Next Generation Control Centres for Smart Grids
We have established a National Centre for SmartGrid research in co-operation with industries, public bodies and other actors.
The Smartgrid is envisioned as the future intelligent electricity delivery, production and consumption management system. It shall enable a more efficient house-holding with energy, reduce the consumption and allow a large variety of new and greener means of production. This pose a wide range of demanding research challenges involving power engineering, ICT and cybernetics.
The project Next Generation Control Centres for Smart Grids is targeted towards power system control centres. The planned roll out of Smart Meters, associated communication infrastructure together with more advanced sensors and controls is expected to drastically increase the amount of data and information that needs to be managed and which can be used in power system operation. The project’s main goal is to see how the increasing amount of real time and static data can be utilized most efficiently in order to operate the power system in a safer and more reliable and cost effective way.
The project targets two main areas:
- Utilization of the increasing amount of available data to detect, avoid and manage network failures.
- Management structure for operation and maintenance in smart power grids, including proposed structure of centralized operational support and distributed automatic intelligence in order to monitor and operate smart power grids in a more reliable and cost efficient way.
The main objective of the project is to propose future control and system infrastructure in order to operate the next generation of smart power grids, included research and development of methods and infrastructure for data utilization, visualisation, detection of emerging failures, centralized and decentralized operation and controls.
- Research and demonstrate how data can be used more efficiently in order to monitor and control power systems to increase effectiveness and avoid failures.
- Propose a structure for data acquisition and communication based on current and future sensors and communication interfaces, included the roll out of smart meters.
- Ensure more reliable, flexible and adaptive monitoring and controls in power systems by taking advantage of the increasing information available.
- Provide a software decision support system that analyzes current status and prediction of possible failures in power supply networks and support fault management.
- Collect results from the above and develop a demo room to test and demonstrate prototypes and to provide a venue to demonstrate possibilities and the interaction between centralized and local control for the future smart grid control centre.
Frontiers of Knowledge and Technology
Utility control centres today mainly perform the following tasks:
- Grid monitoring
- Fault management
- Revision planning
- Optimising grid topology i.e. optimal configuration
- Management of customer requests and providing customer information
- Generation management to some extent
- Management of switching operations
Transformer stations e.g. typically132/22kV or 66/11kV are normally well equipped with measurements and remote controlled switches and circuit breakers, while the MV distribution system feeders and distribution substations are far less equipped. It is expected that the work processes of the control centres will be heavily influenced by the deployment of Smart Grid technologies. More measurements both in distribution substations and with customers (smart metering) will both give new opportunities and challenges for grid operations. Much more data will be available and needs to be managed in and efficient way to support control centre operations. The information can also trigger new services and functions.
This situation is quite new and needs to be addressed. An internet search on Smart Grid Control Centre gave approx 550 hits (August 2010) and most articles give information on future, planned research, demonstration or pilot projects. Thus, the area is still immature and R&D is necessary to reduce the risk in Smart Grid deployment also from the control centres’ perspective.
This is a joint project between Departments of Computer Science, Department of Electric Power Engineering and Department of Information Security and Communication Technology.