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Sensors monitoring environmental and electrical parameters of electrical high voltage lines

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Gridsense (Sensors monitoring environmental and electrical parameters of electrical high voltage lines)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-06-30

The GridSense project consists in offering to the electricity Distribution System Operator (DSO) a tool for the optimization of its distribution grid, which requires a precise knowledge of its status at any time.
The Gridsens project intends to offer DSOs tools (sensors) to enable them to increase the availability of the electricty grid, reduce its operating costs, and facilitate the use of Distributed Renewable Generation in order to meet the ever growing decarbonization obejctives.

The GridSense system combines self-powered sensors installed on medium-voltage lines, coupled to software suite interfacing with dispatching centers.
Self-powered sensors measure key parameters influencing the availability and quality of distribution grid. Data are transmitted by low-power RF technology.
The target market are Distribution System Operators (DSOs) which operate the low and medium voltage electricity grids, to which more and more renewable, dispersed generation is connected, which make it more vulnerable and require more active management that Gridsense could enable.

One of the main take-away of the technical and market inputs of the feasibility studies conducted in this Phase I, is that both identified Use cases (electrical parameters meausrments to facilitate Renewables integration, and Extreme Weather events detections to increase grid availability and lower its operating costs) could be addressed by one and the same product (possibly configurating them differently by software, which would allow further differentiation potential and upsale opportunities). Indeed, both the Weather Events detection and Electrical parameters measurements (with the exception of voltage measurements) can be easily addressed with the same product without jeopardizing the cost point.
Moreover, target customers being the same (albeit with different use cases), selling it as one single product would make the go to market strategy execution easier. The higher price point of the product aimed at Decentralized Generation integration would easily allow to meet all requirements (including the weather events detection) with one and the same product.
"Three main bodies of work were completed as part of this Phase I:
- Technical feasibility of the GridSense product, leading to the validation of its hardware architecture , the validation of key measurement concepts, their testing, and preliminary costing
- Preliminary field tests with two potential customers (one in France, one in Belgium) to validate both the market need (use cases) and the main technical architecture
- Commercial feasibility: market identification and quantification, definition of typical use cases (including potential adoption obstacles), and preliminary exploration of business models and go to market strategies.

The technical feasibility study allowed us to identify the main building blocks of the product (current sensing, power supply , communication, signal processing), identify several alternatives for each of them, validate their usability, and identify trade-offs that would need to be made to reach the expected cost points.
None of this identified any road-blocks, and all technical alternatives are currently being field tested in real use conditions with ""real"" customers (dissemination).

Field tests currently conducted allow us to exploit and disseminate our first findings/technical choices, and to validate the use cases/ business needs. Two uses cases (Electrical measurements for Renewables Integration, and Detection of Extreme weather events on the grid) have been identified, sized, and validated with key potential customers."
"The phase I identified some promising technical avenues:
- the innovative combined use of on-board power supply (inductive, Photovoltaic, batteries) , communication methods (GSM, LORA) and embedded signal processing , that could allow the design of low cost, communicating ""IoT"" devices that could be massively deployed by utilties on electricity grids.
This could truly allow the emergence of ""smartgrids"" with massively monitored, very actively managed electricty grids (therefore reducing overal grid costs to end consumers, and facilicating the integration of more renewable generation).

The long term societal impact is an accelerated decabornonization of the electrical systems, by better using exisiting electricity grid assets."
grid sense prototypes under test