The electricity distribution network is currently undergoing a process of transformation towards the so-called “smart grid”: the diffusion of distributed generation, the search for higher performances, and to increase in resilience are leading to reconsider numerous aspects of network management, increasing the complexity of, but also significantly reducing the environmental impact.
In the IoT-NGIN Project, we are creating an advanced SCADA for monitoring and managing the electricity grid, which can facilitate the work of operators and allow for optimal performance to be achieved.
In the Smart Energy Living Lab, located in Terni, in central Italy, a portion of the network has been equipped with around 150 real-time IoT devices. This makes it possible to know the network and consumer data and communicate them to the operations center.
One of the ambitious objectives of the project in the energy sector is to create a web-based control and management system for the electricity grid that integrates numerous services: real-time monitoring and visualization of electricity data, forecasting of consumption and generation of all users, and a system for optimizing power flows in the network.
Indeed, the smart grid requires an intelligent system that regulates power flows, exploiting flexible resources located in the area, such as storage systems or loads that can be deferred over time (for example, the washing machine, the dishwasher, the dryer) and within the project this was achieved through Reinforcement learning.
Moreover, to guarantee the platform’s security, some cybersecurity services have been integrated: all IoT devices are equipped with a device indexing service for tracing their functions and a device access control service used with Self Sovereign Identities, which protects the integrity and confidentiality of data.
The transition of the electricity distribution network is a complex process that must be based on a holistic approach of all the disciplines that interface with it; the demonstration of software technologies such as those carried out in IoT-NGIN allows us to take necessary steps forward in the creation of the smart grid.