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IdEAS Project: more efficient and safer ‘smart grids’

IdEAS is a project focused on the development of more efficient and safer intelligent electrical substations.

Smart power substation with some people working

Sometimes, innovation and the development of new technologies can end up making the systems that they intend to improve, less operational. How come? When there is a disparity between the elements they are made up of. This, in terms of the development of smart power stations, is what the IdEAS (Substation Automation System Interoperability) Project seeks to avoid.

The ultimate aim of smart power stations is interoperability: the exchange of information between the plant’s systems or with the exterior. The aim is to improve the efficiency and safety of the facilities.

This interoperability also depends on how the technology is developed. The parts that form the puzzle of new smart power substations should be exchangeable among one another, in order to prevent manufacturers from designing systems that are incompatible. The aim of the IdEAS Project is to reduce this technological disparity, together with its sibling project, the 3SCS. Both projects are designed to provide maximum operational efficiency, based on the guidelines of standard IEC61850 (Communication networks and systems for power utility automation).

“We want to facilitate maintenance tasks by homogenising technological solutions in order to gain operational efficiency in smart power substations.”

Carmen Ranea Resalt (Endesa Distribution)

At Endesa Distribution, we have been working on this project together with companies such as Schneider Electric, Schwitzer Engineering Laboratories, Siemens and Circe, with the aim of unifying criteria in the development of digital substations.

A comprehensive and interoperable substation and system design, thanks to the IdEAS project, will provide all the advantages required for smart grids. This will allow more ambitious goals to be defied in the future such as the exchangeability of information or extending the service life of the systems via efficient asset management techniques.

The IdEAS Project began in 2016 and since then the goals have been defined and the systems that need to be validated in the laboratory have been identified. In addition, training has begun based on the solutions of each of the partner manufacturers, with the aim of unifying them on a system that is compatible for all of them.

The IdEAS Project is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and it belongs to the National Programme for Research Aimed at the Challenges of Society of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

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