CORDIS - EU research results

Industry-academia partnership for the design and implementation of an efficient, reliable and secure smart energy network

Final Report Summary - SMART-NRG (Industry-academia partnership for the design and implementation of an efficient, reliable and secure smart energy network)

Smart energy networks (SENs) are electric systems that use two-way networking technologies, cyber-secure communications technologies, and computational intelligence and control in an integrated fashion to efficiently manage energy consumption with the aim of providing a new electricity grid that is clean, safe, secure, reliable, resilient, efficient, and environmentally sustainable. SENs can be well regarded as a system of many systems, whose design challenges, requirements, and expectations can only be achieved through a holistic analysis, design, and optimization of all its components. In SMART-NRG, we have gone beyond state-of-the-art approaches for SENs by introducing an innovative and integrated protocol stack, which is made of three interlinked and optimized sub-systems: i) reliable communications and networking; ii) smart energy management; and iii) security and protection, which are one-to-one connected to the three key functionalities of SENs. The sub-systems were studied, optimized, and integrated in a very efficient protocol stack, which has been tested via system level simulations and hardware testbeds, leading to the production of commercial devices.
During its lifetime, the project has overviewed a wide range of communication, energy management and security technologies specific to the Smart Grid. Among others, the project has produced an extensive suite of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relevant to the aforementioned areas and a detailed reference architecture for reliable communications in the Smart grid (D2.1a&b) as well as novel tools for interference engineering and reliable data transmission in the Smart Grid (D4.1). Also, the project has designed and evaluated the performance of exciting new smart energy management algorithms under different scenarios (D3.1/D3.2) while it has also provided an innovative set of advanced security algorithms covering critical aspects of Smart grid communications, such as trusted computed, authentication and trust management as well as privacy protection (D4.2). The developed set of solutions have been thoroughly evaluated using both simulation and experimental evaluation methodologies, whereas a common simulation testbed has also been set up to jointly assess the performance of the SMART-NRG solutions (D5.1). Following the results of this evaluation, the consortium has further integrated the entire set of SMART-NRG solutions into a common protocol stack design (D5.2) and has extensively evaluated their performance using real-life experimental testbeds (D5.3). Notably, the SMART-NRG protocol stack has been integrated in real smart meters that have been used in a real-life system designed for the support of energy-efficient and distant management of urban lightning in municipal areas (D6.1). The importance of the topic and the novelty of the proposed solutions can be also justified by several worthwhile publications in scientific journals (7 journals), international conferences (16) and peer-reviewed book chapters (2 book chapters).
An extensive list of Transfer of Knowledge activities have also been organized under the SMART-NRG project. Apart from the secondments and recruitments that have took place during the project lifetime, the project has successfully i) organized 3 international workshops in Ad Hoc Now 2015, in IEICE Information and Communication Technology Forum 2016 and in IEEE CAMAD 2017, ii) organized 3 online courses covering different aspects related to the project’s scope, iii) organized a large amount of public events in the broader area of the consortium partners, e.g. participation to GTTI event in L’Aquila, participation to the Thessaloniki International Fair, participation to the Marie Curie Researcher’s Night in Athens and L’Aquila (Sharpers), participation to special events for the 20 years of Marie curie actions in Athens, etc, iv) participated in common events with other EU or nationally-funded research projects (e.g. COMANDER, VIMSEN, CROSSFIRE). The SMART-NRG fellows also have had the opportunity to acquire useful background knowledge in topics relevant to the scope of the project through their participation in courses at the University of Athens, while they also have had several opportunities in opening up their research activity to the local public either through their participation in public events organized for that reason, or through their participation in internal meetings at the host institutions, etc.
Moving one step further, the project has also organized a handful of dissemination and outreach activities. Apart from the aforementioned organization of 3 international workshops and multiple public events, the project has also disseminated its main findings and achievements through the issuing of 7 e-newsletters, 3 brochures, 1 online article and 2 video clips. Besides, the project website and social media on tweeter and LinkedIn, have also served to this direction. The anticipation of such activities plays a key role on the impact of the project to our community. SMART-NRG is positioned into one of the most challenging and societal impactful innovation paths, by affecting in a convergent mode smart energy solutions and wireless communication technologies and smart metering. The need of delivering, in a cost-effective manner, high-quality robust and secure real-time smart energy/management solution to a rapidly growing market is an important issue. The use of advanced solutions and technologies is considered as the fundamental enabler towards the main goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to improve overall energy efficiency. Although some important steps have been made in this direction, new advanced solutions are required to fully exploit the benefits of new technologies in smart energy metering. Also, in spite of the considerable amount of valuable research conducted in that area in many European and worldwide universities, due to the lack of effective and application-specific academic/industrial collaborations, the vast majority of obtained results remain purely theoretical, and are often limited to the scope of academic research with no envisaged technological transfer plans.
More on the project and its activities can be found at