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Project RETI ATTIVE 2014

Generazione distribuita e reti attive

Power System Research


Claudio Luciano Bossi


•This document provides a summary of the main results of the activities carried out in the Annual Implementation Plan 2014 (PAR) of the project “Distributed generation and active networks”.

This document consists of an introductory chapter which focuses on the main national and international research programs, the main objectives of the three-year project and the description of the structure of the project composed of eight lines of activities.

Each line is described in a chapter that consists of several topics where you can find the main results, objectives and motivations of the research as well as its development phases and a short summary of the activities carried out in the previous PAR. Then it follows a brief description of the activities carried out in correlated EU projects and in national and international working groups: IEA, CIGRE, EEGI, Smart Grid Coordination Group, IEC, CENELEC, CEI and so on. The dissemination has been performed through publication of papers and presentations at conferences. For more details please refer to the concluding chapter. Contacts with the manufacturers of components and operators of power grids were continuous, such as the collaborations with the association of manufacturers, ANIE, and the Distribution utilities: Enel, A2A and ACEA, and those with telecom operators like Telecom Italia and Vodafone, with which was started the topic of integration between electrical and communication networks for Smart Grid development. In addition, a collaboration with A2A is ongoing about the pilot project on active network in MV at Lambrate (Milano). This is one of the eight smart grid pilot projects in medium voltage admitted in AEEGSI incentive plan. RSE participates with the integration of its test facility of GD into the pilot plant. The test facility can be considered a low voltage microgrid, with configurable topology, consisting of various generation systems, storage systems and loads.

The project overall objective is the study, the development of models and the testing of methodologies and technologies which facilitate the transition towards active distribution networks, with a strong presence of non-programmable renewable sources managed efficiently and able to provide services to the national energy system in a perspective of security and quality of electricity supply and environmental compatibility.

Therefore, the project aim is: 

• the development of models and algorithms for management and control of distributed energy resources with their experimentation in MV active networks and in the RSE DG test facility; 
• the study and application of communication technologies for active networks; 
• the development of electronic converters and the testing of protection systems; 
• the study and experimentation with DC active networks, including the analysis of failure problems.

Finally we have investigated the potential developments of large size energy storage systems such as a Seawater Pumped Hydro Plant and the storage of natural gas in Italy. Issues related to integrated development planning of renewable energy sources in the territory, social acceptance and environmental sustainability of wind power have been addressed. We have developed electrical production forecast models for power plants using renewables non-programmable sources (FRNP) such as photovoltaic, wind and flowing water. We have continued monitoring of photovoltaic systems on the national territory and new methodologies have been used to analyze the performance of photovoltaic (PV) systems and analyzed situations of fire risk of the PV modules in buildings. As far as small generation is concerned, we continued the experimental verification of the performance of a mini combined cycle composed of two gas microturbines with external combustion (Externally Fired Micro Gas Turbine - EFMTG), with biomass-fired boiler and a low enthalpy recovery cycle (Organic Rankine Cycle - ORC).

In particular, the main activities have been: 

• monitoring of activities to promote the development of Smart Grids at international level; 
• development of a methodology for the analysis of costs and benefits of Smart Grid projects;
•release of the validated version of the centralized controller (VoCANT 2.0) for Medium Voltage active distribution networks, including a state estimator. This version has been tested in pilot networks and demonstrators of ACEA and Enel Distribuzione; • development of microgrid control system (also referred as Microgrid Management System - MMS), the MMS mainly concerns the optimal planning and the real time operation of energy resources of a LV microgrid connected to the medium voltage grid; 
• development and testing in the DG test facility of droop control algorithms to manage the transition and the islanding operation of a DG microgrid; 
• study of new computational tools able to simulate simultaneously (co-simulation) the behaviour of the electric power distribution grid and the telecommunication system; 
• development of electricity distribution network models expressed according to the standard CIM; 
• identification analysis of the methodology for defining the requirements of telecommunication systems for smart grid applications; 
• description of use cases for the Smart Grids, identification of security levels according to the SGIS methodology and definition of security policies; 
• use of ICT network simulators for evaluating the effect of cyber attacks to smart grid communications; 
• first usage of a Test bed for experimenting cyber security of communication protocols and functions in active networks; 
• analysis of the behavior during overloads and in presence of distributed generation of a device for LV grid for the improvement of power quality; Control Hardware in the Loop (CHIL) simulations at a Real Time Digital Simulator; 
• experimentation through the direct current test facility of the control functions designed to enable an energy storage system connected to a photovoltaic plant to perform different services for users and electrical grid. 
• protection coordination, with logic selectivity, for medium voltage active networks both in radial and in meshed configuration: analysis and tests for automatic reclosure procedures integration, also with Real Time simulations; laboratory tests to evaluate the interoperability between different protection devices; 
• technical/economic analysis of islanded microgrid solutions with distributed generation and storage connected by power electronics devices; 
• study and analysis of medium voltage active a.c. networks meshed through DC connections: evaluation of the possibility to have island operation after faulted line segment detection in the a.c. network; 
• analysis and experimentation of fault conditions in an active DC distribution systems in order to define the criteria for protection of people and active parts of the network; • development and experimentation in the DG test facility of different functions aimed at optimizing the economic management of a microgrid and at voltage control, power and energy control at the interconnection point; 
• development, integration and experimentation of a system, based on OPC Server, that guaranees, using a data exchange architecture, standardised, flexible and reliable integration of algorithm and control functions in DA test facility SCADA system; • development, integration and experimentation in the DG test facility of a state estimator of an active low voltage network; 
• develompment and experimentation of a new automated methodology for PG generation forecast based on radiation forecast and PV generation historical data;
• integration and experimentation in the DG test facility of a new storage system based on VRLA lead batteries. 
• DG test facility arrangement for experimental activities in “A2A-Smart Grids Lambrate” project 
• evaluation of the economic feasibility of a Seawater Pumped Hydro Plants to support integration into the power grid of high amounts of non-programmable renewable sources 
• identification of new geological reservoirs, in Italy, for the storage of natural gas and development of integrated modeling tools geological and numerical, suitable to study the industrial storage process; 
• development of methodologies and studies aimed to promote the integration of sustainable development projects of renewable energy sources in the territory; 
• development of numerical models to forecast meteorological variables and of post-processing models in order to estimate the power production, at short-term and local scale, from photovoltaic, wind and flowing water; 
• analysis of fire behavior of photovoltaics modules and development - definition of specific test procedures for identification features of reaction to fire of such modules; • performance and reliability analysis of the behavior of modules and other components of photovoltaic systems in operation in different climatic and installation conditions through innovative laboratory tests for the qualitative diagnosis of PV modules and monitoring of several photovoltaic plants present on the Italian territory; 
• experimental verification of the performance of a mini-combined cycle (ORC-EFMTG) fueled by biomass, in order to identify system solutions to improve the conversion efficiency and the reliability of the plant.

To better address the prosecution of the project, activities have been carried out to support national institutions (Ministry of Economic Development, the regulator Authority AEEGSI, regional administrations) and international collaboration on Smart Grid, such as: ISGAN, JPSG EERA, EEGITeam and ETP Smart Grid.