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Flexible smart metering for multiple energy vectors with active prosumers

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FLEXMETER (Flexible smart metering for multiple energy vectors with active prosumers)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-12-31

The introduction of the electricity market, the widespread diffusion of distributed generation from renewable and non-programmable energy sources and the need for storage are quickly changing the problems that Transmission and Distribution system operators have to face in their activity and are requiring a smarter grid. This smarter grid should also enable new services to increase people awareness of consumption and production to optimize energy usage. A first step in this direction is the development and installation a flexible smart meter architecture to enable an easy development of innovative services for both the prosumers and the DSOS and be able to manage meters for multiple energy vectors. Up to now the smart meters that in some countries are being installed at the users are nearly only devoted to billing improvements. The new metering systems must go much further to provide their contribution to various objectives such as end-user affordability of electricity, more detailed and rich information about energy consumption and production, energy and market efficiency improvement, CO2 emissions and pollutants reduction. In the FLEXMETER project a flexible, multi-utility, multi-service metering architecture has been designed and deployed in two demonstrators. The main component of the architecture is a software platform for meter data collection/actuation and a set of data analytics, storage and visualization components. The architecture is ready to manage large amounts of data generated by next generation meters. The architecture allowed to implement innovative services for the prosumers (e.g. analysis of the energy consumption), for the Distribution System Operators (DSOs) (e.g. fault detection, network balancing and storage integration) and for the retail market. FLEXMETER paves the way for new business models and companies providing such innovative services to end-users and DSOs. Data coming from the installations of new smart meters in the two pilot countries (Italy and Sweden), have been used to test FLEXMETER services. Business models have been discussed with local energy distributors, highlighting limits and issues due to technical and regulatory factors. To this purpose, FLEXMETER developed a real-time co-simulation framework able to simulate the smart grid and the whole software infrastructure processing simulated energy data.
In this second period FLEXMETER achieved the following achievements:
• The project succeeded in developing a IoT-oriented smart metering infrastructure connected with smart meters, both commercial and prototypes to provide new services that are currently not available (detailed visualization of consumption curves, aggregations, breakdown into appliances, grid management functionalities).
• New electricity smart meter prototypes as well as commercial meters have been installed. No water or gas meters. Thermal (district heating) meters have been connected to the FLEXMETER system.
• Communication with the FLEXMETER platforms has been developed both through building concentrators (extended to interface with new meters) and home gateways.
• The deployment of the FLEXMETER platform has been completed and stress tested with real data from the pilots and simulated data. It is currently fully operational and collects data from meters through gateways and by connecting to distributor databases (both IREN and EON) by means of adapters.
• The system has been optimized for big data collection using both a non-relational database and a SQL database to collect processing results and allows easy access for user-awareness and control applications.
• Services for both DSO and prosumers have been developed and evaluated. For DSO services and demand-response tests have been performed using the FLEXMETER simulation engine (described in D6.1). User-awareness and NIALM services have been tested using data from pilot users.
• Two mobile applications and a web portal have been developed. They retrieve data from the platform and present energy information to the users.
• A complete real-time co-simulation infrastructure has been developed which integrates simulated with real scenarios. The FLEXMETER infrastructure interfaces to the real-time grid simulator in a seamless manner as a real-grid. The same algorithms developed for the real use cases can be tested in this way on simulated scenarios.
• A consistent number (31) of scientific publications have been achieved exploiting project results in the first period. Various dissemination activities have been pursued by universities and companies to present FLEXMETER in international contexts.
1. Progresses

The project produced the following main progresses with respect to the SoA:
- Smart meters: Development of innovative services based on next generation smart meter prototypes, which are not currently deployed in cities. The project tested new smart meters with Hz-range measuring rate and prototypes of non-intrusive smart meters to be transparently installed independently from fiscal meters
- IoT Platforms for energy data: FLEXMETER innovate from the point of view of IoT oriented software platforms suitable for collection of large amounts of data form smart meters. Challenges for data interoperability and scalability have been faced. A suitable architecture has been developed.
- Services: Innovative services based on high measuring rate data have been developed both for DSO and the prosumers. Specifically, original algorithms for fault location, detection, network reconfiguration and state estimation have been designed. Also, a new version of the NIALM algorithm has been developed.
- Simulation: FLEXMETER innovated on the energy simulation engine. A real-time simulator has been integrated with the software layer to enable seamless development and test of energy management policies mixing real and simulated loads.

2. Impact

The project outlined the following expected impacts on:

• User-awareness: Impact on load disaggregation services and analysis of trade-offs between cloud-based and on-board NIALM
• Real-time services for DSOs and users based on Hz-range measuring rate, such as RES integration, fault location, state estimation, network reconfiguration, demand-response, demand-side management
• Next generations of smart meters: FLEXMETER can impact the development of more open meters providing Hz-range data to the users and third party service companies (unlocking data already available from these meters) and providing voltage, current measurements to enable controllability and observability of the grid
• Privacy of data, which is potentially blocking interoperability. FLEXMETER can impact strategies for original data sharing and ownership of the output generated by the original data). For instance data about the grid mixed with data from the prosumers
• Business models for energy services based on metering data and related ownership of the platform: Platform owner can be envisioned as a third party company with respect to current market players

FLEXMETER solution imposes also a clarification among roles of energy actors like DSO/aggregators/retailers/prosumers, opening relevant questions about the energy market and related regulations.
Flexmeter scheme