The electrical power grid is critical infrastructure in any modern society, and the utilities which own and operate this infrastructure are currently facing unprecedented change. Decentralized energy production, intermittent renewable energy production and a general electrification represent a paradigm-shift for how electric utilities operate and plan their grids. Today, most power grids are operated based on static safety limits and experience-based models and forecasts, with relatively few sources of real-time data. Sensegrid is a project whose goal is to research and develop a technology platform for sensing, monitoring and analyzing real-time grid data, providing insight and decision support for transmission and distribution system operators. The project is centered around the development of an overhead line sensor which can be installed on power lines, measuring its condition. The data produced by these sensors provide a unique opportunity to develop new tools which have previously not been possible to realize. One of these is Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) of lines, which allows the system operator to maximize the capacity of their grid, without compromising safety, when environmental conditions allow it. The project will also examine new solutions for fault detection, ice monitoring and prediction and grid planning. By researching and developing these solutions, existing infrastructure be utilized more efficiently, failures can be avoided and detected immediately and localized with higher accuracy, maintenance can be planned better, and grid investments can be postponed or avoided. The main research challenge is related to building accurate and reliable data models which can be used in grid operation based on real-time data. Given the importance of the grid as critical infrastructure, the tools and models developed need to have tight statistical tolerance limits, with a high level of confidence, if they are to be used for dynamic grid operations.
Project leader: Knut Sandven
Institution: HEIMDALL POWER AS