Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - ADVANTAGE (ADVanced communicAtions and iNformaTion processing in smArt Grid systEms)

PERIODIC REPORT 1st January 2014 – 31st December 2015


ADVANTAGE (ADVanced communicAtions and iNformaTion processing in smArt Grid systEms) is a network of 4 universities, 1 research center, and 3 companies established to provide training to thirteen Early Stage Researchers to research the development of Smart Grid technology. The design and implementation of the smart grid is very complex, involving a large number of systems, layers and relationships. In order to make the infrastructure of smart grid systems work effectively, engineers need to be trained to have a detailed understanding of both power engineering and communications issues. Many related research projects to date have involved either mainly power engineers or mainly communications/signal processing researchers, limiting the interaction and knowledge exchange between these two communities. ADVANTAGE seeks to produce smart grid engineers who fully appreciate the power network that the smart grid is designed for and how to communicate and process data concerning the power grid, so that it can be controlled effectively.
The principle objectives of ADVANTAGE are to provide network and individual training and to ensure dissemination and outreach of ADVANTAGE’s research findings. This is enabled through Network Training events open to external attendees, secondments of ESRs to Level 1 and Level 2 partners (from industry and academia), and a range of dissemination and outreach activities.

Thirteen Early Stage Researchers (11 males and 2 females) were recruited and in place by 31st December 2014. Two Early Stage Researchers left for personal reasons in 2015 and one has been replaced at Aalborg University. The final Early Stage Researcher project at the University of Seville is being recruited to.

The research activities of ADVANTAGE are structured into four interlinked Work Packages:

Work Package 1 Smart Homes
Scientific aims: Work Package 1 focusses on developing new technologies to share information between customers and the power network.

Work Package 2 Neighbourhood/Industrial Area Networks
Scientific aims: Work Package 2 will develop novel wireless and wireline communications technologies which can be utilised in neighbourhood and city wide smart grid applications.

Work Package 3 Micro Grids
Scientific aims: This work package will study small area power networks or micro grids and will focus on new ideas to enable these grids to operate effectively in conjunction with the main power network.

Work Package 4 Intelligent Distribution Networks
Scientific aims: New technologies will be evaluated in Work Package 4 to monitor and control the behaviour of regional and national high voltage grids to improve reliability and energy efficiency.

Each Work Package contains elements of both power and communication engineering to maximise cross-fertilisation of ideas.

Very good progress has been made under all Work Packages. An achievement of particular note in the area of Smart Homes is the development of a novel model for the operation and behaviour of heat pumps within homes, validated using data from a real house. In Work Package 2 an optimal solution for wireless networks to allocate resources to smart grid devices has been achieved, in addition to a simplified heuristic alternative method which will be more practical. ADVANTAGE research in the area of Micro Grids has resulted in the development of a load forecasting tool for predicting behaviour of industrial loads in micro grids, with the approach having been verified using real data. In addition under Work Package 3, a novel method called ‘Powertalk’ for communication over power buses in micro grids has been proposed. Progress under Work Package 4 has also been made, with a new model for domestic energy aggregation having been developed and used to study domestic virtual power plants for controlling energy demand.

The first phase of research deliverables (including a State of the Art report per Work Package) was completed on time. Early Stage Researchers presented posters at the Aalborg and Barcelona training events, and gave presentations at the Edinburgh and Barcelona training events. Early Stage Researchers have three published Conference papers, three Conference papers accepted for publication and one Journal paper accepted for publication.

The project website provides links to all ADVANTAGE’s participant details, research progress to date and gives information and full schedules for all Training events. ADVANTAGE also has a visible presence on social networks: a Twitter and LinkedIn account.

The ADVANTAGE network seeks to create awareness of its research activities by ensuring clear means of communication with the general public, and thus the Early Stage Researchers have been active in dissemination and outreach activities. All Early Stage Researchers have been made aware of the importance of acting as skilled Marie Curie Ambassadors and have begun visits to local Schools and Universities to communicate their research. ESR 9 gave a poster presentation at the FP7-STREP-SUNSEED workshop on Advanced Control, Communications and Algorithms for the Smart Grid, held in Aalborg, Denmark. ESRs 1 and 9 gave further poster presentations at the European School of Information Theory (ESIT 2015), Zandvoort, the Netherlands, April 2015. ESRs 5, 6 and 12 have had an event "Powering the Future: how will you power your home in 2025" accepted for the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April 2016.

The project network management is running smoothly, with 6 monthly Network Management Board meetings having been held, as well as regular Conference calls on issues such as Early Stage Researcher recruitment, website development, training event preparation and financial planning. Early Stage Researchers, Level 1 and Associated Partners all benefited greatly from the Mid-Term Review meeting hosted by Level 1 partner CTTC in October 2015, where the Project Officer and external Scientific Reviewer gave very valuable operational and technical input.

ADVANTAGE has met all deliverables, milestones and training objectives to date, and is on track to meet all future milestones and deliverables as outlined in ADVANTAGE Annex 1, following all contractual obligations. This will equip the Early Stage Researchers in the network to advance the understanding of the smart grid operation, providing architectural solutions for smart grid systems and contributing to communication technology (ICT) solutions.

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United Kingdom


Life Sciences
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