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Metrology Excellence Academic Network for Smart Grids

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MEAN4SG (Metrology Excellence Academic Network for Smart Grids)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2020-02-29

Smart electricity grids are needed for integrating the massive increase of intermittent energy sources while managing the complex interactions between suppliers and customers that are challenging our energy networks.

The needs and tools to face the paradigm shift of the electrical system have materialized in MEAN4SG (Metrology Excellence Academic Network for Smart Grids), an H2020 project financed with 2.8 million euros by the European Commission in the framework of the Marie action Sklodowska-Curie and led by Fundación CIRCE.

Thanks to MEAN4SG, eleven researchers from six nationalities have scientifically and technologically contributed to face the challenges in metrology of electrical networks, providing added value to the industry and the scientific community, this, by developing doctoral theses to represent the project results. Thus, MEAN4SG has managed to forge a collaboration network that has resulted in up to 50 publications in journals and conferences to date and in the design of innovative solutions in order to provide added value to the business fabric of the sector.

The researchers have been trained within the project context while performing R&D projects, aiming to optimize the metrology of smart grids by means of and integrated research program focused in four scientific domains:
- Determination and further analysis of Power Quality parameters affecting active customers.
- Metrology for smart grids modelling and monitoring aiming to an accurate energy forecasting at low voltage levels.
- Cost-effective use of Phasor Measurements Units (PMUs) for advanced monitoring.
- Development of smart diagnosis tools for providing information about the state of the distribution grid infrastructure and its components.
Specifically, three researchers at the CIRCE Foundation, the Technical University of Eindhoven and the French National Testing Laboratory, have managed to expand the available tools (flicker and supra-harmonics) applicable to quality measurements in smart grids.

For their part, three other researchers at CIRCE and ENEL have managed to develop network modeling tools through comprehensive approaches, the application of new algorithms for predicting electricity consumption in domestic installations, as well as the development of replicable solutions.

Two researchers from the University of Strathclyde and the Eindhoven University of Technology have focused their work on the Implementation of PMU algorithms (phasor measurement units) in economic acquisition platforms and their application in distribution networks.

Finally, three researchers from the Foundation for the Promotion of Industrial Innovation, Haefely AG and Ormazábal Corporate Technology have advanced in the diagnosis of network cables and the predictive maintenance and location of faults through analysis of partial discharges in the distribution network, among others.

All this has served as a basis for developing innovative solutions applied to the industry. These include precision measurement tools and innovative network quality analyzers and devices; optimized energy capacity sizing devices and prediction mechanisms for energy consumption in homes; the management of the distributed generation in the facilities for the client through the concept of Virtual Electric Power Plant ’; PMU ‘low cost’ platforms and their application in distribution networks; and improved diagnostic mechanisms for overloads and troubleshooting.
The training program established in MEAN4SG addressed the predicted shortage of researchers and highly skilled workers in the field of metrology in Smart Grids. In this sense, the development of researchers aimed by MEAN4SG has provided the ESRs the required knowledge on a profession with future.

Once the project having finished, MEAN4SG have supported researchers to get closer to the industry, and this, by widening their network in metrology in Europe and beyond. MEAN4SG served as well as a platform from which the researchers have acquired new skill and innovative techniques representing an add value from the companies.

Many of the researchers have been incorporated in the market field either as Scientists or Engineers in Europe and beyond. This had coped with the aim of developing and ensuring a sufficiently large and well-trained work force will be essential for maintaining technological leadership in metrology for Smart Grids since the researchers are now positioned as experts on specific fields and on general research on the concepts of smart grids metrology.

On the other side, some of the ESRs have already obtained a PhD degree, providing a solid background for the development of their research and technical career.

However, the ones best placed to explain how MEAN4SG has successfully add value to the metrology industry are the researchers themselves. These are some of the acknowledgments the researchers willed to address:

“MEAN4SG provided me not only an opportunity to do research to attain a doctoral degree, but it created a platform for me where I could do networking, collaboration, mix of industrial-academic-research supports, and above all the freedom to do independent research under the supervision of technical experts. I gained a lot of expertise, while attending conferences, presenting papers at multinational levels, collaborating with the pioneers and experts, and skills including time management and stress management. I would like to thank and congratulate EC for their successful contributions towards quality research.
- Jibran Ali (ERS06) Researcher at the heart of the North Carolina State University (USA)

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the MEAN4SG consortium for coordinating and bringing forward such a wonderful program for all 11 of us researchers. The whole journey with MEAN4SG has been both enriching and engaging. Firstly, to be able to purse research with an industrial partner leading in the field gave me the tremendous opportunity to learn, grow and develop myself. The conferences and courses attended through the MEAN4SG consortium opened new doors in one way or another. I find myself bearing immense gratitude to all the parties involved, HAEFELY AG (my host), MEAN4SG (consortium), Marie-Sklodowska curie (grant), and lastly but most importantly the EU, for being so kind in hosting me all the way from India (though I moved from the Netherlands after my Masters) and help make Switzerland a second home for me. Thank you! “
- Saliha Madhar (ESR11) Engineer at HAEFELY AG (Switzerland)

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the European Commission for initiating programs like MEAN4SG. The amount of exposure I have received during this program has exceeded my expectations. This initiative taken by EC has been the driving force of success in my career. I am thankful and honoured to be a small part of the MEAN4SG program. I would extend my heartiest gratitude to the people and organizations that were involved to make this program successful. I hope the knowledge and skills I developed during this program will help me contribute to society. I wish the European Commission will continue to support programs like MEAN4SG.”
- Nayeem Chowdhury (ESR04) Innovation Engineer at EirGrid (Ireland)
Some of the fellows visiting the HV facilities at FFII
MEAN4SG researchers participanting in the Specific Course 2 of the network
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