DYNAGRID SUCCESS STORY
How ENERGIOT and ELEMENT helped a system operator to enhance their smart grid applications
The digitalization of the power grid is a key factor in the energy transition. Still, it also presents significant challenges for grid operators, including increasing operation and maintenance costs due to decarbonization and decentralization. In response, DYNAGRID project was launched to develop an affordable, reliable, and battery-free IoT solution to monitor grid conditions and predict power faults dynamically. The project is a collaboration between ENERGIOT Devices (ESP) and ELEMENT (FRA), who joined forces to access the EU project DIGIFED and create a TWIN AE application. The DYNAGRID solution has potential applications in detecting events, increasing grid capacity, predictive maintenance, and balancing renewable sources. The project is being implemented in New Caledonia with ENERCAL, the main Distribution and Transmission System Operator. The project’s expected impact is to increase the maximum capacity of ENERCAL powerlines by 50% and detect power faults 5x faster than current methods. The success of the DYNAGRID project demonstrates the effectiveness of EU policy frameworks in supporting innovation and promoting sustainable development.
THE CHALLENGE AND HOW DYNAGRID IS HELPING GRID OPERATORS
The power grid sector has been facing significant economic challenges, with over 20% of electricity paid by customers due to distribution and transmission costs. The main reason behind this is the need for grid operators to ensure a constant supply of clean, secure, and affordable energy, despite shifting conditions caused by the decentralization of power generation and decarbonization. The issue is further compounded by unforeseen meteorological events or wildfires, especially in isolated or remote areas.
Dynagrid is a smart grid solution developed by ENERGIOT and ELEMENT to address the challenges of Dynamic Line Rating and Fault Detection for Enercal, a utility company in New Caledonia. Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) is a method of increasing the transmission capacity of overhead power lines by continuously monitoring weather conditions and other factors affecting the line’s performance. Fault Detection, on the other hand, is a method of identifying and locating faults in the power grid in real-time, which helps reduce downtime and improve the reliability of the power supply.
The Dynagrid project was initiated to address the challenges faced by Enercal in optimizing the performance of their power grid. Enercal operates in a remote and challenging environment with a high penetration of renewable energy sources, making monitoring and maintaining the grid difficult. They faced two primary challenges: the need to increase the capacity of their overhead power lines and the need to improve the speed and accuracy of their fault detection system.
Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) is an innovative approach to increasing the capacity of overhead power lines. Traditional power line capacity ratings are based on worst-case scenarios, which means that a line may be underutilized most of the time. By using DLR, power line capacity can be increased by continuously monitoring weather conditions and other factors that affect the performance of the line. DLR involves the use of sensors to collect data on weather conditions, temperature, humidity, and other parameters that affect the line’s performance. The data is then used to calculate the line’s ampacity and Sag in real-time, allowing for more accurate power line capacity ratings. By using DLR, the capacity of overhead power lines can be increased by up to 50%, which helps utilities to increase the penetration of renewable energy sources and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
Fault Detection is an essential component of any power grid, as it helps identify and locate faults in the grid in real-time, which allows for quicker response times and reduced downtime. Enercal’s existing fault detection system was outdated and slow, which meant that it took hours to identify and locate faults in the grid. The Dynagrid project aimed to develop a fault detection system that was faster, more accurate, and more reliable than Enercal’s existing system. The new fault detection system uses a network of sensors to detect faults in the grid in real-time. When a fault is detected, an alarm is triggered, which allows for quicker response times and reduced downtime. The system also provides additional data, such as the location of the fault, the type of fault, and the severity of the fault, which helps utilities to identify the root cause of the problem and prevent similar faults from occurring in the future.
HOW IS DYNAGRID SOLUTION
The Dynagrid solution consists of two main components: hardware and software. The hardware component includes a network of sensors installed on the power lines to collect data on weather conditions, temperature, humidity, and other parameters that affect the line’s performance. The software component is responsible for processing and analyzing the data collected by the sensors and providing utilities with real-time information on the performance of their power grid. The software component includes a dynamic line rating model that uses the data collected by the sensors to calculate the ampacity and Sag of the power line in real-time and a fault detection system that uses the data to identify and locate faults in the grid.
ENERGIOT develops the hardware component of the Dynagrid solution. ENERGIOT is a startup that specializes in the development of low-power IoT sensors that are designed to operate in remote and challenging environments. ENERGIOT’s sensors are self-powered and can operate without the need for batteries, which makes them ideal for use in remote locations where access to power is limited.
The software component of Dynagrid processes the data gathered by the hardware device. It allows grid operators to monitor the status of power lines in real time and predict and detect faults. The software incorporates a DLR interactive model for clearance and sag calculations, which allows grid operators to model and simulate real-life conditions before they happen and plan for possible changes or improvements to the power line. The software also provides an accurate map localization of the assets with status reports within the map for real-time visualization and control of fault detection.
One of the key benefits of Dynagrid is its ability to detect faults in real time. When a fault event occurs, an alarm is emitted, specifying the location of the source of the fault, allowing grid operators to respond quickly and prevent further damage to the power line. This significantly improves manual fault detection, which can take hours or even days to detect and locate a fault.
Another important feature of Dynagrid is its ability to calculate the DLR in real-time. This is important because power lines are designed to handle a certain amount of electrical load, and exceeding this limit can cause damage to the line and create safety hazards. By calculating the DLR in real time, Dynagrid allows grid operators to manage the electrical load on power lines more effectively and prevent overloading.
In addition to fault detection and DLR calculations, Dynagrid incorporates meteorological data as a different source to provide environmental context for DLR forecasting. The goal is to anticipate the temperature influence on the cable line in the next 4-8 hours and thus compute the current margin that can be injected in the line. For the PoC, a Weather API has been used, but any source can be integrated (other Weather Internet API or Meteo station data or MeteoFrance data).
