Europa kurz vor dem Blackout - The Mobility House steuert aktiv dagegen, Bildquelle: Shutterstock

Europe seems to have narrowly escaped a complete power failure at the beginning of the year. On 10 January 2019, two extreme events occurred in the integrated European power grid.

In the first, only negative frequency deviations were observed over an unusually long period of time (over 10 hours), i.e. frequencies below the target frequency of 50 Hertz. Statistically, the frequency fluctuates by about the same amount in both directions during the course of a year. In the second, the mains frequency dropped to almost 49.80 Hertz for a few moments. This represents an extremely critical condition for the network, which resulted in the entire short-term power reserves (the so-called primary control power) being called upon. In the event of a shortfall, additional measures such as load shedding by major industrial entities are activated in addition to the ongoing services for frequency control and primary control power.

In order to stabilise the grid frequency, The Mobility House (TMH) supplied the grid with electricity from its two stationary storage systems in the towns of Lünen and Elverlingsen in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In spite of their limited storage capacity, the batteries were able use an intelligent charging strategy to contribute to the stabilisation of the electricity grid throughout this long period of time. The batteries reliably counteracted the extremely low value of 49.80 Hertz. The following example illustrates the gravity of this extreme event.

The critical situation on 10 January 2019 demonstrated once again that, despite their limited capacity, stationary storage systems make a valuable contribution to providing a reliable power supply and preventing total breakdowns in the energy system.