Field Trip 50Hertz
On 11th April we organized a field trip to the transformer station operated by the company 50Hertz in Berlin, together with our friends from the GAMM/SIAM Student Chapter Berlin. After arriving on the site in Neuenhagen we had the opportunity to listen to interesting presentations.
The company 50Hertz introduced itself as one of the 4 major transmission system operators in Germany. About 18 million people in northern and eastern Germany obtain their electricity via the network operated by 50Hertz. The increasing amount of reneweable energy sources and the embedding into the common European power grid provide interesting challenges.
We then found out more about the role applied mathematics plays in the business of the company. The mathematical modelling of the electricity market was explained to us. The efficiency can be increased by using optimization techniques. On the one hand models are interesting for acquiring long term forecasts of major market developments. On the other hand short term predictions are very valuable and demand shorter computing times. This is where techniques of model order reduction become interesting.
Mathematical approaches also are an important tool in the field of strategic network planning. Here, it is important to guarantee the stability of the system. With diligent planning it is possible to intercept any possible malfunction.
Another highlight was the following guided tour around the transformer station. We had the opportunity to experience the massive dimensions of this machine with all our senses. What in mathematics is often represented by a node in a graph, we can now connect to an image from reality.
FInally we got to know the students from Berlin better over coffee and cake. We hat the opportunity to exchange our thought on the experience and other aspects of applied mathematics and studen life.