A project in Lund aims to shorten the length of power outages by increasing the number of sensors in Kraftringens power grid. Being able to monitor the grid with sensors allows Kraftringen to locate a fault more quickly, thereby affecting fewer customers, while the fault can be fixed faster than ever before.
The power grid that supplies us with electricity is already monitored today so that network owners such as Kraftringen can get information about when and where disruptions or outages arise. To date, the amount of sensors in the grid has been limited for cost reasons and the areas they monitor are therefore relatively large. As more efficient technology develops and the equipment becomes cheaper, it will be possible to increase the number of sensors to get a more detailed picture of the network’s status. In this sub-project within SOM (Smarta Offentliga Miljöer i.e. Smart Public Environments) the number of sensors will be increased along with the development of a cost effective wireless communication solution to enhance the overview of the power grid.
Kraftringen has approximately 100,000 customers connected to its power grid. It is of course an important task for Kraftringen to ensure a high availability of electricity supply to its customers. However, a power grid will inevitably suffer from faults that cause a power outage, so in order to minimize the impact on customers, it is important to quickly detect, locate and rectify a fault.
- A power grid is normally constructed so that a larger distribution station feeds a number of smaller grid stations that are connected in a loop. Simply put, in the past we only had sensors in the distribution stations that gave information about which loop an error occured in. But the solution we have tested here places sensors in the grid stations as well, which can tell us between which stations the fault is located so that we do not need to go out and look for the fault. In this way we can more quickly reconnect the grid and minimize the number of affected customers but also minimize the total outage time, explains Håkan Skarrie of Kraftringen.
- The technical solution is now gradually being verified, from testing in the lab environment, to tests in existing power grids in operation, says Peter Bårmann of Sensative. In addition to having developed new technology to increase the number of measurement points, utilizing the radio network we have established and the IoT-platform that continues to grow within the SOM-project, the project has also built on existing data analysis and developed support needed to present the current situation in a map-based system. As a continuation of this project result, we now want to proceed with the introduction of a newly advanced IoT-security technology, in order to be ready to integrate with Kraftringens regular monitoring system.
The SOM-project is a part of the Strategic Innovation Program for the Internet of Things, IoT Sweden, which is funded by Vinnova. The project started on 1 September, 2017 and will be completed in 2020.
Translation: Ben Dohrmann