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Newsletter No. 25 | 2013   
New R&D Projects

Efacec Automation is satisfied to announce inauguration of a set of new projects in the R&D field.

An autonomous and continuous R&D activity is a high priority for Efacec, in order to guarantee its competitive and long-term presence in a worldwide market. Nowadays electrical networks are more than just conventional grids to conduct the energy. Environmental sustainability concerns, increase of renewables, introduction of electrical vehicles, between others, bring new challenges to the network and to automation schemes in order to provide an optimized management of all assets.

Therefore Efacec Automation continuous to invest in R&D, participating in new projects in the scope of smart grids initiatives, including electric vehicles solutions.

- SmartC2Net Project
The SmartC2Net Project is a R&D project for smart control of energy distribution grids over heterogeneous communication networks. It’s led by the Austrian Telecommunication Institute in cooperation with Aalborg University from Denmark, Technical University of Dortmund from Germany, RSE (Ricerca Sul Sistema Energetico, SPA) and Vodafone Omnitel from Italy. The project is partly financed by European Union funds, in the scope of Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for Smart Grids, and it started in last December.

The SuSTAINABLE Project aims to develop and demonstrate new paradigms for distribution networks operation, taking into consideration relevant information gathered from the metering and sensors infrastructure, and processed via tools such as state estimator, load forecast, data mining, and also using decision support tools. The aim of this project is to endow the network active players with new parameterizations, calculation and communication of set-points on order to improve power quality, adapt protection schemes dynamically and maximize the value added by storage devices and volt/VAr control. This project is granted with European Union funds in the scope of Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for Smart Grids, was started this January and will take 3 years. It’s developed in co-promotion with several Portuguese and European Universities, R&D Institutions, and IT Companies such as HEDNO (Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator S.A.), EDP Distribuição, INESC Porto, University of Manchester, TU Berlin, Universidad Pontifícia de Comillas – Madrid and ICCS (Institute of Communications and Computer Systems).

- SCADA BT Project
The SCADA BT Project aims to develop a new control and supervision system specific to smart grids at the low voltage level, which is comprised by several advanced processing modules, consumption and production active control algorithms, LV faults management, intelligent alarm processing and also interface to other utility’s corporate systems. It will create flexible solutions able to anticipate future trends, but also supports new technical, commercial and regulatory solutions, leading to more efficient network operation. This project is led individually by Efacec Automation and counts with cooperation of Portuguese Distribution Company (EDP Distribuição) and R&D Institution (INESC Porto). It is partially sponsored by IAPMEI through the framework for support of investigation and technological development of Portuguese companies. It was started last September and will take 2 years.

- EFA iCHARGE Project
The EFA iCHARGE project is a R&D project developed by two Efacec businesses units, Transportation and Automation. The project aims to optimize the electrical vehicles (EV) charging infrastructure through implementation of advanced systems for charging station management. The project addresses two complementary areas, approaching not only the charging infrastructure that assures the interface with EV through new advanced standards, as well as the interface with the electrical network intelligent management. This intelligent management is crucial to minimize the impact of EV charging on the electrical grid. The interaction between the EV, charging infrastructure and electrical grid is based on the smart grids paradigm that assumes the hierarchical control with distributed intelligence and interacting with the distributed energy resources (microgeneration, renewables, demand side management, etc.). The EFA iCHARGE was started in March 2012 and has the support of INESC Porto regarding scientific consultancy. The project is granted with funds from IAPMEI through the framework for support of investigation and technological development of Portuguese companies.

ERDF: European Regional Development Fund