Marius Hötting and Robert Theinert present Amprion at the career-in-physics seminar
Amprion is one of four transmission system operators in Germany. Our extra-high-voltage lines are the lifelines of society: they transport electricity for 29 million people in an area from the North Sea to the Alps. We keep the grid stable and secure - and pave the way for a climate-friendly energy system.
In addition to the operation, system security and expansion of the grid, as well as the coordination of electricity flows and electricity trading for Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, our tasks also include the implementation of the Renewable Energy Sources Act. The feed-in of wind and solar power poses enormous challenges for Amprion. Our grid has to transport ever larger quantities of electricity that fluctuate greatly depending on the weather. This is because a large proportion of renewable energy is not generated where it is needed. The task of grid and system management to keep generation and consumption in balance is therefore becoming increasingly challenging. In order to fulfill these tasks, existing transformer substations are being expanded, upgraded or new construction projects initiated. This is where we from the field of communications engineering come into play.
Communications engineering forms the neural system of our electricity grid. This means that all information and communication runs via our own fiber optic network. A high security standard must be observed so that we are blackout-proof and can guarantee constant availability. To this end, for example, the transmission technology, our neurons in the neural system, a redundant connection for the node- and edge-disjoint routing of the services, but also a selection of different technologies are implemented. We are responsible for the planning, project management and maintenance of the communications technology, both inside and outside the substations. On the one hand, we actively help to design new technologies and adapt them to the existing network during the implementation phase, e.g. to cover the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth. The new systems are then rolled out network-wide in consultation with the responsible project managers. One example is the WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) system, which allows us to use individual optical fibers in multiple channels and thus significantly increase capacity.
On the other hand, we are sub-project managers on the construction sites and are responsible for project planning and planning the telecommunications technology in the substations. During the construction phase, we ensure redundant connections to our NT network, set up the MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) and process data network, as well as protection and control technology for the power circuits and property protection for the systems themselves. During the presentation, we would like to show you what our everyday life looks like, how much time meetings, project management or, for example, agreements with our service providers take up. We will also address the question of how a physicist becomes aware of a position like this, how our personal application process went, what challenges we faced, especially at the beginning, what skills we use from our studies and what connections to physics we still have.