GridBox: a holistic smart grid approach

In cooperation with BKW (Berne), ewz (Zurich) and BEAG (Baden), Supercomputing Systems AG develops a holistic smart grid platform that will help to make distribution grids future-proof:

The electrical energy system is undergoing fundamental changes. Efforts to decentralize the system that is historically based on central energy generation and top-down distribution. Large power stations might be replaced by many local energy generation units like PV, water power, wind power etc. In addition, regulatory requirements are changing and energy markets see new rules of the game. All these transformations have an impact on the electrical distribution grid which will have to be more dynamic, less cost-intensive and more intelligent in the future.

GridBox is a generic platform for the intelligent grid of the future: Distributed measurement and control devices (intelligent PMUs, phasor measurement units)  collect data about the grid every second and communicate the grid state to a local master agent. The master agent implements algorithms for grid stability, grid monitoring, asset management aspects, market aspects etc. and takes control of the grid through a set of available actors such as PV inverters, electrical water boilers, batteries, e-car loading stations etc. The platform therefore is a real-time control system for the distribution grid.

The GridBox platform enables additional applications such as power quality measurements, grid monitoring, virtual power plants, support at grid dimensioning, coordination of PV and batteries in homes, smart markets with real-time price signals etc.

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There are two real-world test regions: A rural grid in the Bernese Oberland (region of Kiental) including low- and mid-voltage grids and an urban test region within the city of Zurich. There are 150 devices installed in total and the project will also gather high-resultion grid measurement data throughout an entire year. Experiments and demonstrations will take place live.

The present state of the system and the woring of the state estimator and the optimizer can be observed live through the GridBox cockpit:

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The project is co-funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and runs until mid-2016.

Presentation slides: PDF

Contact: Stephan Moser

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