process considerably and allowed ABB to focus on the AVR functionalities.

The European grid codes are a set of rules that harmonize, integrate and improve efficiencies across the electricity market. They are a key system put in place to help the EU achieve its energy objectives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing renewable energy share and energy savings. The regulations strengthen rules for connecting plants to grid networks, in response to an increasing number of distributed renewable assets, such as wind farms and photovoltaic plants, overloaded grids and integrated E-mobility.

“ABB has ensured timely compliance with these new grid codes to provide broader benefits for our customers, helping minimize risk in connecting grid networks,” said Kevin Kosisko, Managing Director, Energy Industries.

“Even the most stable networks are introducing grid codes to keep their systems reliable and to enhance overall network optimization. We expect grid codes around the world will increase even further in the future, and we will continue investing in advanced technologies and standards for optimal industry compliance.”

Excitation systems are a key component in many power generating units used by plant owners and operators to achieve reliability with operations, stability and fast transient response of their assets, as per grid requirements.

Compliance to the German grid code and to the latest ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) regulations can be achieved also by 20,000+ UNITROL® 1000 customers around the world, by means of a new generation of dedicated software with supporting functions which, once installed, support existing assets complying with the new standards.

For ABB customers, full compliance with the latest European grid code requirements will enable holding a certification that remains valid – even if there are updates to excitation system firmware. Customers will also receive access to a state-of-the-art simulation model available to easily integrate in generator control models. Such an integration may simplify and accelerate full generator set certification.

To better serve customers in preparing for these wider industry changes, ABB is also strengthening its consulting packages. ABB has enhanced detailed grid code compliance studies – including modeling of power plant major components – to help operators provide necessary simulations reports and performance evaluations for national Transmission System Operators (TSOs). This, in turn, supports allowances to connect to national grids.