AI Flexibility algorithm in LV /MV Substation Success Case

Barbara and Gridfy have joined forces to bring AI Flexibility algorithms to the Edge.‍‍ Gridfy has developed and implemented the AI flexibility algorithm located in one of Cuerva´s substations while Barbara has provided the Edge Platform that deploys and orchestrates Artificial Intelligence in the Edge.

Smart Grid
Written by:
Miren Zabaleta

Enhancing Grid Intelligence through Edge Computing

DSOs need to accommodate increasing numbers of distributed energy resources (DERs) on the distribution grid. The pressure is high in the Low Voltage Grid as it is much less digitized and it puts on hold the resilience of the grid. Besides, Medium and Low Voltage network, with thousands of electrical Transformation Centers widely distributed geographically have a need for real-time information that the Cloud cannot provide due to latency issues, cost and scalability.

SCADA technologies highly oriented towards automation and with proprietary data structures, are neither flexible nor accessible and do not cover the needs in an optimal way either. The solution is halfway between the Cloud and SCADAs: Edge Computing.

Deploying AI in the Edge

As a crucial step in its digitalization journey, Cuerva aims to develop advanced tools and #algorithms leveraging their data to deliver tangible value to network operators.The primary objective is to expedite decision-making, with real-time data. Among these transformative algorithms, one noteworthy initiative involves the establishment of local flexibility markets for DSOs. This is achieved through the implementation of prediction tools and AI, enabling the anticipation of potential supply quality issues.

Project background

The project originates from Cuerva's imperative to digitize its operations, necessitating a unified view of the distribution network. This entails the integration of diverse devices commonly found in a transformation center, including the concentrator, SABT, SAMT, and MV remote, at different voltage levels, all unified at a single point. The goal is to have a much clear view on how the grid will behave in the future as well as to address techniques that can solve the problems of congestion and overvoltage events.

Gridfy has developed and implemented the AI flexibility algorithm located in one of Cuerva´s substation and Barbara has provided the Edge Platform that deploys and orchestrates Artificial Intelligence in the Edge and enables MLOps techniques to facilitate the algorithm retraining in the Edge.

Physical Connections

The Edge Node is connected to the existing communications switch (fiber optic in particular) in the transformation center, with an IP within Cuerva's private subnet. The connection to each equipment is as follows:

  1. Concentrator. It communicates through Web Services SOAP, calling the IP that the concentrator has enabled to respond to these Web Services.
  2. SABT. There is a physical connection through RJ-45 between the Node and the SABT, calling the Node through Web Services SOAP to the local IP enabled.
  3. SAMT. There is a physical connection via RJ-45 between the Node and the SAMT, with the Node calling via IEC 60870-5-104 protocol.
  4. MV Remote. There is a physical connection via DB9-RS485 between the Node and the Remote, calling the Node via MODBUS-RTU protocol.

Th data is sent through an MQTT Broker to an InfluxDB database, optimized for storing large volumes of time series. The visualization of the data in different dashboards and synoptics is done in Grafana, connecting both technologies.

Installed Applications

The administration of installed applications is carried out  by  Barbara Panel designed to managie edge devices deployed in the field. The following image illustrates the array of applications deployed within the Edge Node run by Barbara´s technology.

  • General applications: naming configuration, communications, node telemetry, etc.
  • Industrial Connectors: Web Services SOAP, IEC 60870-5-104, MODBUS-RTU, Broker MQTT
  • Databases: InfluxDB
  • Data visualization: Grafana
  • Proprietary algorithm: including the flexibility algorithm described above.
Barbara´s Edge Computing Solution

Want to know more? Download the success story here

Barbara, the leading Edge AI platform for Distribution System Operators

Barbara´s Edge Technology offers a series of unique features to DSOs:

● Multi-author containerized algorithms that will allow new and novel flexibility business models to be tested and to co-exist cybersecurely in Edge Nodes. Cuerva will be able to deploy its own algorithms and algorithms developed by third parties.

● To certify a maximum cyber-security level, Edge Nodes will be IEC 62443 compliant.

● A Control Room to allow Edge Node firmware and their algorithms to be remotely and cyber-securely monitored, managed, and updated over-the air enabling limitless scalability.

● MLOps functionalities that facilitate the algorithm retraining in the Edge.

Barbara and Gridfy unite to accelerate the digitization of DSOs

Barbara and Gridfy have joined forces to provide advanced edge computing solutions, contributing to the rapid digital transformation of Distribution System Operators (DSOs) in Spain and Europe.  

On one hand, Gridfy, founded in 2022 and part of Cuerva´s ecosystem, is the technology consultant for the digitization of distribution networks of small and medium-sized companies. Its mission is to help small electricity distributors meet the challenges of the energy transition using technology and digitalization.

On the other hand, Barbara is the leading company in Edge Computing solutions for industrial systems and has positioned itself as the leading Edge AI platform for Digital Grid. Its primary goal is to accelerate the digital transformation of DSOs in Europe, by leveraging the development and deployment of AI algorithms in the Edge.