PKP Energetyka has patented an invention – energy storage management algorithm
The proprietary energy storage control algorithm developed by experts from PKP Energetyka and the University of Zielona Góra has been officially registered as an invention by the Polish Patent Office. The algorithm is the “brain” of the energy storage – it allows the most effective control of the operation of the energy storage system which has been operating for more than a year at the PKP Energetyka traction substation in Garbce. During this time, the storage powered nearly 10,000 trains and returned 160 MWh of energy to the catenary.
This innovation is the company’s first ever patented invention. How does it work? The patent protection covers a method of controlling the energy storage system for use in railroad traction substations. The algorithm enables monitoring of the flow of energy within the power grid and catenary in real time and, based on this, making decisions on how to charge and discharge the storage. The solution, by modifying the load profile of the traction substation, enables reduction of peak power and, consequently, reduction of the ordered power on the side of the distribution network supplying power to the traction substation. The innovation prepared by PKP Energetyka’s experts also enables adjustment of the values in the algorithm so that it could work under the conditions prevailing in a given location. The design of the control algorithm is being further researched so that it can be used in future energy storage that the company plans to build.
We consistently develop innovations to increase the efficiency and safety of the power system. We design proprietary engineering ideas tailored for the Polish railway sector. The fact that the company has a successful team of experts implementing innovations in the field of rail power sector is a result, among other things, of the digital transformation process carried out over the past six years, stresses Marek Kleszczewski, Member of the PKP Energetyka Management Board.
The positive decision of the Patent Office is a confirmation of the unique and truly groundbreaking nature of the energy storage in Garbce, which we developed and implemented together with our partners from the University of Zielona Góra. At PKP Energetyka, we keep proving that effective cooperation between science and business can bring real benefits, says Piotr Obrycki, Head of the Research and Development Office at PKP Energetyka.
The algorithm is a part of energy storage that is unique in Europe and is dedicated to the rail sector, being the largest on our continent. The system has a capacity of 5.5 MW and a useful capacity of 1.2 MWh, so it can power trains moving at 160 km/h. The operation of the storage strengthens the security and quality of energy supply to the railway and balances the power input from the National Power System.
The energy storage with the innovative algorithm is not the only R&D activity carried out by the company at the traction substation in Garbce. A project is underway to build an energy storage system based on hydrogen produced using energy from a solar farm. This is another step towards the development of a railroad based on renewable energy sources. The system, which is expected to be operational as early as 2023, will allow storage of up to 23 kg of hydrogen at a time, with the capacities of individual components determined to be: 36 kW for the electrolyzer, 20 kW for the fuel cell capacity and about 150 kWp for the solar farm.