RWTH Smart Campus Lab Trial
Development of the real-time model of the campus infrastructure, instrumentation of the grid with low cost meters and connection of the automation system to a new control room in RWTH.
This trial will be in the RWTH Campus Melaten in Aachen, which is a new campus that RWTH has been developing in the last few years. The network is a private grid with a mix of MV and LV infrastructure connected to the main public grid in two different points with two substations. The grid is equipped with some local generation capacity both based on classical generation and renewables, even if it is not equipped to operate in island. It is organized in four main MV feeders with numerous options of reconfigurations. Currently the grid is operated as a passive distribution system and no special automation or monitoring functions are present. Since more and more active buildings will be built in the close future, automation can be seen as an emerging need for this campus. Furthermore, during 2018 the first storage unit will be installed introducing new element of flexibility that could be exploited by a smarter infrastructure.
Trial Site set up and what will be done
The goal of the demonstrator is to provide a test as complete as possible of the overall SOGNO vision. A set of new generation sensors and advanced power measurement units will be installed in the network to guarantee an accurate level of observability of the grid. Automation data will be collected using a mix of communication solutions to also evaluate the impact of the communication media: WLAN of the RWTH Aachen, Fiber Optics provided by RWTH Aachen and 5G private network provided by Ericsson are among the available options. A completely new Control Center will be established within the premises of the RWTH Campus Melaten in order to provide a single Man Machine Interface for the whole SOGNO solution. As a first step to building the control centre, a complete implementation of the monitoring functions will be deployed. Combining the simplified data acquisition, State Estimation and Power Quality services, indices will be calculated and archived in the SOGNO database. Within the monitoring solution, a set of low cost Phasor Measurement Units will also be integrated in the infrastructure.
Interview with Prof. Monti, RWTH Aachen University
Prof. Monti is the director of the Institute for Automation of Complex Power System within the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University. He is author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed papers published in international Journals and in the proceedings of International conferences. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and Associate Editor of the IEEE System Journal and of IEEE Electrification Magazine.
Question 1: What is the special focus of the SOGNO demonstration site (especially compared to the other sites)?
The RWTH field trial, in combination with the real-time simulation laboratory implementation, offers unique possibilities for the prototyping, testing and validation of new control techniques, automation schemes, and management functions. The focus of the field trial site is to unlock the accurate monitoring of the grid through the deployment of new generation sensors and measurement units. This will give an insight on the operating conditions of the grid, which is the starting point to conceive additional functionalities for the smart management of the infrastructure. The collection of real-time data will allow the validation on the field of the advanced solutions designed by RTWH and Gridhound for the monitoring of the grid and the verification of the distribution grid models. Furthermore, thanks to the close collaboration with Ericsson, the field trial will give the opportunity to test and compare different communication solutions, providing the means to assess performance and benefits associated to mobile communication and in particular to 5G.
Question 2: What are the long-term benefits for your company you expect from being part in the SOGNO project?
The intention of RWTH is to keep the platform alive long after the end of the project. RWTH will use the solution for teaching purposes offering new opportunities for the students in classes to have live experiences in the area of grid monitoring and automation. At the same time, educational programs for DSOs will be developed within SOGNO to help the utilities in the transition to the Smart Grid era. The overall view is to use these solutions as a unique educational asset at every level from Bachelor to Phd and from students to professionals. RWTH is also committed to further expanding the solutions in future projects funded internally or externally with the goal to show the research leadership of the university in this research area and to offer unique learning opportunities to the students. The field test will be in the future also be used by Ericsson to show case the SOGNO solution and future evolution as concrete examples of applications of 5G for their potential customers. For this reason, the new Control Room in RWTH Aachen will be equipped with a special structure to support experimental activities, demonstration and educational activities. The operator can decide at any time to connect the SOGNO infrastructure of Virtual Machines to the real field test in Aachen or to its equivalent real time model running in the laboratory. Thanks to this solution, particularly in a training exercise, it would be possible to perform operations (e.g. faults) that are not possible with the physical infrastructure. The perception in the control room will be exactly the same as it would be in a real case delivering a unique training facility for future power engineers.
Prof. Monti, RWTH Aachen University