Highlights & Projects

Digitalization makes it easy to inject renewable gases

Electricity can be injected comparatively easily into existing distribution grids – regardless of whether it comes from gas-fired power plants, photovoltaic or wind power plants. The situation is different in case of the gas grid: Depending on the origin of the gas, the energy content or the calorific value respectively can vary significantly.

This is often a challenge for grid operators, as the gas quality changes in the grids are continuously increasing. In the past, the injection of renewable gases such as biogas or hydrogen from so-called power-to-gas plants has only been possible by adjusting the calorific value e. g. by means of admixing propane – which implies high costs for the grid operator.

Digital solutions can remedy this situation, as provided by the German law on digitization in the energy sector passed in 2016. A concrete example of how this trend is applied in the gas grid is the SmartSim method: Using all digitally available data (grid topology, feed-in data, consumption data, pressures), the calorific values are determined with high precision by means of gas quality tracking. This allows grid operators to inject different gas qualities into the gas network without the need for costly calorific value adjustment or the installation of expensive measurement technology.

For this innovative application of digitization, the SmartSim procedure has been awarded the “Innovation Prize of TÜV Süd” (2nd place) in 2019.