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Smart Grids in mobile fleet operations

  |   Automation, Business

M.Sc. Dusko Mitrovic, Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Klein, Dipl.-Ing. Leonardo Uriona, M.Sc. Marius Klein, M.Sc. Kristian Binder, Dipl.-Ing. Edward Eichstetter
EKU Power Drives GmbH

Prof. Dr. Michael Weyrich
IAS Universität Stuttgart



In the frac pumping industry,  fleet machinery is powered by each its own reciprocating internal combustion engine. EKU Power Drives (EKU) is focusing on increasing the energy efficiency of these fleet applications.

Therefore, the combustion engines are enhanced to mild hybrid units and connected to a smart grid. This semi-automated fleet setup allows to dynamically share the load between units or manage the use of equipment to streamline operational procedures. Single combustion engines are entirely replaced by electric drives and powered by the excess power of the remaining hybrid engines and the grid. The increased load on the remaining engines results in specific fuel consumption advantages. This increases the efficiency of the entire fleet. Economically the achieved fuel savings are only a portion of the gained benefits. On the fleet perspective, the necessary number of engines has been reduced and the individual load on the remaining has increased. Operators’ biggest cost savings result from less different engines to maintain and store spare parts.

With the power need of the grid and the capability of the electrified auxiliary engine drives, concepts for electric motors and batteries are defined. A suitable net topology concept is developed, and the independent grid is controlled by a distributed cooperative closed loop control. This enables a configuration-less connection setup between different machinery of the fleet.

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