UNITED-GRID will provide an advanced measurement solution to help DSOs improve the operation of their grid. The solution is based on low voltage sensors and will be tested at three demo sites in three different countries.

UNITED-GRID partner Smart State Technology (SST) has developed a LV-sensor that, unlike traditional sensors, makes use of GPS technology to synchronize measurements and provide synchrophasors, measurements which contain both magnitude and phase information of the acquired signals. Such solutions are normally only used on transmission networks using Phasor Measurement Units.

Dedicated hardware

SST made the sensors affordable by making use of tiny low power, low cost embedded computers (Raspberry-Pi like) with embedded Linux as an operating system. Added to that SST had developed their own dedicated hardware for advanced, synchronized sampling of grid signals.

Furthermore, the developed software framework was made using SST’s open platform concept, which will allow third-party developers to experiment, develop new algorithms, test and validate them using live streaming-data from the grid.

The LV-sensor is a part of the tool-box that is being developed by UNITED-GRID. The tool-box will host a rich set of monitoring, protection and control applications that will assist DSOs in the operation of their grid.

Features of interest for DSOs are:
  • Advanced and affordable low voltage grid sensors with high frequency and high accuracy synchrophasor based measurements
  • Rich set of open source tools with known programming languages such as C/C++, python and scientific libraries for machine learning, data analytics and signal processing
  • Open development Digital Signal Processing (DSP) framework which takes care of low level samples processing and real-time communication (using ZeroMQ)
  • A rich set of measurements (U,I,P,Q,Freq) to capture the basic fundamental signals and measurement locations
  • Standardized communication protocols IEC 101/104 and 61850-9-2 based on open source libraries
  • Advanced messaging protocols for distributed and real-time processing sensor data
Solution for real-time data

In order to ensure interoperability, the most common standardized SCADA communication solutions are made available using open source libiec61850 and lib60870 protocols.  As added advanced communication solution for real-time data, the framework makes use of the ZeroMQ protocol. This allows developers to design advanced distributed-measurement solutions where sensors can interconnect on a real-time level at various locations on the grid. Such features are interesting for advanced interconnected algorithms such as distributed state estimation. If security aware communication is needed, the system can be enhanced with CurveZMQ, CurveZMQ  is the security aware variant of ZeroMQ and will provide secure authentication and validation using elliptic-curve encryption on a sensor level.

Furthermore, the UNITED-GRID toolbox will host a rich set of applications such as:

  • Real time monitoring using distributed state estimation
  • Setting-less protection
  • Self-healing solutions
  • Protection schemes for grid connected systems
  • Coordinated voltage control and voltage control during islanded operation.

Those applications will allow DSOs to improve the operation of their grid, increase its hosting capacity and be more resilient to faults emerging from the addition of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and also achieve a better situational awareness.

It is expected to install LV-sensors and test the UNITED-GRID toolbox at the demo sites of Strijp-S (Netherlands), Sorea (France) and at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).

For more information, please contact:

Omar Mansour, Smart State Technology

Email: mansour@smartstatetechnology.nl

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This project has received funding from the European Community's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme under grant agreement 773717

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