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Leveraging behind-the-meter devices for distribution grid operation

The share of decentralized energy conversion plants in the distribution grid is steadily increasing, with a large number of small-scale plants connected behind private households and businesses ("behind-the-meter"). Different actors, such as grid operators, plant operators or commercial aggregators, aim to exploit these plants and their flexibility potential. The Distribution Grid Laboratory provides a modular, physical grid  topology for investigating the impact of innovative management algorithms -operating behind the meter- on electrical network infrastructure.

Household customers are installing increasing amounts of decentralized technologies such as photovoltaic systems and  charging points for electric vehicles. This presents grid operators with the prolonged challenge of adequately expanding their infrastructure with regard to increasing grid utilization. In the mid term, the flexibility potential inherent to these units can be leveraged to avoid or delay the necessity of grid expansion. Conflicting interests, however, will certainly emerge from private operators opting to market their asset's flexibility in order to maximize profits.