One of the big challenges of the smart power grid is how best to integrate new distributed energy resources into the low-to medium-voltage distribution domain. Active substations have the potential to support grid management and fault recovery over the last mile of distribution, but require affordable, cost-effective and low-power measurement and monitoring technologies to do so.
The KIC Active Substations programme is working on the development of a number of solutions for active substations. These include a medium-voltage (MV) sensor, a remote terminal unit (RTU), an acoustic power detection device, and directional fault passage indication solutions. Together the solutions provide improved monitoring capabilities and enable more proactive and precise asset management for distribution service operators (DSOs).
The KIC Active Substations programme has its roots in research being conducted at EnergyVille – an association of KU Leuven, Belgium’s largest university and the VITO research institute. Having applied to InnoEnergy for support, the founding partners formed an innovation project and were joined by colleagues at Poland’s AGH University of Science and Technology and Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, as well as industrial partners EANDIS, Vattenfall and Gas Natural Fenosa, among others.
When the project needed a new commercialising partner, InnoEnergy turned to its extensive network to find the right organization and asked Bausch Datacom, a specialist in data communication for the energy, automation and machine-to-machine markets, to join the consortium. The project started to focus on solutions that could reach the market within a few years. The project aims to create compact and low-cost sensor solutions that can easily be retrofitted into existing substations.
The project started to focus on solutions that could reach the market within a few years. The project aims to create compact and low-cost sensor solutions that can easily be retrofitted into existing substations
“Aided by InnoEnergy’s extensive network, the project has extended its product portfolio expanded the business, and seen new markets and opportunities open up. Bausch has already entered into a partnership agreement with Nexans, the international cable manufacturer, to develop a worldwide solution for mid-voltage measurements. The project is currently working towards the development of industrialised prototypes to be tested by DSOs by the end of 2016.
The project is currently working towards the development of industrialised prototypes to be tested by DSOs by the end of 2016.
“Being a commercialising partner of the KIC Active Substations project has enabled us to grow our business, explore new possibilities, and even hire new people. When we add InnoEnergy’s commercial contacts to our existing customers we have a very strong foundation from which to expand our business.”
Rik Verheyen, Business Development Manager, Bausch Datacom