The project I-SOLE: Smart grids for the minor islands aims to develop innovative, low-cost and easy-to-install technical solutions for the monitoring and control of electricity generation and distribution, which can enable greater exploitation of renewable energy sources (RES) and storage systems, ensuring the security of the electricity system and, at the same time, a higher elasticity of the management of electricity production and demand. In particular, the project is aimed at the realities of non-interconnected grids, with specific reference to the distribution grids of the Minor Islands, for which the issue of sustainability and exploitation of RES is of great interest and topicality (see Decree of the Ministry of Economic Development of February 14, 2017, "Provisions for the progressive coverage of the needs of the minor non-interconnected islands from the renewable energy sources"). In fact, it represents a great opportunity in both economic and environmental terms (reduction of energy cost, fuel consumption and emissions from current diesel generation plants), but it poses several technical problems due to the greater impact, compared to the case of interconnected systems, of distributed generation on grid stability and security (voltage and frequency variations, undesirable island operation, reversal of power flows, etc.).
In response to the above issues, the I-SOLE project aims to develop and field-test smart generation and distribution systems. In more detail, the project activities concern:
- the design and implementation of innovative generation, conversion and storage systems, with the aim of proposing different solutions, which allow making the best use of the specific characteristics of the different island realities, both in terms of generation from RES (in particular photovoltaic and hydroelectric) and storage systems, and from a logistical and authorization point of view, taking advantage of decentralized or centralized architectures, in relation to the specificities of the networks;
- the design and implementation of the innovative intelligent electronic devices, new measurement algorithms and communication systems for monitoring, protection and remote management of distributed generation and storage systems, in order to be able to improve their safety and fully exploit their potential in terms of cooperation to the stability and regulation of grid voltage and frequency;
- the design and implementation of distributed metering systems, including those integrated with second-generation smart metering systems, for monitoring power flows on the medium-voltage grid;
- the implementation of three pilot smart generation and distribution systems at the Islands of Ustica, Favignana and Lipari, based on the use of the different solutions developed in the project.
The expected results for the project have considerable industrial validity, as they will enable the companies involved to make innovative products of high commercial interest, developing and testing the proposed prototype solutions in both laboratory and field environments. The technical solutions developed may also be the subject of patents and their certification may be applied for. In addition, the project will enable the Distributors in the project partner Islands to have demonstrators of smart generation and distribution systems that can provide a basis for development to accommodate and optimally manage new generation plants from RES and storage systems, enabling the implementation of a new, cheaper and more sustainable management of energy generation, distribution and use in island realities. The results of the project will thus make a practical and positive contribution to the goals of the Regional Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization in the area of distributed energy and related enabling technologies.
Goal: Reduce fossil fuel use by 55 percent by 2030 → European Green Deal
To do this, production from renewable sources must be increased
But the randomness of such sources and electrical loads can cause imbalances between production and consumption resulting in:
- instability of power grids
- impact on service quality
- security issues
SOLUTION: SMART GRID
- Real-time monitoring and control of energy flows;
- Integration of storage systems;
- Intelligent interaction with users;
- Load and generation forecasting.
L’obiettivo generale del progetto è quello di sviluppare dispositivi e soluzioni tecniche innovative per le Smart Grid, a basso costo e di semplice installazione, che consentano l’accumulo di energia, il monitoraggio, l’energy management, il controllo della GD, dei sistemi di accumulo e della distribuzione dell’energia elettrica, in modo da consentire un maggiore sfruttamento delle FER, garantendo la sicurezza del sistema elettrico e, al contempo, una più elevata elasticità della gestione della produzione, dell’accumulo e della richiesta di energia elettrica.
