Developing calibration methods for ‘substations of the future’ in digitised energy networks.
As the use of decentralised renewable energy grows, so too does the need for real-time control and monitoring of energy networks. Renewable sources are more variable and localised than traditional power generation and so, as conventional analogue instruments near their end-of-life, replacement by digital substation technology can support the development of ‘smart grids’ - fully digitised networks using distributed sensors and AI to respond to network requirements in real-time. The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity has highlighted “digitally-enabled substations of the future” as critical to meeting evolving needs. The EMPIR project FutureGrid II gained some early advancement in the field by developing basic calibration methods for digital substation technology. Although standards have been developed by FutureGrid II to support the transition to digital, namely IEC 61850 and IEC 61869, there remains a lack of calibration methods for digital substation instruments. Additionally, new facilities are required to assess instrument performance and solutions must be developed for the use of higher sampling rates and new timing protocols.
This project will develop reference systems for calibrating digital substation equipment, producing good practice guides for substation and commercial instrument calibration. It will create new hardware compatible with high data sampling rates and software for handling digital data streams, as well as new methods for data processing and uncertainty estimation. It will also develop traceable communication networks to transmit data and timing between commercial devices. The work of this project will accelerate demand and uptake for next-generation instrumentation, supporting development of smart grid technology. It will also contribute directly to IEC TC 38 ‘Instrument Transformers’, providing data and recommendations which will influence future standards and research.