Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SmartGridEnable Report Summary

Project ID: 673607

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SmartGridEnable (SmartGrid Distributed Monitoring, Synchronization and Active Management)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2015-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

A critical challenge for smart grid ecosystems is to optimise the ROI for Utilities. SmartGridEnable is addressing this by creating product solutions to help Power Utility Distribution System Operators (DSOs) achieve their carbon reduction targets by enabling them to better manage their network in support of lower carbon footprint technologies and new energy generation business models from ever increasing green energy renewable sources.
The SmartGridEnable low-cost mass-deployable micro Phasor Measurement Units (mPMU) and Low Voltage (LV) Network Monitoring system are based on MAC’s GridWatch distributed monitoring Wirelesss Sensor Networks (WSN) and patented current/voltage Flexible Magnetic Sensing technology. The mPMU and LV Network Monitoring enable DSOs to undertake Smartgrid distributed monitoring, synchronization and active management (or ADA - Advanced Distribution Automation) to support Demand Response Management (DRM) and help avoid instabilities in grids with significant renewable energy sources.
Mass deployment of these innovative products will enable DSOs to facilitate lower tariff offers on renewable energy generation to customers when peak supplies such as wind is available, thus reducing existing power plant outputs.
This Phase I SME project explored the feasibility of MAC’s disruptive products, and has identified a huge market and extensive business opportunities. So it now plans to pursue the commercial development and exploitation of these innovative and disruptive products with a proposed SME Phase 2 collaborative productisation of an enhanced vision (as a result of this feasibility work) working with a consortium of SME partners. The project will productise coherent TRL9 SmartGrid ADA, Active Management and massively deployed Smart Monitoring Systems, from the low-cost patented Flexible Magnet sensor, mPMU and LV Network real-time data monitoring systems validated in Phase 1. These will be seamlessly integrated into a disruptive data-driven Artificial-Neural-Networks-based ADA monitoring and active management system.
The Phase 1 Feasibility Study Report includes the results of the market research and analysis of these opportunities, outcomes of discussions/demonstrations with DSOs, work undertaken and results of the prototypes developed, including those for DRM and lab evaluation of mPMU units and time synchronization. As well as a detailed business plan outlining the planned business opportunity, funding requirements, delivery plan and the Phase 2 plans.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work completed and results achieved by MAC during the Phase I SME project include:

Task 1: Market Research & Analysis
This included 1) Detailed market research, 2) A review of competing products/technology and 3) A review of Regulatory and Standards Requirements.
The Market Research and Analysis included (a) Face-to-face meetings with DSO operators, in Rome (April 2015), Germany (April 2015), Dublin (May), and discussions with UK Utilities (May 2015), (b) a comprehensive questionnaire to power utility companies, system integrators and consultants, and (c) A review of previous and current relevant EU Research projects and outputs.
The results identified a huge market and extensive business opportunities that are documented in section 4 of the Feasibility Study Core report. The review of standards identified IEC61850 is the most relevant standard for the LV monitoring products, as its main focus is distribution, field and station. While IEEE C37.118-1 is appropriate for the mPMU.

Task 2: Validation of Key Technology Assumptions
This task include 1) GW200 LV Monitoring Concept prototype development, 2) GW300 PMU Sync timing prototyping and analysis and 3) In-house Demonstration to Power Utility ESB Networks.
A concept prototype of the planned LV Network Monitor sensor deployment for DRMS support was developed and demonstrated with potential customers. Using this, a proof of concept prototype of the mPMU was developed to confirm its technical viability. The very positive results are documented in section 3 of the Core Report.

T3 Business Plan Development
This involved 1) Product/Service Description, 2) Market Research & Analysis, 3) Marketing & Sales Strategy, 4) Product Development Plan, 5) Staffing & Operations, and 6) Financial Requirements & Projections.
Section 5 of the Core Report describes the resulting detailed business plan describing the planned business opportunity, financial projections, funding requirements, delivery plan and plans for the Phase 2 proposal. The Phase 2 proposal will have a bigger strategic vision of a DSO’s Active Distribution Management and Smart Sensor Networking System that has evolved and expanded as a result of the work undertaken in this Phase
Based on these plans MAC is aggressively pursuing this opportunity and the SmartGridEnable Phase 1 and 2 projects will provide it with a strong competitive advantage, both technical and commercial, that has the potential to create a major disruptive impact on this market sector.

T4 Project Management and Dissemination.
This task included 1) Project Management and Reporting, as defined in the SME Instrument. 2) Dissemination of SmartGridEnable results, which was mainly through the market research meetings, that resulted in the partner SMEs to join MAC in the enhanced Phase 2 proposal, and 3) Open Access and Research Data Management, which mainly consists of publishing the public results of the current Feasibility Study on the project website.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

This Phase 1 Action concludes that there is indeed an excellent market and huge potential market for the SmartGridEnable’d LV/MV network monitoring and mPMU products, so the project will continue to a Phase 2 proposal, but with a bigger strategic vision of a DSO’s Active Distribution Management and Smart Sensor Networking System that has evolved and expanded as a result of the work undertaken. While SmartGridEnable’s potential competitors are generally well established and known by the Utilities in the market. They mainly use traditional power-industry technologies that are more expensive and provide little or no real-time on-board analysis (data capture only).
While the GW100 sensor already exists and is patented by MAC, the GW200 LV/MV Networking Monitor and GW300 mPMU will need to be productised, validated and demonstrated to enable their marketing deployment to begin. It is concluded that the most effective and quickest way to achieve that is to collaborate with complementary SMEs in a Phase 2 innovation/productisation follow-on project as soon as possible to build on the momentum generated by this feasibility study and minimise the time to market.
The SME Phase 2 project will fast track operational productisation, validation and characterisation of the products and overall SmartGridEnable system in a number reference sites across European, and then based on those to proceed to its commercial deployment. The Phase 2 product family will be expanded from the current Flexible Magnetic Sensor, LV/MV Network Monitoring System and mPMU to include a full SmartGrid Advanced Distribution Automation (ADA) monitoring system and secure IEC61850 substation automation. The Phase 2 proposal will involve a consortium of 3 SMEs from across Europe, to quickly innovate the bigger disruptive vision of a scaled-up SmartGridEnable system of synergistic complementary components, including the GridWatch products investigated in this Phase 1 in addition to a secure IEC61850 implementation and validation of the Substation Automation being productised by MAC, and full ADA “Grid Monitoring as a Service” system using a patented low-cost Artificial-Neural-Networks-based approach and IEEE C37.118-1 mPMU Taylor–Fourier Transform Weighted Least Squares (TFT-WLS) algorithm, and operational pilot trials/commercialisation with a number of Distribution System Operators (DSO) across Europe.
A critical challenge for Smartgrid ecosystems is to optimise DSOs' ROI and avoid grid instabilities with ever increasing Renewable Energy Sources (RES). SmartGridEnable will address these by productising a system to disruptively change DSOs ADA Active Management of their Grids. This will drive their Demand Response Management, achieve their 2020 carbon reduction targets and be carbon neutral by 2050, reducing networks outages duration and customer losses by 20%, and improving overall management of the distribution grid by 15%.

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