Madrid, Spain [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Spanish utility group Endesa is leading a programme to develop a telecommunications network with the same coverage as the distribution network and which permits information to be used in real time.
The company believes this real time information will optimise supply and demand management, minimise losses, improve asset management and streamline the operation of the network in general, offering the customer increased security of supply and the possibility of actively managing demand.
A low-cost infrastructure is being developed which uses the existing electric cable for transmission – so-called Powerline technology – with telecommunications technology typically used in wireless sensor networks, which are cable free and extremely energy efficient.
Endesa is heading and coordinating the INTEGRIS, INTelligent Electrical GRId Sensor communications project to design and develop the telecommunications infrastructure.
The 30-month project will analyse distributed energy system technologies, which distribute the process capacity of applications among all the network’s equipment, minimising the information sent to central systems. It will also study the viability of using cognitive systems, which permit the construction of systems capable of learning from their environments, thereby achieving increased independence, reliability and autonomy of operation. This should have a direct impact on energy efficiency and enhance the overall quality of electricity supply, providing a simple, low-cost communications system, Endesa says.
More than 60% of the roughly €5 million budget will be provided by the European Commission as part of the 7th Framework Programme.
The project will be carried out by an interdisciplinary consortium composed of electricity and telecoms sector companies and two universities, and includes Indra, Diseño de Sistemas en Silicio, Fundació Universitat i Tecnologia (Funitec/La Salle), Schneider Electric, Current Technologies International, ILight, A2A Reti Elettriche and Tampere University of Technology.