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Research in the funded project PolyEnergyNet (PEN) is centered around the improvement of the resiliency of power grids, in particular on medium and low voltage levels. To accomplish this goal, renewable sources of energy are used in conjunction with the gas- and district heating grids. These different 'nets' are linked together by a common IT infrastructure (IT net). Thus the name 'PolyEnergyNet'.


The growing introduction of decentralized power supply creates new challenges for a power grid, which was initially designed for centralized supply. One of these challenges is to maintain stability of the power grid. This is the motivating cause for the research conducted in PEN: a more resilient power grid.

Resiliency of the power grid is a multidimensional property. It includes, for example, robustness and self-healing capabilities in case of attacks. These properties are improved by the coupling of a smart (power) grid with the adjacent grids through supporting software components. For example the overload (and subsequent power outage) of a local subnet can be prevented by temporarily increasing load and separating the subnet from the higher-level grid. This can be achieved by having a common and up-to-date view of relevant data and the ability to dynamically control consumption, e.g. through batteries.


At the base of the approach in PEN is the 'Holon'-Model. Holon is Greek for a "part of a whole" and describes a dynamic view on a set of loads and supplies, i.e. subnets, which can merge and separate, as appropriate. The sets of components involved in those mergers and separations are not predetermined but rather dynamic in nature. A holon, by definition, has a total power output of zero, i.e. is power-autonomous.

By combining the theoretical view with actual conditions in a local test area, use-cases are defined, which represent possible errors or attacks and intended reactions. Based on this set of use-cases, hard- and software components are developed and evaluated by previously formulated requirements. Both simulated experiments and a field test are conducted to evaluate developed systems.


We are developing a data management platform, which is conceptualized and implemented as a prototype and later evaluated using benchmarks and during the field test. The data management platform must meet multiple functional (e.g. data formats, capabilities of interfaces) and non-functional (e.g. availability, performance) requirements. It is particularly designed to be a common distribution layer for all metering data, gathered by sensors in the power grid.
Further requirements and design goals include:

  • Distributed architecture
  • Support for heterogeneous data sources and sinks
  • Support for systems with near-real-time requirements
  • Development of metrics, methodology and tools to evaluate such a data management platform

Additional Information

This project is funded by German state institutions BMWi and BMBF

PolyEnergyNet is part of the research initiative „Zukunftsfähige Stromnetze".

For further information contact:

Jörn Kuhlenkamp

Dominik Ernst

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Tai

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