The energy system is changing rapidly with an increasing amount of intermittent renewable energy, which requires new tools to monitor and manage the grid. UNITED-GRID develops a toolbox and an open cross-platform, with a unique dual approach, that will help Distribution System Operators (DSOs) to better manage their grid with advanced automized solutions and local supervision.

Connection of renewable DER (Distributed Energy Resources) means both challenges and opportunities for DSOs when balancing the grid. The future electrical distribution network, including at least 80 % renewable-based energy production, will require monitoring and control services, either close to the field and renewable DER, or close to the DSO’s centralized DMS.

– Distributed intelligence will be highly required in the near future. There will be a need of local smart nodes near the field to execute local algorithms. They will handle the high amount of data and avoid data overflow to the centralized SCADA system, says Lucile Lemius, at ATOS Vision.

Better forecasting

As the energy system is changing, a lot of development is being done to increase the ratio of intermittent renewable energy that can be monitored by conventional Scada DMS system, for example better forecasting and better analyses of the load flow.

But all these developments have been implemented as much as possible into the central SCADA system of the DSO with its limitations versus a flexible, scalable and intelligent distributed model managed with the toolbox and cross-platform.

This new UNITED-GRID solution is based on the most advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and is a link between ICT and operations technologies, to propose the most scalable and secure infrastructure. Its design has been studied and validated to offer the best guarantees in terms of redundancy, reliability and cyber security.

– This architecture will be mandatory in the future. The SCADA system isn’t the place to host advanced functions, since the technical environment is fixed and not flexible. That is why advanced functions should be located outside the SCADA system, says Lucile Lemius.

Lots of services in the open solution

UNITED-GRID provides an open solution that makes a bridge between the SCADA system and external sources. It includes a lot of services:

  • Secure interfaces with cloud servers, web services and any existing and new actors through an open cross-platform (interoperability)
  • Plug and play solutions embedding a various range of advanced solutions, including AI and optimisation solutions
  • Distributed Smart Nodes that enable local supervision and control (through swarm computing and communication)
  • Real-time automatized solutions (fault detection)
  • Forecast
  • Smart sensors

– It also offers high performance and processing capability, so the toolbox can embed any new solution, or even high demanding regarding performances such as AI, says Lucile Lemius.

Unique dual approach

The toolbox and the open cross-platform are the main components of a new IT architecture and provide a dual approach that is unique. The same environment can be used for both:

  • Agile R&D developments and quick tests
  • Industrial Deployments through a containerization concept

The solution developed by Atos is based on its Codex Smart Edge platform. This modern and open platform provides:

  • Linux based Distributed Acquisition, Control, Processing and Communication Software
  • Deployment through Interconnected Smart Nodes
  • Docker Microservices based architecture
  • Telecommunication capabilities compliant with IOT and Edge Computing* standards
  • Enables Intelligent GWs with upgradeable services
  • Processing simple logic to complex machine learning
  • Designed for multiple Use Cases
  • Built-in security
  • Scalable from tiny IoT nodes to central systems

VIDEO: Live demonstration of dashboard

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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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