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The basic objective of this project is to define and develop an integrated ICT environment able to efficiently encompass all the communications requirements that can be foreseen for the Smart Electricity Networks (SEN) of the future including:

  • MV/LV monitoring and control
  • Power Quality monitoring
  • Operation and asset management

While taking into account a changing environment on the LV with the introduction of Automatic Meter Infrastructures, decentralized energy production (renewable energy), Electrical Vehicle connection. We predict to be able to enable a variety of improved power system operations and consumer services functions. The project objectives are being described hereafter in more detail.

Objective #1

Research on the efficient integration and interoperability of PLC and wireless technologies (WSN and RFID) creating a system able to reach with enough capacity at least 95% of the devices connected to the electrical grid and even sensors and devices not connected to the power grid but located on it or in its surroundings.

Objective #2

Research and development on autonomous self-healing ICT system with QoS guarantees for Smart Grids. Research lines are: Cooperative communication/networking, Joint Inter technology multihop topology control and mesh-networking, Exchange of topology information among technologies, Resilience against failures and adaptability to changes, Inter-technology QoS Class Mapping, matching big symbols (PLC) with short symbols (WSN, RFID). The objective is to get an availability of devices on the range of 99.9%-99.99% for the meshed devices deserving a high availability. Other devices not needing this availability level will be not meshed and will have an availability on the range of 99%-99.5% or higher.

Objective #3

Research and develop a global multilevel security framework: Define a multilevel security framework for the hybrid WSN/RFID/PLC network. Provide means to efficiently coordinate the admission control, confidentiality, key management and authentication issues across the various technologies. Apply Trust management to SENs.

Objective #4

Design a beyond state-of-the-art management system capable of coping with the complexity and dynamicity of Smart Grids: Achieve the integrated but distributed management of the heterogeneous network formed by the integration of PLC, WSN and RFID technologies to enable service continuity even under electrical disconnection circumstances.

Objective #5

Research on mechanism to solve the problem posed by the important differences between the typical long life-cycle of electric grid components and the normally short life-cycle of ICT and sensor technologies. Just as an example, one necessary aspect to address is efficient software downloading to upgrade the system. SENs will be networks handling thousands of devices that, in order to deliver high grid availability, must warrant continuous non disruptive upgrades. Thus they have to be able to efficiently download new software versions without discounting the service even over low capacity highly degraded links. The system will be engineered to guarantee years of autonomous survival for continued operations in order to substantially contain smart grid maintenance costs.

Objective #6

Research on the limits and possibilities of distributing functions in smart electricity networks with the aim of improving its availability and latency. The integration platforms developed within the project will be designed for survival to meet the operational requirements typical of electrical networks environments and in smart grids according to the results of this research. These should improve the availability and latency of smart grid functions.

Objective #7

BT communications are commonly based in the use of the band CENELEC-A. Recent international initiatives are adopting OFDM systems in the upper spectrum (PRIME). This project will also explore the use of QOTDM technique at CENELEC-A band to make more efficient use of the whole spectrum. The use QOTDM throughout the CENELEC-A band will permit doubling the speed and robustness of the communications