Multiport converters to integrate renewables and storage in distributed networks 

Distributed multiport converters for integration of renewables, storage systems and loads while enhancing performance and resiliency of modern distributed networks_iPLUG Project
  • Smart energy management

iPLUG is a Horizon Europe project entitled “Distributed multiport converters for integration of renewables, storage systems and loads while enhancing performance and resiliency of modern distributed networks” whose main goal is to develop power electronics solutions to allow a smooth penetration and integration of multiple sources of renewables and energy storage systems.

The kick-off meeting of iPLUG will be held today September 22nd and tomorrow 23rd in Barcelona.

Modern distribution grids are facing important challenges such that the need to integrate massive amounts of renewables and storage in the low and medium voltage distribution grid, enhance the usage of distribution networks to avoid construction of new lines, connect several loads at different voltage levels supplied with alternating or direct current (AC or DC). To address such challenges, iPLUG will develop novel power electronics solutions based on multiport converters in order to enhance the integration of multiple renewable sources, energy storage systems and loads. The proposed converters, installed in several optimal locations, can facilitate a massive integration of renewables avoiding grid congestion and allowing the provision of functionalities to both the endusers and the distribution grid.

The project will study both system-level aspects and detailed power electronics innovative solutions for low and medium-voltage applications. In this sense, the system design will be addressed, including concept definition, specification, sizing and location optimization; multiport power converters and their inner control will be designed and validated experimentally;  the overall system control will be proposed, considering the usage of multiple multiport converters in several use cases and validation the concepts in the lab; and technical, economic, social and environmental impact analysis will be conducted.

The project, that will run for 36 months, has a total budget of 2.1M€ and is coordinated by UPC. The consortium, besides IREC, also includes University of Padova, Chalmers, Estabanell Energia,, Typhoon HIL and University of Strathclyde.

Within iPLUG, IREC is the leader of WP4 “Operation and control of distribution grids with multiport converters”, aiming to ensure a stable and secure integration of the multiport converters with the network and their elements and to lead the multiport converter to become the distribution network brain. In this sense, IREC will develop controllers and architectures, and validate the concepts in the lab. IREC will also provide functionalities to be implemented by the multiport converter and perform converter modelling and simulation tasks. The Power Systems group at IREC, led by Dr José Luis Domínguez-García will be responsible for carrying out the activities within iPLUG.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.