EXPRESS #2 - December 13, 2018
Ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Energy sector workers are one step closer to that childhood ambition. The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced it is teaming up with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and the European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO) to identify ways to use their satellites to benefit the energy sector.
The ESA Business Applications programme exists to support the development of new services that make use of data from space assets to support a wide range of sectors and communities – in this case the European power system operators.
Ideas include: asset management; two‐way communication between smart meters and grid operators; prediction of consumption or generation peaks; developing Internet of Things services for smart homes and electric vehicles; and the use of virtual power plants.
Roberto Zangrandi, Secretary General of EDSO, says: “The future of grids is based on the development of technology and applications that allow integration of renewable generation into distribution grids and for active consumers to manage energy responsibly.”
Nick Appleyard, Head of ESA’s Business Applications Department, commented: “ESA wants to support the industry to refine these methods and broaden out from individual trials, making the resulting knowledge available to the entire European network of transmission system operators.”
As part of this cooperation, ESA has published an invitation to tender. The purpose is to investigate the technical feasibility and economic viability of space-based applications for smart grids, and of defining a roadmap for services implementation and demonstration.
The tender cites the following Key Focus Areas:
- Demand and response management, energy load and demand forecasting, automatic load balancing/self-healing of the electricity grid;
- Integration of electric vehicles into the electricity grid;
- Smart factories & smart buildings;
- Advanced metering infrastructure and smart meter enabled services, home automation, predictive maintenance; and
- Virtual power plants and commercial/industrial microgrids management.
Electricity grid maintenance:
- Conductivity and hot spot measurements;
- Vegetation and infrastructure monitoring;
- Impact of weather events on energy infrastructure and supply;
- Assessment of buildings’ electrical consumption; and
- Satellite communication as back-up for terrestrial communication systems.
Technology enablers & space technology:
- Data analytics & big data;
- Internet of (nano-) things; Artificial intelligence;
- Cybersecurity; and
- Satellite for 5G.
The ESA will look to the following organisations for feedback on the tender and inputs towards potential follow-on demonstration projects: ENTSO-E; EDSO; Enel Group; Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF); Friends of the Supergrid.
The ESA tender closes on 1st March 2019. So get your exercise bike out, practise sitting for weeks in a small box with your colleages, recite your 13-times-table, and go fill out that tender. Who knows…