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INESC TEC participates in the European Utility Week 18 for the first time

INESC TEC participated for the first time, with its own stand, in the largest European event of the power system sector, the European Utility Week (EUW) 2018, which took place in Vienna (Austria) from 6 to 8 November. 

05th December 2018

Being placed in the Pavilion of Portugal (promoted by EnergyIN), the INESC TEC stand presented a set of technologies associated with TEC4ENERGY, the institution's initiative for facing the great challenges posed by the energy sector. The several INESC TEC's clusters of scientific expertise were also presented, the emphasis being put on the multidisciplinarity and the ability to generate science-based innovation, supported by the successful partnerships with the industry. The SGEV - Smart Grids and Electrical Vehicles Laboratory -, the laboratory infrastructure that supports not only INESC TEC's applied research but also the manufacturers of electrical components, was also presented.

Luís Seca, member of INESC TEC’s Board and one of the representatives of the institution in the event, stresses the "strategic focus on the internationalisation of INESC TEC's expertise, in the prospect of acquiring more partnerships and also to identify the medium-term challenges posed by the market which will support the research strategy of the institution". Every year, the EUW welcomes more than 13 thousand professionals related to the energy field, originating from more than 100 countries, with a representation of about 2 thousand utilities and 600 booths.

Also representing INESC TEC in this event were Ricardo Bessa, assistant coordinator of the Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES) who was also one of the speakers in the hub sessions organised by the EUW18, Filipe Ribeiro, assistant coordinator of the Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM) and Clara Gouveia and Luís Miguel Miranda, senior researchers from CPES.

The technologies presented at TEC4ENERGY

Seven technologies were present in INESC TEC's stand - a drone for inspecting electrical assets, a platform to induce behaviours in order to increase the energy efficiency and the corresponding sensor for measuring comfort levels in a building (e.g. temperature, CO2), a Home Energy Management System, a smart inverter for photovoltaic solar panels and energy storage, a long-range wireless communication solution for high seas, a smart power meter with wireless communications for real-time monitoring and an optical sensor for electrical current metering.

The drone present at the EUW18 was developed by the Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) for EDP Labelec and aims at inspecting and monitoring assets in the grid in an autonomous way. The disruptive nature of this solution is set on the scientific expertise of the institution, namely the autonomous robotics, which used the fusion of sensors, the integration of systems, navigation and control and perception in order to create a prototype of what may be a solution with a giant impact on the market.

The "gamification" platform and the measurement sensor of indicating variables of comfort are being developed by the Centre for Power and Energy Systems and by the Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG) under the European project FEEdBACk. This project gathers a consortium of eight international partners and is led by INESC TEC. This solution is about the energy efficiency areas, smart houses and buildings and behavioural prediction, its development being anchored in INESC TEC's scientific expertise in the human/machine interface design, sensors, behavioural sciences and data science fields.

The Home Energy Management System (HEMS) was initially developed under the European project AnyPLACE, also led by INESC TEC, and has been being optimised under the scope of another European project, InteGrid, with INESC TEC also being responsible for its technical coordination. This system, created by CPES' researchers, allows the optimised management of electrical consumption of homes, having in consideration the lowest cost and the greater use of existing renewable resources, always taking into account the users' preferences.

The smart inverter for photovoltaic solar panels and energy storage which was also presented, is a device that ensures the integration of solar panels and batteries in power grids but, unlike the other existing solutions in the market, is capable of reacting to the resource availability and to the conditions of the power grid in an autonomous way, becoming an important asset in the so-called SmartGrid. These inverters have been being tested under some European projects, most notably the European project SENSIBLE and which, after being thoroughly tested in a lab environment, are inserted in a real demonstrator at the Valverde parish, in Évora.

The wireless communication solution presented at the event was developed by CTM under the project MARECOM and aims at making broadband internet available for high seas, being shaped as an alternative to the satellite communications that are used nowadays. Among the main innovations of this technology, there is the bit-rate (higher than 10 mbps), well above the usual values of satellite communications, and the low latency of offshore communications.

Also developed by CTM was the smart power meter with wireless communication for real-time monitoring of power grids. These metering modules can be applied into advanced metering infrastructures, telemetry, monitoring and automation while the expertise on wireless networks associated to CTM being vital to their development.

The optical sensor for electrical current metering was developed by INESC TEC's Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP) under an international partnership, being applied into a Brazilian power grid operator. It is a low cost, compact and light sensor, for a non-intrusive current metering in power distribution systems.


INESC TEC's participation in the hub sessions

On 7 November, Ricardo Bessa did a presentation in the hub session regarding the theme of digitalisation and under the European project InteGrid entitled "Consumption Data as Driver for New Business Models".
Under the theme "Energy Analytics for Smart Grids and Flexibility Management", several aspects were discussed such as the real-time improvement of low voltage power grids through the data exploration from the power meters, modelling of the flexibility of waste water processes for answering emergency demands and prediction of the multi-temporal flexibility of household consumers.

The EUW represents, essentially, a platform for interacting with professionals from the power systems area, stimulating the emergence of new challenges and the creation of new partnerships, which will naturally bring new projects as well.


The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC.