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Innovative controls for renewable sources Integration into smart energy systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INCITE (Innovative controls for renewable sources Integration into smart energy systems)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-11-30

The continuous increase of the share of renewable energy sources is redefining the electrical networks. In future infrastructures, an important number of agents (sources, storage devices and consumers) will have intelligent interfaces allowing the regulation of the injection and extraction of power into the grid. This context will create multiple alternatives to increase the efficiency in electricity generation and consumption, to reduce energy costs and to provide a more reliable operation of electrical grids. These future networks will be only possible with suitable control algorithms.
In this regard, the energetic and electric sector is changing its paradigm, making necessary to adapt the industrial sector to such new model. This change is led by the irruption of the renewable energies, energy storage, the integration of information and communications technologies (ICT) and internet, which has provoked the evolution of the classic distribution grid to the Smart Grid. “Smart grids” is the term used to cover this new model of distributed generation and active management, that is, electrical grids with intelligent agents capable of regulating the power flow in order to fulfil a wide variety of objectives. The concept of smart grids covers a number of approaches and objectives.

The general objective of the research programme of INCITE is to propose innovative solutions for the challenging work of controlling and designing the future electrical networks. Another goal is to create a multidisciplinary research space with a complete view of the smart grid control sector where talented young researchers can be trained through research. In other words, INCITE aims to cover the existing gap between theory and smart grid real world applications, in order to ensure the proper understanding of the novel problems arising due to the implementation of such new technologies as well as to provide with tools that cope with such new requirements.

The specific objectives of the research plan proposed within INCITE framework are as follows:

• To provide ESRs with deep knowledge in control, optimisation, power electronics and power systems with a complete view of the real necessities of the main actors in the smart-grids sector.
• To establish a long-term collaboration network that allows the interaction of researchers from control and power systems.
• To create a multi-sectoral space where industry and academia can interact to find new and better control solutions for the future electrical networks.
• To develop high-quality tools and methodologies for the control, power management and monitoring for smart grids.
• To develop experimental test benches with the aim of testing and evaluating new ideas for the control of smart grids.

INCITE project has developed innovative solutions to cope with such challenges aiming to make the electrical grid smarter. To do so, INCITE had a multi-sectoral consortium gathering experts on control and power systems, from academia and industry who provided innovative control solutions for the future electrical networks.
In the current context, the electrical network is becoming even more complex. In this regard, control is pivotal for smart grids and highly challenging from the design point of view: the control of individual sources needs to be adapted to the new requirements and the control of individual sources affects the entire system and the interactions cannot be neglected.
INCITE project has developed innovative solutions to cope with such challenges aiming to make the electrical grid smarter. Those included advanced controllers for power converters, energy storage and renewable generation; advanced management strategies for market-based systems as microgrids; modelling tools for power-electronic-based networks; as well as novel tools for distribution network (including ADMS, fault detection, fault location and state estimation).

During the project an internal analysis of potential innovations within each IRP was carried out. At that stage, up to 8 innovations where identified mainly focused on algorithms and tools for improving the existing systems as Deep Learning Forecast for electrical market prices, harmonic system impedance identification and adaptive controller for power electronics, among others. Such innovations were presented within the Innovation Radar scheme and two of these innovations were considered key innovations:
o A smart controller for HVAC systems, developed within IRP2.1
o Time-varying distributed partitioning method for electrical grids, developed within IRP1.1

In addition, other innovations have attracted interest from different stakeholders as for example:
- research on forecasting has raised interest from the private sector at 3 different events: 1) private workshop for companies; 2) public forum for EU companies in the electricity sector; 3) award in a forecasting competition organized by an EU TSO.
- research on distributed controls for wind farms won the best poster award at WindEurope Conference.
- research on AC-DC grids interactions won the best paper award at IFAC CPES.

For the exploitation and dissemination of INCITE project and innovations a video has been developed. The INCITE video (available in YouTube, in the INCITE webpage and in our social media: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxtX8xQ2O0A) summarizes the challenge faced by the action and how the different ESR projects come together with a final common goal, make the grid smarter.
In addition, a blog was set into INCITE website. The blog has been used by ESRs and their supervisors to disseminate different articles of an informative nature which are aimed at a general public and dealt with the research topics related to INCITE.

INCITE research resulted in over 50 published articles (over 25 scientific publications in indexed journals and over 25 conference publications). Also, INCITE was included in the Summer Edition of the European Energy Innovation Magazine 2019, an official EUSEW publication.

Finally, at the end of the project execution period, out of the 14 ESRs, 5 had already defended their PhD thesis and the rest will do so in the upcoming months.
INCITE aimed to provide the ESRs with the necessary skills to become attractive candidates for top universities, research centres and industry in the field of electrical and control engineering and/or to start their own companies. Also, ESRs earning a PhD in control or electrical engineering was a target of the action.

The project aimed to train ESRs to become experts on specific aspects of the smart grid system but having a complete view of the whole system from both academic and industrial viewpoint. Additionally, other transversal skills as communication, management and entrepreneurship are being given to ensure that the ESRs will be leaders on the coming years. In this regard, INCITE goal was to give ESRs enchanced career perspectives. This has been succesfully achieved since by the end of the execution period 4 ESR got relevant postdoc positions an 2 ESRs got permanent positions in a key industry in the sector and a research center.

In addition, the project aimed to reach not only academia but also general public to make them part of the energy change, which has been achieved by different means (blog, video, virtual labs, social media, etc.)
The 14 INCITE ESRs