Distribution networks

Super-highways for water, gas, and electricity.

Distribution networks for power utilities, as well as those for media and information, are built of many autonomous and geographically distributed systems.

For these systems to operate safely and efficiently, they must be interconnected in accordance with their unique structure.

Our engineers have the technological expertise for controlling these processes, and also have the knowledge and experience to implement the required communications structures.


Areas of expertise

Netzautomation und Netzleittechnik

Grid automation, control, and monitoring

With our manufacturer-independent solutions for electricity, water, gas, and heating distribution networks, the efficiency is improved and the flow of energy can be more easily managed.

Netzmanagement

Network management

To efficiency administer networks, sophisticated solutions are necessary for description, organization, and control.

Netzschutz

Grid protection

To minimize the effects of grid faults, we ensure that faults in individual sections of the grid will not influence the grid at large.

Schaltanlagenautomation und -Leittechnik

Switchgear automation, control, and monitoring

Our solutions for switchgears will protect, control, measure, and monitor your installation, no matter the voltage level.

Anlagen und Netzautomation rohrgebundener Medien

Plant and distribution network automation for pipe-bound media

Our advanced solutions for water, gas, and heating provide you with perfect energy management.

Schaltanlagenschutz

Switchgear protection

Systems stay safe and secure with our advanced protection components.


Biberach

Flagship Project

Expansion and Protection of the Plant Power Supply Grid at the Biberach Site of Boehringer Ingelheim

For more than 130 years now, the research-based pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim has stood for innovative medicine in the areas of both human and animal health. With more than 5,700 employees, the site at Biberach an der Riss houses one of Europe's largest biopharmaceutical production facilities and is the largest research and development center of the international Boehringer Ingelheim company. A plant of this size has its own infrastructure, similar to a medium-sized city. However, the requirements placed on these infrastructure systems are even higher than in the public sector. This is how, in certain areas, private industrial networks have been becoming technology pioneers.

Islanding, black-start, frequency and voltage control

These terms are now more popular than ever in the context of the “Energiewende” (energy transition). However, at F&S, even more than 15 years ago, the technological requirements were already: support for islanding operation with reaction times < 200 ms, safe network decoupling, automatic operation of the grid in islanding mode, load shedding during islanding, automatic peak shaving and demand-side management during normal operation, grid recovery after faults, and at the same time ensuring expandability, i.e. adaptation to the current network structure as well as uncomplicated options for testing and commissioning for grid expansions by means of integrated simulation functionality.

Partnership – helping each other to attain success

Together, we developed a suitable concept, which we successfully implemented and continually expanded upon. The approach taken consists of a plant grid monitoring and control system embedded within the supply network (electricity, heat, cooling). Aside from typical SCADA functionality including grid topology, this system is responsible for the following managment functionality:

1. Load and reactive power management

Feed-in management is used for the calculation of power reserves or deficits, including forecasting. This function oversees demand-side management for connecting producers and/or disconnecting consumers should bottleneck situations arise. An additional function is voltage support and, relatedly, reactive power management. Prerequisites for these capabilities are network status recognition functionality and corresponding machine programming for producers or storage.

2. Islanding management

The main functions of islanding management include automatic load shedding for disconnecting consumers, network disconnection monitoring, centralized synchronization to the greater electrical grid, as well as functionality for automatic grid restart.

More than 10 years "islandable"

The operation of infrastructure systems is usually quite complex since individual failures often trigger chain reactions. Due to the high complexity, the service personnel require assistance systems for support, and these must be continuously expanded. The systems should provide a clearly structured evaluation and analysis of fault cases. Furthermore, regular maintenance and personnel training are required. This innovative joint project has already proven its worth during many grid disruption events, of which all involved parties are quite proud.

F&S