Supporting development and deployment of alternative power distribution infrastructures
Incumbent electricity grid infrastructures, designed when large thermal power generation, distributed by alternating current, was the norm, effectively now acts as barriers to take-up of renewables, that typically suit distribution via direct current. As well as enabling more efficient distribution of power from renewables such as solar photovoltaics, direct current (DC) grids could require lower infrastructure equipment costs, savings that might be passed on to consumers, and support more capacity for electric vehicle charging. Such grid infrastructure would require investment, helped through greater confidence among investors, industry, and consumers.
However, confidence could be undermined by a lack of suitable methods to quantify the benefits of trial DC grids. For example, measurements of DC grid power quality (PQ), if available, would help optimise grid technologies. Standards bodies have prioritised the development of definitions of power quality, guidance, and other revisions to standards for DC-power systems, but the necessary underlying metrology does not yet exist.
The project will develop instrumentation, algorithms, definitions and methodologies to support standardisation. This project will build on the previous EMPIR project MyRailS, that started to improve energy efficiency of railway networks by refining energy and power measurement systems. DC grids will generate instrumentation, algorithms, definitions and methodologies to support standardisation of the metrological infrastructure. Equipment to measure disturbances in DC grids will be developed, and data analysed to define parameters for grid monitoring and electricity meter testing.
New forms of data, methods, guidelines and recommendations, will contribute to revisions to European and international standards, and help grid operators to conduct power quality planning surveys and suppliers to ensure reliable DC metering.
Standards will contribute to the deployment and development of DC grid trials and technologies, support investment in technologies that could enable less carbon-intensive electrical grids, and advance the research agenda of the European Metrology Network on Smart Electricity Grids.