LOCATE - Troubleshooting, status monitoring and control in low voltage networks
Dates: July 2018 – December 2021
Financed by FEDER y Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades – Agencia Estatal de Investigación
Principal objetive: Promote technological development, innovation and quality research
Through the LOCATE project, new functionalities will be introduced to low voltage advanced monitoring equipment, which, in turn, will allow the development of new applications that have a direct impact on the management of the low voltage grid by the distribution system operator, Viesgo, increasing therefore the efficiency in the grid operation.
Specifically, LOCATE will focus on introducing into the low-voltage advanced monitoring equipment the innovative features of fault location, the measurement of wave quality in current signals and the detection of faults in the presence of wide distributed generation connected in the low voltage line and reverse flow harmful in that scenario. Viesgo, as well as prescribing the technology to be developed in the project, will provide the valuable vision of the distribution company, so that information can be obtained on new functionalities that may be useful for their operation and that are compatible with the monitoring equipment.
The functionalities incorporated into the low voltage monitoring equipment (fault location, PQ measurement in intensity, reverse flow detection, as well as those proposed by the distribution system operator) have the potential to add value to the management of the distribution grid, for which it is necessary to generate a series of applications that contribute to the distribution system operator with the information to operate on its assets more efficiently. From this point of view, LOCATE delves into the possibilities that the functionalities added to the low voltage monitoring equipment can offer, investigating the location of incipient faults that allow the realization of a predictive maintenance in the low voltage networks. The origin of the disturbances that worsen the quality of the grid will also be studied, whose values must remain within limits that the legislation obliges the distribution system operators to comply with. Thus, through their knowledge, strategies can be established for their mitigation. LOCATE will provide the necessary knowledge to expand the field of application of Ariadna´s patent on connectivity, so that it can be applied in all grids, by studying the energy profiles of users using Big Data techniques.
All these developments will be reflected in software tools, at the application level, that allow Viesgo to make decisions in the management of the low voltage grid. In this way, it will be able to improve the quality of supply to the final customer and in a position that allows its adaptation, reliable and safe, to the new scenario with the integration of a greater number of distributed energy sources of renewable origin and electric vehicle. This will support its transformation from a distribution company to an advanced operator of the electricity grid.
Finally, the developments of the project will be supported in a pilot phase in which the solutions will be tested in operating environments at scale and real, something that is critical as it is marked by all innovation initiatives in networks (European Commission, ETIP SNET and ALINNE) to be agile in the transformation of R & D into commercial and applicable solutions.
The main objective of the LOCATE project is the development of new equipment and applications to improve the management of the low voltage grid, approaching its operation to the concept defined by smart grids, improving the quality of supply, opening the door to the execution of predictive maintenance plans, increasing the efficiency in the distribution grid as well as allowing a safe and massive integration of distributed sources of renewable generation in it. To achieve the main goal, its complementarity with other objectives is necessary to ensure the success of the project:
Obtaining a device for the monitoring of low voltage grids with new functionalities.
Development of applications to improve the management of the low voltage grid with new features.
Performance test of the new functionalities of the team at the laboratory level.
Performance test of applications developed in a real grid.
CIRCE is the technical coordinator of the project. From this point of view, it will play an important role in the coordination of all the technical tasks executed within the project and, especially, in the development of the new monitoring equipment for low voltage grids. Specifically, it will participate in the description tasks of the new functionalities for the team, as well as in the description of the applications for the management of the distribution grids derived from these functionalities. It will lead the development of the algorithm and the necessary software to implement the functionalities that will be incorporated into the new monitoring equipment. It will have an active role in supporting the development of the applications, since these will be based on the new features that the monitoring equipment will provide. It will also participate in the necessary research to expand the scope of applications, so that they have the ability to allow the distribution system operator to develop a new operation based on predictive maintenance, as well as a secure and reliable integration of distributed generation in low voltage grids. It will also lead the construction of a low voltage laboratory that emulates the real conditions that the team will find in the distribution grids, to make controlled tests of the functionalities and adjust the equipment based on the results found. Finally, it will support the piloting work based on their knowledge of the equipment and applications