Advanced techno-economic simulation tools for grid planning

DNV GL, Fraunhofer ISE and EMD hvae unique modeling capabilities to evaluate the grid impact of fluctuating renewables, heat pumps, cogeneration and EV, spanning the entire electricity grid from low voltage to high voltage.The simulation tools are different as some models are market oriented while others are mainly focused on finding solutions to technical problems in the electricity infrastructure such as grid constraints in the network or the optimal use of the available electricity generators.


SIMTOOL (Fraunhofer ISE)

The focus of SimTOOL is on the evaluation of distributed generation and consumption in distribution grids. In combination with an external optimiser software optimisation of the energy portfolio (electrical/thermal) can be realised, e.g. by taking DSM strategies into account.

Description SIMTOOL is a package for the programming language R ( adding functionalities of load flow analysis combining with questions of scheduling. Providing models for consumption and generation.
Tasks - Load flow calculations
- Integration of scheduling (optimization tasks)
- Evaluation of control strategies (voltage controller)
- Synthetic profiles for demand (household and EV)
- Optimal grid reinforcement planning
- Probabilistic load flow analysis
OS-System Linux, Windows
Programming Language R (scripting language, (
Dependencies R version ≥ 2.13.1, for visualization a local apache is needed
- Command line interface
- Visualization of results based on open street map
- Visualization for grid reinforcement
- Interaction with typical linux scripting languages (R, bash, awk, …)
- Files in Ascii-Format
- Reading and writing of PowerFactory DGS-Format
Input data grid model (electric components)
Internal database
- Common line and transformer parameters
- Typical demand and generation profiles
License GPL
Documentation Internal, on demand


energyPRO (EMD International)

The tool focuses on market based operation of energy plants featuring a combined techno-economic design. The goals are to analyse and optimise local energy plants having large energy storages, primarily modeling plants buying or selling electricity on peak/off peak contracts or in the spot market, and at the same time participating in one or more of the balancing markets.

Description A complete modeling software package for combined techno-economic design, analysis and optimization of both fossil and bio-fuelled cogeneration and trigeneration projects as well as other types of complex energy projects.
- optimized operation of loads and generators according to energy markets
- Optimized EV charging
- synthetic profiles
OS-System Windows
Programming Language Delphi
Dependencies none
GUI Graphic User interface
- Text filest
Input data
- ambient temperatures
- heat and electricity demand
- electricity prices
- fuels
- energy conversion units
- storages
- fuel costs
- operation and Maintenance costs
- grants
- Levies
License Standard license to be purchased



PLATOS is an optimisation tool for determining location, type and size of storage systems in order to avoid voltage or grid overload problems which result from variable distributed generators or loads.

Description Simulation and optimization tool for electricity storage devices in distribution grids. PLATOS has been developed in the programming language DPL that is part of the commercial package Power Factory (PF) ( PLATOS uses PF for load flow analyses
Tasks - Load flow calculation of distribution grid in PF
- Assessment of grid problems: overload, over/under-voltage (by PF)
- Placement and dimensioning of storage solutions
- Calculation of cost parameters
- Assessment of 'conventional' solutions (thicker cables, larger transformer, etc.)
- Comparison of different solutions and optimization for predefined criteria (for now: costs)
- Current optimization module uses genetic algorithm, this is under discussion at DNV GL
OS-System Windows
Programming Language DPL (Digsilent programming language), part of Power Factory; will add modules in C++ code.
Dependencies Power Factory
GUI Power Factory
Interfaces Power Factory
Input data C++, Matlab, Output to Excel
Internal database
- grid model
- electricity storage library
- load and generation (incl. PV, wind) time series (profiles)
- cost parameters for all relevant components: investment, operational
- Power Factory database: grid model, component models & parameters, output results, etc.
Documentation developer manual
Limitations Simulation speed, memory allocation of PF
License Mainly PF, also Matlab, C++

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