Low Voltage (LV) and Medium Voltage (MV) networks do not traditionally have good levels of observability. Electricity production and consumption are changing. As Distributed Energy Resources (DER), mainly based on renewables (such as solar, wind and biogas) connect at LV and MV and as the implementation of communication technologies at customer sites enable demand response, the electricity distribution systems require new rules of operation and a different architecture to ensure the high power quality.
Distribution System Operators (DSOs) therefore need to change the ways distribution networks are operated and maintained in order to maintain a high quality of service for their customers in a changing environment with a reliable, high quality power supply at a reasonable cost.
In order to maintain and operate a reliable and cost effective electricity distribution system, DSOs need an improved understanding of the expected power flows and usage patterns of their networks. It is therefore evident that the role of the DSOs in the liberalised market will change as energy distribution on the LV and MV level becomes a more complex service with more dynamically changing constraints.
While the technical solutions are principally available to increase the intelligence of MV/LV grids, the complex task that DSOs have to solve is to determine the most appropriate level of intelligence and how this can be economically viable, ensuring higher standards of security and distribution network reliability.
Mission of DISCERN
The main objective of DISCERN is the enhancement of European distribution grids with technical and organizational solutions for the optimal level of smart grid intelligence.
DISCERN provides DSOs with a better understanding of best-practice system solutions for LV and MV network monitoring and control. Based on the recommendation from DISCERN, DSOs are enabled to implement solutions that have been tested and validated in various countries and circumstances.
DISCERN provides insights into the optimal level (amount) of LV network observability and MV network observability on the LV/MV network.
The project aims at giving DSOs the tools to answer complex questions like:
- How much intelligence do I need in my distribution network to ensure a cost effective and reliable operation of the network?
- What is the most cost-effective solution to implement this intelligence in the network?
- How should the ICT-infrastructure be designed to serve the requirements of a DSO?
Specific objectives of DISCERN
- Establish a family of projects focused on the MV/LV network and develop an assessment framework based on certain functionalities. KPIs that allows the comparison of technical solutions for monitoring and controlling the distribution network.
- Identify, assess and compare the technological options for monitoring and control systems in the distribution network.
- Develop recommendations for the cost-effective application of advanced distributed sensors, monitoring and control systems to increase the intelligence of electricity distribution networks based on KPIs.
- Test and validate optimal technological solutions by means of real-time simulations and small scale field tests.
- Facilitate the knowledge exchange with innovative European projects testing various smart grid functionalities in the area of distribution network operation, monitoring and control.
- Map relevant standards and contribute to standardization activities.
Tangible results of DISCERN
DISCERN will achieve a number of tangible results which will have significant impact especially on the distribution network operations of DSOs in Europe:
- Concepts for the determination of optimal levels of intelligence in the distribution network to maintain the security of supply and to ensure the integration of DER (Distributed Energy Resources) leading to a more rational network management.
- Recommendations based on KPIs on cost-effective best-practise solutions to achieve optimal levels of intelligence in the distribution network.
- Multiple scalable and replicable solutions for the application of advanced distributed sensors, monitoring and control systems to increase the intelligence of electricity distribution networks.
This article is linked to the following knowledge articles:
For more details, please see: www.discern.eu