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European consortium with Portuguese participation selected by EU to present at international event

16th May 2018

SENSIBLE is developing solutions in key EU research and innovation priority areas: energy storage, enabling the electrical energy saving and a more efficient and reliable management of the power grid.

There are four Portuguese institutions that are part of this consortium: EDP Labelec, EDP Distribuição, the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC) and Siemens Portugal. 

The technologies are being tested in Portugal, in particular in Valverde village in Évora. There are also other demonstration areas in Nottingham (United Kingdom) and Nuremberg (Germany).

But after all, what was the project's big innovation that resulted in it being selected by the European Commission to attend this international event? "The integration of distributed energy storage solutions is essential to allow an easily integration of electricity production from renewable sources. For example, the energy storage in batteries allows us to use the energy from renewable sources during peak hours or to supply power to our houses when there are problems in the power grid, "explains Clara Gouveia, senior researcher of INESC TECs Centre for Power and Energy Systems.

The project is exploring the benefits of using energy storage technologies such as batteries in our homes, communities and even in power grids to create a more sustainable and reliable energy supply, as well as reducing power losses in the grid.

In the case of Portugal, the project is focused on showing the benefits of incorporating battery systems into the distribution grid and the residential self-consumption solutions, and how flexibility can benefit both the grid operator and the consumer through new business models and market mechanisms.

The self-consumption solution that incorporates solar panels, battery system and storage water heaters was installed in Valverde in August 2017. In nine months, savings in energy have reached 20% in both households and commercial establishments.

When it comes to the distribution grid, there will be a more efficient management of the grid as well as increased capabilities in the event of abnormal situations. Overhead power lines with a further geographical division are typical in the rural areas, which means that these grids are often more exposed to adverse atmospheric phenomena that cause service disruption. Under normal operation, storage systems are controlled in order to improve operation efficiency in particular during peak times and in emergency conditions so that they can provide electricity to a small community for at least a few hours. 

"On the other hand, we will start to see more active consumers with the ability to manage their consumption and consequently being able to save more money, more participative and with more information", explains the INESC TEC researcher.

These systems, based on lithium-ion batteries, are supported by the algorithms developed under the project and are intended to be another option to be included into the portfolio of the distribution grid operator when ready.

“In Évora, the SENSIBLE project has developed applications to manage energy that, simultaneously, optimize self-consumption and allows that new energy services are available to clients, optimizing the operation of the electrical system as a whole”, explains Ricardo Mendes André, project manager at EDP.

Following this recognition, , SENSIBLE may be able, like other projects participating in the Cleantech Capital Day event, to be part of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions portfolio[1] , which will be presented to Heads of State and Government at COP24, in Katowice, Poland, later this year.


For more information:

Joana Coelho

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