Technological success with digital electrical network

6th October 2016
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Technological success with digital electrical network

An electricity distribution network has become a completely digital network in terms of telecommunications, in Toulouse for the first time, with the injection of a 3rd-generation power-line carrier (G3-PLC) on the low- and medium- voltage networks. The telecom signal, tested on a circuit totalling 35km, is capable of travelling more than  10km with the most demanding emission levels and the greatest level of sturdiness.

The signal is propagated alone, without any relays, over a distance of 5km, which indicates that the number of devices can be optimized to cover a large part of the region. 

Information is transferred in less than one second, with a very low loss rate of under 1%. So the telecommunication tunnel thus constituted is open and secure at all times.

Experimentation in Toulouse has enabled modelling of low-voltage supervision and state estimation of the grid, extending all the way to the end consumer.

The injection of electricity flows generated by producers or responsible consumers into the grid will be managed efficiently by means of this supervision in real time which will guarantee a maximal level of quality. Thus the project meets the requirements of energy transition.

In the framework of the project, no fewer than 5 patents have been registered: 2 for Enedis (synchronisation of devices via the frequency of 50Hz; handover function installed in the telecom IS) and 3 for Nexans (low-voltage continuous supply for electronic communication devices; a process of mounting custom-made devices and/or communication devices on a main power cable; using existing power transformers as coupling systems for PLC MV communication).

SOGRID has also given rise to more than 20 scientific publications, at the instigation of academic partners Ecole Polytechnique and Grenoble INP.

SOGRID: a major project for building the grid of the future

SOGRID aims to create an innovative chain of digital communicationon the electricity distribution network, by making the electric grid entirely manageable in real time. With the connected devices developed by SOGRID, which are capable of interacting with each other by means of PLC (power-line carrier) technology, the network reinforces its reliability, its performance and the quality of its service.

The sensors that are installed are able to detect any power failure that may occur at consumers' homes and remedy the situation instantly. Besides being an energy transition tool, the system is also designed to integrate new consumer habits such as the production of renewable energy and the growing use of electric vehicles.

Experimentation in Toulouse will enable the future smart grid to be built in France by 2030. On the international level, the new materials developed by the industrial partners will be able to move into a market estimated at over €1.7bn.   

Regional Director of Enedis Midi-Pyrénées Sud, Jean Paoletti said: "We have honoured our commitments, SOGRID is a collective success achieved together with all our partners. The project is an outstanding demonstration of French expertise in the smart grid industry. We have surpassed what we envisioned in 2013."

Furthermore, in late 2016, Enedis will be finalising the development of a SOGRID serious game, an original tool for presenting the device to elected representatives and economic stakeholders. 

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