Smart grid power conversion

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Intelligent power conversion for smart grids

Smart grids are evolving due to the new demands on our energy supply. Smart grid development is closely linked to the integration of renewable energy sources (RES) and electric vehicles (EV) into distributed generation (DG) or distributed energy resources (DER) in the national supply grid. This integration poses challenging compliance demands upon the new generating units. Most of these specifications are regulated and enforced by national regulators.

Balancing supply and consumption is a complex task in a distributed smart grid. This is where Danfoss supports OEMs and system integrators with certified intelligent power conversion solutions, saving time, cost and effort in testing and certification.

To achieve the required balance of supply and consumption, compliance with local regulations and standards is one of the main considerations when designing a smart grid. Compliance demands relate to safety, EMC, and grid codes. Such codes, standards and regulations govern the design, construction, installation, commissioning and operation of the whole, aiming to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

One of the newest trends in smart grids is the integration of the ‘missing link’: energy storage. Energy storage enables the grid to smoothly accommodate unpredictable consumers and energy production sources. Often, storage is implemented in the form of batteries, or battery energy storage systems, BESS.  Of course, energy storage systems are also subject to local compliance demands.


Smart grid with energy storage

Smart grids with integrated energy storage facilitate energy supply time shift to overcome the intermittent nature of many renewable energy sources. They also provide back up supply in the event of power outage and handle peaks, allowing designers to downscale equipment to lower ratings to cope with regular loads, not peak loads.

Smart grid enabler

Smart grid enabler

Smart grids with integrated energy storage facilitate energy supply time shift to overcome the intermittent nature of many renewable energy sources.
See how in this animation

How energy storage improves power quality

Traditional grid: The consumer load creates peaks on the supply network.

Smart grid: Battery storage removes the power peaks on the supply network, so the consumer load causes virtually no disturbance to the grid. This results in good power quality and ideally enables us to scale down the distribution infrastructure, saving cost.

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Support for grid codes

New technologies appear, distributed generation increases its share in the energy mix, and safety standards and regulations change over time and from one country to the next.  In designing hybrid systems all these factors must be duly assessed and incorporated, and thus designers face multiple challenges and uncertainties.

A variety of local requirements affect compliance of the design, its construction, related maintenance, and more. The applicable codes, standards and regulations for the component or system are based on these factors:

  • Country/region where the device/system will be deployed
  • Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) identification
  • Third party entities to conduct activities
  • Point of connection, PoC/PCC
  • MV/LV
  • Application or technology

Modern codes, standards and regulations add a lot of complexities and costs to the development of new products and systems due to the requirement for extensive technical requirements, testing, legal procedures. Every AHJ can undertake activities to verify compliance and therefore may require documentation, testing, and simulation. One way to simplify overall system certification is by individual pre-certification of compliance for each individual component within the system. Therefore, for the sake of simplifying design, testing, commissioning and maintenance processes, Danfoss continuously updates and certifies its products to the latest and most important standards.

Power conversion for smart grids

When integrating energy storage and diverse energy sources into the grid, intelligent power conversion solutions from Danfoss improve grid performance and reduce capital investment requirements.  OEM and System integrators can use Danfoss reference designs to streamline design and construction of their power installations to save time, cost and effort in testing and certification.

Danfoss solutions support a wide diversity of energy generation technology, and energy storage solutions:

Perfectly balancing supply and demand

Improve performance by making better use of energy

Containerized power conversion

Smart grids are complex systems by nature. They are commonly implemented in remote locations such as islands or remote communities, based on a local energy resource.

In these environments, containerized power conversion solutions provide a good level of system integration, equipment protection and logistic benefits for the customer.

Danfoss supports system integrators (SI) in designing systems with freedom to optimize performance based on their preferred components. Our aim is to help customers gain the winning edge in bidding on projects by providing tools and reference designs to make their system design easier. For instance, Danfoss can provide configurable 3D models as well as 2D general arrangement drawings from our product offering.

For more information

Please contact your local sales office for reference designs, configurable models and drawings


  • VACON® NXP DCGuard
    VACON® NXP DCGuard

    VACON® NXP DCGuard™ delivers reliable short-circuit protection of DC grids for full selectivity between DC grids, and ensures fast disconnection in the event of a fault.

  • VACON® NXP DC/DC Converter
    VACON® NXP DC/DC Converter

    Maximizes the energy yield in hybrid solutions and helps improve performance by bringing energy support close to the consumption.

  • VACON® NXP Grid Converter
    VACON® NXP Grid Converter

    Air- and liquid-cooled drives specifically designed for smart grid, energy storage, power conversion and marine energy management applications.

Case stories

  • Unique heat recovery for geothermal power using VACON® drives

    AUSTRALIA: In arid outback Australia the borewater pumped up from underground is so hot, it needs cooling before you can drink it. The town of Winton in Queensland has turned this to its advantage by converting heat from the bore water to electricity. A geothermal power station recovers energy during the borewater cooling process then uses it to generate power for the local community, with the help of VACON®drives.

  • Zygfryd Glaeser, Professor in Theology at the University of Opole in front of solar panels
    Kneipp-Institute leads the way in storing renewable energy

    An institute in Kamień Śląski, Poland, is pioneering climate neutral energy consumption. Danfoss helps store electricity from the sun. Savings on electricity bill and CO2 emissions are the main drivers.

  •  Alfen energy storage enables the energy grid of the future
    Alfen energy storage enables the energy grid of the future

    Electrification and hybrid solutions are now booming. One of the first pioneers was the Dutch based energy storage manufacturer Alfen B.V., which has used Danfoss power conversion equipment since the early days.

  • Flexible DC backup protects Russian power plant
    Flexible DC backup protects Russian power plant

    A large Russian power plant vulnerable to main supply interruptions is now equipped with VACON® NXP DC/DC Converters for industrial DC backup. The system ensures uninterrupted power plant operation during even the briefest of supply voltage drops.

  • QINOUS energy storage optimizes co-generation globally
    QINOUS energy storage optimizes co-generation globally

    Electrification and hybrid solutions are now booming. The German energy storage manufacturer QINOUS GmbH was one of the first Danfoss customers developing these solutions long ago, before this was a “hot topic” in the energy industry.

  • Electrification and sector coupling achieve CO2 goals at FlexHeat Nordhavn
    Electrification and sector coupling achieve CO2 goals at FlexHeat Nordhavn

    DENMARK: The FlexHeat district heating plant at Copenhagen’s Nordhavn harbor emits 315 fewer tonnes per annum of CO2 than the LPG gas-based alternative.

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