Globally the energy transition is addressed through policy frameworks that target energy-related CO2 emissions reductions and power grid digitalization and automation, achieving a more efficient use of our resources. That is, as long as that electrification is based on clean, renewable energies. Renewable energies both help us to solve a planetary problem and introduce new problems of their own. It is very difficult to predict the production and consumption needs with the precision required to not put the balance of the underlying electricity grid infrastructure at risk.
These days, we can observe a substantial increase in load rates in locations with a high number of photovoltaic or heat pump installations. Combined with ageing grid assets, this increase in power consumption drives a large need for infrastructure modernization and process digitalization to manage the impacts on the grids efficiently and ensure the resilience of power supply.
Most electricity distribution grid operators around the world have low visibility of the performance of their low voltage grid. DTEK Grids – an operating holding that develops electricity distribution business in Ukraine, serving 5.6 million connections, in cooperation with depsys – the leading provider of grid insights based on reliable real-time grid data capture, is proactively addressing this lack of visibility, paving the way for how grid operators should successfully modernize.
DTEK Grids attracts new technologies to Ukraine and creates an innovative ecosystem implementing innovative projects with its European partners. DTEK Grids is the first energy company in Ukraine to systematically implement automation and digitalization technologies and develop Smart Grid infrastructure – increasing resilience and sustainability of services provided to our customers.
One of such projects has been realized in DTEK Kyiv Grids, where voltage fluctuations beyond the normative limits were identified thanks to the depsys GridEye system, with dips down to 170 V (with a minimum value of 198 V allowed in Ukraine). The company carried out needed steps to reconnect customers in order to balance the load. As a result of this pilot project, for customers with voltage dips, the average value increased by 20 V.
Monitoring of the LV networks and MV/LV transformers is a key tool for ensuring good quality electricity supply. The GridEye system, developed by depsys, constantly monitors grid parameters, and enables to track as well as analyze the causes of problems that affect quality, as well as take necessary measures to eliminate them.
Ivan Geliukh, CEO at DTEK Grids comments: “We continue to study the economic feasibility of this technology. We at DTEK Grids systematically study the application of various digital solutions that provide clear benefits to our customers: improve power supply quality and resilience of our infrastructure in a cost efficient manner.”
Digitalization of the parameters and of the technical condition of MV/LV transformers allow to determine the level of their overload, and thus to prevent unscheduled failure. In 2020 alone, 276 emergency power outages occurred in DTEK Kyiv Grids, representing 20% of Customer Minutes Lost. The GridEye system identified one of the overloaded transformers causing these failures, with the peak load clearly tracked during winter period. Knowing the level and nature of transformer overloads, grid operators can perform quality planning and asset management, and thus reduce the Customer Minutes Lost as well as their Opex spend.
GridEye provides reliable, real-time information about the status of the electricity distribution grid by monitoring key performance metrics such as voltage, current and harmonics. The interpretation and visualization of this information in the GridEye web-based platform enables DTEK Grids to monitor grid stability in real time. It also identifies specific locations of concern which may need intervention.
In addition to monitoring, the GridEye solution can also send commands to control other electrical equipment on the grid, such as solar panel, charging stations or batteries. This directly contributes to managing local flexibility, thereby maximizing the use of renewable energies.
Michael De Vivo, CEO at depsys said: “Depsys is thrilled to continue to support DTEK Grids in its modernization and digitalization journey. We are impressed by the vision and drive at DTEK Grids, clearly setting the standard for adoption of innovation.”
By digitalizing the grid using depsys’ GridEye solution, DTEK Grids is building the data history needed to make smart decisions today and tomorrow. And this, regardless of the amount of change brought by the introduction of renewable energy sources and consumption needs, such as solar panels, electric vehicles and storage batteries.
Founded in 2012, based in Puidoux, near Lausanne, depsys works with electricity distribution system operators (DSO) in various ways. In particular, it enables them to better understand and control their networks by providing them with valuable data, via its intelligent technological platform GridEye, designed and developed in Switzerland. In addition to optimising current networks, depsys helps distributors to adapt and move more easily towards the energy transition, and to build a sustainable future more quickly.
As a recognised leader of innovation in an energy market undergoing a sustainable transition, depsys has won numerous technological and economic distinctions, and has been awarded contracts with more than 40 network operators around the world. It counts major players among its stakeholders, like BNP Paribas, SET Ventures and Statkraft Ventures, a financially focused early-stage investor backed by Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy.