INESC TEC and EDP test innovative smart grid technologies in homes and companies

A total of 175 residential and business participants are testing new solutions aimed to improve the functioning of the electricity network, developed under the InteGrid project – coordinated by EDP Distribuição, with INESC TEC in charge of the technical coordination.

The selected participants will benefit from the installation of intelligent metering equipment, developed to improve the interaction and availability of data on the power grid.

The implementation stage will take place in four different locations

After the testing phase, the project will be implemented at the medium voltage network level, namely in 25 facilities in Mafra – including industrial users, wind farms and cogeneration units. Concerning the medium voltage network, it will include advanced measurement units (RTU – Remote Terminal Unit) that enable medium voltage generators and consumers to obtain information about their energy profiles, thus optimising their processes and contributing to the management of the distribution network in case of technical constraints.

Regarding low voltage, HEMS (Home Energy Management Systems) solutions will be installed in the homes of 150 customers Alcochete, Caldas da Rainha, Mafra and Valverde. This system allows users to control smart equipment, from solar panels and batteries, to electric vehicles and appliances. With an App, the users can program the operation of equipment – such as air conditioning or washing machines – more efficiently, thus benefiting from the best rate available and profiting from self-produced energy through PV panels, with clear efficiency gains.

“The InteGrid project is based on an intelligent network infrastructure, developing additional features in order to improve the efficiency of the distribution network management, and enable the development of new business models in the sector”, said Project Coordinator Ricardo Mendes André, from EDP Distribuição.

New features

Among the main progresses of the project, it is important to point out the Grid and Market Hub – a centralised platform dedicated to exchange information between Distribution Network Operators, consumers and production and market agents, in order to run the network in a more efficient and reliable manner – and HEMS, the system that allows consumers to digitally access information on electricity consumption and production, thus controlling their utilisation, costs and environmental impact, smart inverters and electric vehicle charging stations.

“The modernisation of the network is a key-element in the energy transition and decarbonisation, and projects like InteGrid are essential for us to keep moving forward this path of digitalisation of the electric network”, added Ricardo Mendes André.

“In the near future, and thanks to these new tools and information sources, the consumers will have access to new energy services, in new business models, in which they will be able to participate and maximise the utility of energy resources. The microproduction and automation of ‘flexible equipment’ such as smart home appliances, electric vehicles and battery systems will have a significant impact on increasing the network’s energy efficiency and the contribution of renewable energies to the entire system”, stated Ricardo Bessa, Technical Project Coordinator and coordinator of INESC TEC Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES).

INESC TEC High-Assurance Software Laboratory (HASlab), Centre for Industrial Engineering and Management (CEGI) and Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG) also participated in the project.

The InteGrid project brings together 14 European partners and is funded by the H2020 – Framework Programme for Research and Innovation at around €15M – under agreement number 731218.

The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC.


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