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Artificial Intelligence Solutions for Smart Grids

Through the Centre for Technological Innovation in Static Converters and Drives (CITCEA-UPC), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) is coordinating the European project Big Data for Open Innovation Energy Marketplace (BD4OPEM H2020).

Mónica Aragüés

Currently, large amounts of data are being created at the level of generation, transport, distribution and consumption, but they are not always used or may be underused. The application of artificial intelligence techniques can enable value to be extracted from these data to support decision-making for proper management of the grid, which is being transformed and evolving towards a smart grid. This transformation is being promoted by greater integration of renewable generation, at the level of transport and distribution, as well as the inclusion of electric vehicles and storage systems. All of these elements are facilitating the decarbonisation of the system, but this also implies greater complexity in the operation and management of electricity networks. Artificial intelligence tools could help us to fight against this complexity and guide decisions on monitoring, operation, maintenance and planning of the smart grids that are being constructed.

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) is coordinating, through the Centre for Technological Innovation in Static Converters and Drives (CITCEA-UPC), the European project Big Data for Open Innovation Energy Marketplace (BD4OPEM H2020). The aim is to develop a cloud platform (Analytic Toolbox) that will integrate artificial intelligence-based services to improve the operation and planning of distribution grids. The platform will guarantee safe flows of data to the service suppliers, in compliance with the requirements of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

To achieve this, data from distribution grids will be gathered and processed, to offer new solutions based on artificial intelligence. These will include detection of measurement errors, deduction of the topology of the network and analysis of its observability, undertaking of predictive maintenance and identification of non-technical losses, estimation of the flexibility of the network, including that which comes from the infrastructure for recharging electric vehicles, and services to help make decisions about future expansions of the network.

These services will be implemented in four European pilot projects with a range of renewable technologies installed: in Belgium (on the Brussels Health Campus, which is a micro-network that includes a hospital and part of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel university), Denmark (on Bornholm Island, with two-way electric vehicle charging points), Slovenia (part of the distribution grid of Elektro Celje), Spain (part of the distribution grid of Estabanell Energia) and Turkey (part of the distribution grid of Osmangazi Electric Distribution). Participants in the BD4OPEM project, which will last three and a half years, are a consortium comprised of various entities including, as well as the UPC, the Catalan distributor Estabanell Energia, Atos Research and Innovation, Elektro Celje, intracom Telecom, Josef Stefan Institute, Nuvve, Osmangazi Electric Distribution, Odit-i, Sustainable Innovation, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and We Plus.

Original article by Mónica Aragüés Peñalba published on May 6, 2020 on the enerTIC website.