New system features for modern power industry as fruit of UPGRID


Atende Group companies are co-contractors of the UPGRID project co-financed under the EU Horizon 2020 programme. This project has just entered its final phase, which will last until the end of 2017.

A consortium of 19 entities from seven countries — Spain, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Norway and Poland — has built innovative solutions that improve the security of power grids and has just started to test them. Four demonstration plants have been located within grids of energy distributors: in Bilbao in Northern Spain (Iberdrola — the consortium leader), in Parque das Nações in Lisbon in Portugal (EDP), in Åmål in Dalsland in Southern Sweden (Vattenfall), and in Gdynia (Energa-Operator).

The aim of the UPGRID project is to extend the functionality of monitoring and control systems, which currently operate in medium-voltage grids (MV), on low-voltage (LV) grids, which the vast majority of consumers are connected to. Thanks to that, the electricity distribution system will achieve a new level of flexibility, allowing for the management of flows, of which complexity grows with every connected source of energy, such as a photovoltaic panel or a wind farm. Growing importance of distributed current generation is a fact, therefore, such solutions become necessary.

“The complexity of the monitoring and control issues at the transition from an MV to a LV grid grows rapidly, as connection points for recipients (and prosumers) outnumber the MV grid nodes by several dozens of times,” says Paweł Pisarczyk, President of the Management Board, Atende Software. “Solutions proposed under the UPGRID project are based on the use of data from existing smart metering systems. On the basis of those data, models are created to be used to detect failures, forecast future grid status, and plan operator’s service activities,” he adds.

The Gdynia demonstrator was carried out by Polish participants in the project: Energa-Operator, Institute of Power Engineering, Gdańsk University of Technology, Atende, and Atende Software. The software created by Atende Software is an extension of a previously implemented EOP measuring system (AMI). It allows for visualisation of the grid status, informs on atypical situations, provides support for the operator’s technical team work management with the use of mobile devices, and allows for optimisation of planning necessary infrastructure investments on the basis of a sound analysis of the actual needs.

Solutions being created, as well as experience gained during the production and testing processes, are likely to become an important contribution to increased efficiency and security of electricity supply in the coming years in the scope of medium and low voltage grids.