Overall, the Dynagrid project represents a significant improvement in the monitoring and management of power lines. By providing real-time fault detection and DLR calculations, the solution allows grid operators to respond quickly to problems, prevent damage to the power line, and optimize the electrical load on the line. As a result, Dynagrid has the potential to reduce downtime, improve safety, and increase the efficiency and reliability of the power grid.
The Dynagrid project has significant potential for impact and sustainability in the energy sector. By providing an affordable and accurate solution for Dynamic Line Rating and Fault Detection, Dynagrid can help utilities improve the efficiency and reliability of their power grid, ultimately contributing to the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.
One of the primary impacts of Dynagrid is its ability to improve the capacity of power lines. With the accurate measurements provided by the device, utilities can increase the capacity of their power lines by safely pushing more power through them. This increased capacity can help utilities integrate more renewable energy into their grids, which is essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a cleaner energy future.
In addition to increasing the capacity of power lines, Dynagrid can also improve the efficiency of the power grid by reducing power losses. By accurately monitoring power lines and detecting faults in real time, Dynagrid can help utilities quickly identify and repair issues that would otherwise result in wasted energy. This can ultimately reduce the need for costly and environmentally damaging energy production and help to make the grid more sustainable.
Moreover, Dynagrid’s solution is sustainable in itself. The device uses green sensors to help integrate with renewable energy, and its low-cost and lightweight design allows utilities to cover all of their assets. The solution is self-powered using a patent piezoelectric energy harvester. It requires no maintenance, meaning it has a minimal carbon footprint and is cost-effective in the long term.
Dynagrid can also have a significant social impact. By improving the efficiency and reliability of the power grid, Dynagrid can help to reduce power outages and make electricity more accessible to people. This can be particularly impactful in areas where power outages are frequent or prolonged, as the grid’s improved efficiency can help ensure that people have access to the essential energy they need for daily life.
Dynagrid can help utilities save significant amounts of money in terms of economic impact. By reducing the need for manual inspections and quickly detecting faults, utilities can reduce the costs associated with maintenance and repair. Furthermore, by increasing the capacity of power lines, utilities can avoid costly upgrades and improve the utilization of their existing infrastructure.
During the pilot implementation of the Dynagrid project, several results were obtained. Firstly, the device was successfully developed, and multiple versions of the casing were created to improve anchors, sensors’ space, and the material’s durability. The power consumption of the sensors was also improved with efficient data collection, and the power capacitor PCB was upgraded to improve the device’s charge time and power distribution. The piezoelectric material was also calibrated with resonating magnets at the desired frequency to increase the generation of power that will be stored in the power capacitor PCB and then used to power the device. Additionally, exposure to high-current transformers was successful, and data collection occurred without material deformation or sensor malfunction.
In terms of software, several improvements were made, such as incorporating DLR interactive model for clearance and Sag calculations, allowing for modeling and simulating real-life conditions before they happen to prepare and plan possible changes or improvements to the conductor line. The visualization of DLR shows the current cable behavior with the computed clearance and the predictive cable behavior based on the calculated parameters. Accurate map localization of the assets with status reports was also included within the map for real-time visualization and control of fault detection. Mathematical formulas for current calculations and calibration of the raw data received were also incorporated.
The company has a B2B business model with a dual strategy of sales of devices and a recurrent revenue model for sales of data gathered and analytics. We target the main utilities in the European electricity market since those global companies also have a global business. We will support clients’ activity outside the EU to ensure our penetration in LATAM. Considering the presence of ELEMENT in the south pacific, we can also market the South Asian and Oceanic markets. This scalable model helps ensure the company’s sustainability while providing value to its customers.
The Dynagrid project represents an important technical development for the energy sector, providing a reliable and efficient solution for monitoring the capacity of power lines and detecting faults in real-time. As technology advances and renewable energy sources become more prevalent, there is a growing need for more accurate and precise monitoring of power grids. The Dynagrid project is an innovative response to this need, utilizing IoT sensors and advanced software to provide a dynamic line rating system and real-time fault detection.
In the future, it is likely that the Dynagrid project will continue to evolve and improve, incorporating new technologies and capabilities. As the energy sector shifts towards a more sustainable and decentralized model, there will be an increasing demand for smart grid solutions that can provide reliable and efficient management of power networks. The Dynagrid project is well-positioned to meet this demand, providing a scalable and cost-effective solution for power grid management that can be adapted to meet the needs of a rapidly changing energy landscape.
In conclusion, the Dynagrid project is an innovative solution developed by ENERGIOT Devices and ELEMENT to address the challenges of Dynamic Line Rating and Fault Detection in the power grid. By providing real-time fault detection and DLR calculations, the solution allows grid operators to respond quickly to problems, prevent damage to the power line, and optimize the electrical load on the line. The project has shown significant potential for impact and sustainability in the energy sector, contributing to the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.
Dynagrid’s ability to increase the capacity of power lines safely allows utilities to integrate more renewable energy into their grids, which is essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a cleaner energy future. The solution can also reduce power losses, help utilities to save money, and improve the efficiency and reliability of the power grid. Moreover, the sustainable and lightweight design of the device makes it cost-effective in the long term and minimizes the carbon footprint.
The project’s success demonstrates the effectiveness of EU policy frameworks in supporting innovation and promoting sustainable development. The Dynagrid project has had a significant impact on the technical development of the energy sector. As technology advances, it will continue to evolve and improve, providing a scalable and cost-effective solution for power grid management. The project’s potential impact and sustainability make it a significant step towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.