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INESC TEC develops new control features for the transformer substation of the future

INESC TEC concluded a project that focused on the development of new control features for the transformer substation of the future, considering construction, environmental and electrical aspects. The work was carried out within the scope of the project NEXTSTEP – NEXT distribution SubsTation improvEd Platform.

22nd December 2021

As results, the project presented an environmentally friendly transformer, with higher efficiency and lower noise level, the development of a more efficient layout adapted to the integration of new equipment, the definition of eco-friendly solutions – towards a better behaviour and landscape integration -, as well as the integration of innovative equipment for voltage regulation and integration of measurement and monitoring equipment based on more compact wireless sensors.

More specifically, INESC TEC – through the Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES) – contributed to the specification of the functional architecture of the monitoring and control system at the Transformer Substation, and to the development of the intelligence layer, with algorithms to support the operation of low-voltage network and to monitor/control the switching and transforming station. “The greater monitoring and control capacity will allow the implementation of innovative features in the low-voltage network, such as self-healing, i.e., the automatic mapping of the low-voltage network and automatic voltage control”, said Clara Gouveia, researcher in charge of the project.

It’s important to highlight that the main users of this technology will DSOs. At the individual level, energy monitoring and storage solutions may also have practical application in other energy sectors, such as industry and energy communities.

The NEXTSTEP project ended in November 2021, with a closing event that took place in Figueira da Foz, where the substation is installed, integrating a larger part of the solutions developed in the project.

Besides INESC TEC, the NEXTSTEP consortium includes Efacec Energia (leading entity), ENEIDA.IO, Institute of Systems and Robotics-University of Coimbra and ITeCons. EDP Distribuição is also a strategic partner and promoter of the project.

Supported by COMPETE 2020 within the scope of the R&DT Incentive System – in terms of co-promotion -, the NEXTSTEP project involved an eligible budget of approximately €2.7M and ERDF support around €1.6M.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.