News articles 08.02.2021

Time to exploit the possibilities of AMM: CINELDI provides a unique platform for smart grid innovations

As the name indicates, CINELDI, the Center for Intelligent Energy Distribution, has a mission to promote the development of more intelligent energy distribution systems. For that purpose, CINELDI connects academia, distribution system operators and technology providers to work together on different fields of smart grid. Operating in Trondheim, Norway, the eight-year programme has now reached its half-way milestone.

A key enabler in CINELDI’s work are the versatile and advanced facilities consisting of both physical and digitally simulated environments built together into a Smart Grid lab. The facilities are available for research purposes as well as for testing and piloting innovations before their field deployment. In the lab, it’s possible to connect simulation with physical power system assets.

New AMM test system as part of Smart Grid lab

One of the latest additions is an AMM lab environment in the Smart Grid lab. The physical meter infrastructure provided by Aidon can be combined with real-time simulation and grid emulation, giving vast possibilities to develop and test new functionality around AMM.

– AMM is now installed all over Norway, and there are numerous possibilities to using and exploiting it in the planning and operation of distribution grids. We see a need for efficient systems and processes that allow for the grid companies to exploit this possibility. With the AMM lab we want to aid this by providing a stepping stone to a rapid testing of ideas in realistic grid system and IT system environments, says Henning Taxt, research manager at SINTEF Energi.

– We now have the basis consisting of house-hold meters and meters on substations, and we can expand it with more meters and more set-ups when needed. We look for possibilities to integrate AMM with a Distribution Management System MS and Scada to get real time information and updates from the grid.

The AMM test system provides possibilities for different use case scenarios such as earth fault and voltage quality measurements as well as outage handling. Cases related to consumer engagement, for example monitoring of feed-in from solar panels, or testing flexibility services enabled by HAN are examples of possible test scenarios. There is even a smart apartment with different home automation functionalities connected to the Smart Grid lab. Furthermore, solar panels on the roof and a battery test lab are part of the set-up.

– Until now, many DSOs have been very busy with getting the basic energy metering functionality, such as metering data and processes set. Now it’s a good time to make benefit of the added value of AMM. We want to invite technology providers and grid companies to utilise our facilities for tests and pilots in our lab environment, Henning says.

Testing and verifying innovations in pilots

Pilots are key in bringing innovations to field use. They are the means to testing and verifying new products, services, functionality and interoperability, as well as research results and hypotheses, in real-life situations.

Maren Istad, pilot coordinator in CINELDI

– Working on a pilot in the field or in the lab can deliver many types of benefits. Depending on the topic, the outcome may be a cost-benefit analysis or experiencing scalability of a certain technology or solution. Pilots may help identify barriers in the solution or process and work on these, and also generate new ideas – for example business ideas for new services, explains Maren Istad who works as pilot coordinator in CINELDI.

There are already 30 ongoing pilots in CINELDI, majority initiated by DSOs and running in their system environments. Pilots are divided in five themes: Future digital substations, Application of AMR / grid data, Microgrids, Fault handling and self-healing and Flexibility applied on ancillary services.

There’s a lot of pilot activities ongoing but Maren welcomes new pilots to join, especially to the lab environment. During the remaining four years of CINELDI she looks forward to harvesting the results: pilot projects contributing to system innovations and ensuring standardised and cost-effective solutions for the future distribution grid.


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If you want to know more about the pilot and testing possibilities, please get in touch with Aidon’s CINELDI project contact person Rolf Pedersen,