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

The safety and availability of SBB railway infrastructures is ensured by the Infrastructure Monitoring business unit. SBB requires a “towed diagnostics vehicle” (gDFZ) to fulfill this duty and at the same time to provide an enhancement to the existing self-propelled diagnostic vehicle. The gDFZ can also measure the vehicle dynamics and overhead line. When in use, the gDFZ is drawn in a train composition consisting of a locomotive, a braking and a control car.

The central system forms the heart of the new vehicle. It not only adopts the interaction with the user, but also the analysis and the persistent storage and display of all measurement data.

The SBB has accepted the tender from SCS for the development of the central system (hardware and software). The successful concept in the public call for tender combines for the first time modular measurement equipment via open interfaces with the technology of a modern data centre and integrates them into a rail car. This flagship project meets all the essential features of an “Industry 4.0” application.

The Microservice architecture allows a modular, flexible, extensible and highly scalable solution. The result is a clear and extensible software environment, which is extremely well suited for further development over the entire life of the gDFZ and which can also be operated efficiently.

SCS also takes on the role of integrator for the overall system. System integration is the key success factor for the entire project. The chosen solution therefore supports the integration of all current diagnostic and support systems through a clear and systematic approach and through open, transparent and scalable system architecture. SCS has extensive experience both in the field of open systems, the integration of third-party systems and the development of “mission critical applications” including maintenance and support throughout the entire life cycle (Life Cycle Management – LCM), for example with the REGA communication system.

We are delighted with this award and the prospect of working with SBB and the suppliers of the other work packages, peripheral systems and vehicle modifications.

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Background information on the application:

The SBB infrastructure monitoring business unit is responsible for ensuring the safety and availability of railway infrastructure in compliance with the applicable regulations. The services provided by the monitoring unit are fulfilled using a mix of human expertise (route inspectors) and machine-determined diagnostic and prognostic data (Measurement and Diagnostic Technology). In the medium term the proportion of machine performance will increase due to the expansion of the industrial monitoring of the network and the commissioning of new high-speed lines (Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnel GBT/CBT).

Measured test runs are state of the art in railway technology and essential for professional investment management, particularly in the track and traction current asset classes. The measurements in the field of driving technology are mandatory because of the legal and regulatory requirements (including R 22070). Reliable, consistent and meaningful measurement data also provides an important input for short-term diagnostics (monitoring), preventive maintenance and the prognosis of the substance preservation. They form the basis for the medium and long-term maintenance control of the asset classes.