Skip to main content

Interoperable solutions for implementing holistic FLEXIbility services in the distribution GRID

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FLEXIGRID (Interoperable solutions for implementing holistic FLEXIbility services in the distribution GRID)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-03-31

In recent years, the energy paradigm is shifting from big-size centralized power plants to small-medium size distributed variable generation electricity sources injecting energy in a bi-directional power flow grid. In this context, the increasing share of variable and unpredictable renewable energy sources (RES) is challenging the electric grid in terms of reliability, stability and security of supply. Indeed, the European renewable target for 2030 (32% of total energy consumed) means that more than 50% of electricity will be generated from RES, most of which will be connected to the MV and LV grids. Furthermore, the EU’s policies have encouraged the development of decentralised electricity generation, electric vehicles, energy storage and flexible demand.
As an answer to these present and incoming challenges, the main goal of FLEXIGRID project is to improve the distribution grid operation making it more flexible, reliable and cost-efficient, through the development of four hardware solutions and four additional software modules. These solutions will be demonstrated in four Demo-Sites across Europe ensuring their interoperability through its integration into an open-source platform able to harmonize the data flow between FLEXIGRID solutions and the real grid.
Within the first 18 months of FLEXIGRID project, the governance structure, management tools and communication methods and flows were defined and communicated to the partners. Progress monitoring has also been successfully developed, with a thorough following up and a continuous interaction between partners, coordinator and project officer. Finally, deliverables release process was presented and approved by the consortium too.
In the 1st period of FLEXIGRID project, demo-sites were characterized. For that purpose, information from solution developers and demo-sites was collected, leading to the preparation of demo-site datasheets and simulation models. Relevant stakeholders across Europe were identified and a questionnaire was created to define stakeholders' common requirements towards a smart citizen-centred energy system. Furthermore, project KPIs for demo cases were developed together with their contingency and monitoring plan. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) activities were also started and Open Aire repository (ZENODO) was created. Finally, data protection actions were addressed. Data protection board was appointed, national data protection legislation was reviewed and Data protection impact assessment (DPIA) form and guidance document was created and completed by requested partners.
Related to project physical architecture development, new functionality in the MV automation RTU, new smart LVB and new compact smart distribution transformer with an on-load tap changer (OLTC) have been designed regarding Secondary Substation of the Future. Additionally, a software and hardware development on Energy Box is being performed to enhance interconnection capabilities, and thus to increase observability, control and automation. Current protection systems have been evaluated for their use in future scenarios of high penetration levels of renewable energy. The main conclusions in this study are being used for the design of new protection systems able to overcome the drawbacks identified. Regarding Smart metering, a new platform of smart meters has been designed. Finally, during this period, it was demonstrated that a feeder mapping application to assess network topology without the need of additional equipment in the grid is possible.
Concerning the development of software solutions, on the one hand, virtual inertia model was ready, different convex formulations of AC OPF problem were modelled and tested, 1st prototype of fault location is being developed and Spanish demo location was defined and modelled. On the other hand, the initial data model for the forecasting algorithms regarding the Greek pilot was defined and the 1st prototype of the Energy Box was deployed in the Greek pilot. In addition, flexibility chart mapping of TSO/DSO was published and the first test of LF SaaS using OPC were performed. Related to Greek pilot, the first version of the optimization models was developed. With regards to dynamic thermal modelling of buildings, first models were created, evaluated and optimized. Finally, regarding activities for operating in islanded mode, grid model was completed and system architecture and 3 scenarios for island mode were defined.
Related to the definition, design and establishment of the cyber ICT, main activities were to analyse and evaluate of diverse options and the final selection of view model to properly define FLEXIGRID’s ICT platform architecture. Furthermore, ways to set the protocols, standards and interoperability aspects applying to FLEXIGRID developments were studied as well as the FLEXIGRID Common Information Model to ensure semantic and syntactic interoperability. In addition, data collection and data sharing protocols were discussed, and the most convenient ones selected. Finally, concerning Cybersecurity requirements, a methodology was established and a collection of an initial set of inputs performed.
Referring to the replicability analysis of FLEXIGRID results, thus the identification of the most convenient ways for market deployment, 1st version of project business models as well as initial exploitation strategies were defined. Besides, initial activities regarding IPR management were also started.
Finally, the Communication and Dissemination Plan was defined and several actions to call attention to the project were performed. Furthermore, FLEXIGRID was present and participated in the BRIDGE initiative to position the project in national and international forums.
Within FLEXIGRID project, 9 solutions will be developed. On the one hand, 4 hardware solutions will be obtained: (S1) Secondary substation of the future, (S2) New generation of smart meters with improved feeder-mapping capabilities, (S3) Protections for high RES penetration, (S4) a multi-purpose concentrator able to control grid assets, called Energy Box. On the other hand, 4 software modules will be envisaged: (S5) Software module for fault location and self-healing, (S6) Software module for forecasting and grid operation, (S7) Software module for congestion management, (S8) Virtual thermal energy storage model. Finally, the interoperability of these solutions will be ensured through its integration into an open-source platform (S9).
The solutions developed within the framework of this project can be associated to the implementation of the 8 use cases demonstrated in four pilots of the project. To quantify the impacts, five main indicators have been selected:
1) Improved stability and flexibility via the reduction of SAIDI and SAIFI;
2) Curtailment decrease thanks to the improvement of the observability and control over the grid;
3) Reduction of the reinforcement of interconnections and investments needed to maintain the quality and stability of the grid;
4) Improve the capability to manage future energy loads; and
5) CO2 emissions savings due to the larger penetration of share RES, contributing to the 2030 Climate-Energy objectives.
FLEXIGRID methodology
FLEXIGRID demo sites & use cases
FLEXIGRID solutions
FLEXIGRID overall vision