For a large corporation in the energy sector, an outdated Microsoft Access based database application for controlling the power grid was replaced by a state-of-the-art web application. The new solution runs with the highest stability and precision and thus contributes to the optimal operation of our power grid.

1stQuad Solutions AG

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The stabilization of the power grid requires a finely tuned distribution of the available energy. This energy comes from a wide variety of electricity suppliers who can supply a certain amount of electricity at certain times. There is a bidding process for this, which is coordinated by the national grid company. The electricity is regulated by the so-called grid controllers.

In the context of energy trading, electricity suppliers regularly send files to the grid company. The grid company processes the data and configures the grid controllers accordingly via proprietary protocols. The software used for this purpose was not (or no longer) able to meet today’s constantly growing demands for the availability of time-critical operations and fault tolerance.

The Microsoft Access application was replaced by a web application based on ASP.NET MVC and SQL Server. All processing components were designed for continuous operation and have self-healing mechanisms.

1stQuad developed the new application in less than three months, despite demanding challenges. Although the processes are not particularly complex, they are extremely time-critical. The crucial point was the integration of the software with the hardware: control commands to the network controllers must be executed with split-second precision so that neither the network company nor the electricity suppliers suffer losses – the trading agreements contain severe penalties for unplanned electricity deliveries and power purchases.

In this project, we have proven that complex and extremely time-critical processes can be implemented quickly, reliably, and above all future-proof with our FAST Framework.

Markus Bühler, Chief Operations Officer
1stQuad Solutions AG