DT4Flex II: Making progress in the development of a Digital Twin of the low-voltage grid

Rosa Fernández, Marketing Manager at Cuerva
Press Release April 17, 2024

The companies Cuerva, Ingelectus, and Bamboo together with Cluster continue working in 2022 in the second phase of a joint project for developing a digital twin of the distribution grid with the aim to manage flexibility services to solve technical problems in the grid.

In August 2022, the companies Cuerva, Ingelectus, Bamboo Evergy and Smart City Cluster begun the second phase of the project DT4Flexfor the development of a digital twin of the distribution grid that allows to manage flexibility services for technical problem resolution in the grid, supported by the Industry, Tourism and Commerce Spanish Ministry within the framework of the Extraordinary Call for Innovative Business Groupings Grants 2022 (AEI), within the framework of the Recuperation, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

A project that reflects the goals of Smart City Cluster, including promoting the public-private cooperation to increase the competition between its members as leaders of intelligent city industries. In a similar manner, Smart City Cluster executes other 16 initiatives and 4 intercluster projects within the framework of Innovative Corporate Groups for €4,2 million. The cluster’s commitment to I+D+i solutions of associates is one of the key lines that promote company cooperation and DT4Flex is an example of it.

The main goal of the project “DT4Flex – Gemelo Digital de Baja Tensión para servicios de flexibilidad” is the development of a tool that is able to predict short-time events that will take place in the low-voltage grid and is able to evaluate the availability of flexibility services to solve the problems derived from those events, thus maximizing the safe penetration of new agents.

During the first phase of the project, due to the growing importance of the capacity to operate the low-voltage grid and with the aim to ensure its resilience and the continuity of service for the population while maximizing the integration of new connections, Ingelectus has worked in the development of an innovative solution that gives tools to the Distribution System Operator (DSO) that allow it to technically operate distribution grids. Then, and with the intention that the DSO has a similar role to that of the TSO in the transportation network, a tool has been researched and developed that allows the distributor to locate its needs and quantify the optimal flexibility service that solves them. 

This tool has been validated in the restricted area of the Living Lab of Cuerva, settled in real infrastructure and population with high resolution data which can be accessed in close to real time. This testing environment includes Advanced Supervisors of high- and low-voltage and includes a full deployment of Smart Metering and monitoring the distributed solar generation, apart from agents that can provide energetic flexibility, such as batteries or electric vehicles recharging points.

The tests made during the first phase have centred in the reduction of surges, trench saturation events and the maximization of photovoltaic penetration in the grid described in the previous paragraph. The obtained results have been very satisfactory, being able not only to demonstrate the possibility to avoid incidences through the minimization of the flexible contributions in the grid, but also helping to characterise the need for future flexible availability in the grid and protocoling the connection of photovoltaic installations in critical grids, such as the low-voltage ones.

To continue with the execution of the project, a second phase has been planned to follow up with more ambitious goals. These goals will centre in amplifying the tests to a bigger scale within the Living Lab in Cuerva, thus increasing the diversity of incidences, the grid typology and the Flexibility Services Providers.

Additionally, together with Bamboo Energy, the position On-Demand Aggregator who is able to evaluate the solution in realer scenarios in future local flexibility markets will be added.

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About the author

Rosa Fernández, Marketing Manager at Cuerva
Rosa joined Cuerva in August 2021 to lead and develop the brand-new Marketing department. She holds a Master's degree in International Marketing Management from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan and a degree in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Granada. With this multi-skilled approach, she is responsible for the strategy and development of marketing, branding, and communication actions for all Cuerva's business areas. Before joining the energy company, she has great experience in large, fast-pased multinational companies. She worked as Branding and Marketing Executive for Shell Italia in Milan and for the UK standards body, British Standards Institution, as Marketing Coordinator, for the Spanish and Italian markets, developing a wide range of global campaigns. E-mail: marketing@cuervaenergia.com
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