Therefore, the project plans to achieve the specific objectives listed below:
- techno-economic evaluation of different solutions of both centralized and/or distributed generation and storage for Smart Grids in the case of isolated grids, allowing to determine the optimal distribution of GD, the optimal size and location of Storage Systems, in order to ensure the maximum utilization of RES while maintaining operational stability;
- design and implementation of innovative generation, conversion and storage systems, based on innovative bidirectional power converters and high-efficiency accumulators, that make it possible to make the most of the specific characteristics of the different island realities, both in terms of generation from RES (photovoltaic, hydroelectric) and Storage Systems, and from the logistical and authorization point of view, taking advantage of decentralized and centralized architectures, in relation to the peculiarities of the networks;
- progettazione e realizzazione di dispositivi elettronici intelligenti innovativi, algoritmi di misura e sistemi di comunicazione avanzati per il monitoraggio, la protezione e la telegestione della generazione distribuita e dei sistemi di accumulo, al fine di poterne migliorare la sicurezza e di sfruttarne appieno le potenzialità in termini di cooperazione alla stabilità ed alla regolazione di tensione e frequenza della rete;
- la progettazione e realizzazione di sistemi di misura e controllo per Smart Generation and Distribution Systems, basati su un’architettura distribuita e integrabili con sistemi di smart metering, per il monitoraggio dei flussi di potenza nella rete di media tensione, l’energy management e la gestione remota della generazione e dell’accumulo;
- implementation of three Smart Grid demonstrators, in the small islands of Ustica, Favignana and Lipari, aimed at field-testing of the different systems and devices developed in the project and enabling real-time monitoring of power flows and implementation of load and storage management strategies in order to be able to minimize the power produced by diesel generators.
Experimental development activities
- No. 3 demonstrators of innovative Smart Grid solutions (UNIPA-INM-STM)for distributed generation from RES, energy storage and distribution in an isolated system, on the islands of Favignana (SEA), Lipari (SOPES), Ustica (SOPES and D'Anna & Bonaccorsi, participating as a stake-holder), where the following innovative Smart Grid systems and devices will be tested:
- Smart Generation and Distribution Systems for monitoring, distribution network management and remote control of distributed generation plants and Storage Systems.
- interface device for distributed generation, complying with IEC 0-21;
- Innovative power line communication system on the medium voltage network;
- Arc protection device on the DC line for photovoltaic systems.
- No. 4 photovoltaic systems with bidirectional electronic power converter and distributed single-phase storage of small power (less than 6.6 kW) (LAYER - INM - ITAE - UNIPA) in 4 secondary substations of the distributor (SEA), on the island of Favignana;
- No. 3 bidirectional power converters and three-phase distributed storage system of medium size (from 6.6 to 33 kW) (LAYER- INM - ITAE - UNIPA) for distributor elevation secondary substations (SEA) on the island of Favignana;
- No. 1 power generation plant (hydroelectric), less than 20 kW, that takes advantage of the height difference created by the desalination plant in the island of Ustica and a prototype in Lipari (MANGANO - SOPES)
- No. 1 photovoltaic system and No. 1 large power concentrated storage system (greater than 33 kW) on the island of Ustica (MANGANO - SOPES - LAYER- INM - ITAE - UNIPA).
D.2.1: Prototypes of bidirectional inverters of different sizes with type tests at Accredited Laboratory;
D.2.2: Prototypes of storage systems of different types;
D.3.1: Prototype of interface device (EVLKSTCOMET10-1);
D.3.2: Prototype of communication bridge (EVLKSTCOMET10-1);
D.3.3: Prototype of coupling system for PLC signals on MV network;
D.3.4: Prototype of DC arc protection device for photovoltaic systems;
D.4.1: SCADA software for the three networks on which to test state estimation algorithms and network management and control techniques for smart grid implementation according to the smart generation and distribution system paradigm;
D.5.2: No. 3 innovative smart grids demonstrators for energy generation, storage and distribution in the three islands;
D.5.3: No. 4 photovoltaic systems with bidirectional power electronic converter and distributed single-phase storage of small power (less than 6.6 kW) in 4 secondary cabin, on the island of Favignana
D.5.4: No. 3 bidirectional electronic power converters and three-phase distributed storage system of medium size (6.6 to 33 kW) on the island of Favignana;
D.5.5: No. 1 hydroelectric plant (less than 20 kW) exploiting the height difference created by the desalination plant on the island of Ustica and a prototype in Lipari;
D.5.6: N°1 photovoltaic system and N°1 large power storage system (greater than 33 kW) on the island of Ustica