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Project SMART-DSYS 2015

Development and management of distribution networks

Power System Research


Carlo Ismaele Tornelli

The document summarizes the results achieved in research on active distribution networks, innovative functions and devices, including energy storage systems, which improve monitoring, control and diagnostics. The results concern the development of new technologies, their experimentation in laboratory and in field and activities to support institutions in international initiatives for the development of Smart Grids.

This document provides a summary of the main results of the activities in the Annual Implementation Plan (PAR) 2015 of the "Development and management of distribution networks" Project.

The overall objective of the project is the study, development and testing of methodologies and technologies which facilitate the development of the electrical distribution system to allow a high penetration degree of distributed generation from renewable sources and greater integration between energy systems, guaranteeing high levels of quality of service to users.

The project takes into account aspects of management, control, automation and protection of the distribution system, new architectural models and services with the application of power electronics devices, energy storage systems, information and communication technologies and tools to support investment decisions.

Research on the following topics were developed: 

• Advanced network control capabilities with related energy resources, with the development of production predictive models for generators from uncontrollable renewable sources,

• technologies to help the network integration of storage systems,

• equipment to improve the quality of service,

• innovative sensors for monitoring systems,

• diagnostic methods and experimental investigation of the distribution infrastructure components,

• methods and tools for monitoring the quality of service to end users,

• study and application of information and communication technologies for active networks, with particular attention to interoperability and security issues.

The theoretical research activities were complemented with experimental work in the laboratories and in RSE test facilities, which include a real low voltage distribution network able to control different types of generators, loads and storage devices connected to it.

The project also addressed aspects of diffusion of renewable sources in the territory and integration with distribution networks through the development of producibility predictive models and the study of an integrated atlas of renewable resources for the national energy system. The special case of the smaller islands, not connected to the national grid, was considered for the study of the most suitable solutions to a progressive reduction in the use of fossil fuels and increased use of renewable sources, in a perspective of energy self-sufficiency.

Finally the project has developed a series of participations and partnerships with international and national cooperation initiatives on Smart Grid (ISGAN, JPSG EERA, EEGI, ETP Smart Grid, SmartGridsItalia) and support activities to the institutions (eg. Ministry of Economic Development, AEEGSI, regions) which allow to make available to decision-makers the search results and at the same time better target the development of activities.

This document is divided into an introductory chapter, which illustrates the main national and international research programs and the main objectives of the three-year project, which is followed by the description of the structure of the project which is based on eight lines of activity. A chapter for each line highlights the main issues addressed by summarizing for each line the objectives and the research motivations, the activities carried out and the main results achieved. Following is a brief description of the activities developed in EU projects related to the project and in national and international working groups set up within associations, coordinating initiatives, and standardization bodies. The final chapters of the document summarize the activities for the dissemination of the results, continuously developed during the course of PAR through the publication of articles and presentations at conference.