Electrical Utilities are facing the challenges of integrating an increasing number of renewable energies. At the same time the rise in the electrification of heat and transportation is changing people´s consumption habits, which puts a growing risk on network stability.

The workshop entitled “Grid Awareness – applied from Copper to Cloud” aimed to address these challenges by discussing solutions that enable Distribution System Operators to proactively avoid problems and optimize grid operation. The workshop was also an opportunity to learn about the vision of E.ON and Bayenwerk on the future smart grids and the process of digitization of automation.

The workshop was organised by the E.ON :agile accelerator and Gridhound at the Super7000, Düsseldorf, on 4 September 2018, as part of the ADMS EU Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) project.

The audience included utility representatives from Europe (Netherlands, Romania and Germany), partners of the SOGNO H2020 project, representatives of device manufacturers and local start-ups.

The main conclusions of the event were:

  • The proposed solutions for automation should now be scaled to large grids. Pilots are good but the issues that may arise when they scale-up need to be tested.
  • If new automation solutions are promising then there is no reason to delay them. “One month is the new year”, new approaches should be immediately implemented in the field.
  • Smart grid automation solutions should optimize performance and investment costs. Solutions that can already enter into operation with a limited amount of hardware installation are to be preferred.
  • European distribution networks already provide excellent power quality, the challenge is to integrate larger amounts of renewables and keep the same level of power quality.
  • < By augmenting the level of monitoring of the grid, attention should be paid to the topic of data protection and privacy.
  • An integrated solution, from sensors, via monitoring devices to management system is critical for DSOs; but standardized interfaces are necessary for integration with existing Distribution Management Systems’ solutions.
  • A service-oriented solution is very important. Different DSOs have different issues in terms of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) integration, fault management and diagnostics.
  • Digitalization is the next challenge. A large commitment in terms of modelling of distribution grids is required.
  • Monitoring does not necessarily require massive hardware installation. It is necessary to have full observability and grid awareness even with a reduced number of measurement devices.
  • Reliability of equipment as well as that of the communications network is of paramount importance for the application in the management of energy distribution and grid operation.

Most of these conclusions and strategic views are already integral elements of the ADMS. Consequently, the next steps for ADMS, as mentioned in the first two points, will concentrate on scaling up its demonstrations and enter immediately into the DSOs market.

The complete workshop is available for viewing and your comments