Flexible Energy Grid Architecture (FEG)

The FEG platform provides a concrete solution for network operators to exploit the flexibility potential of their grids to the fullest extent. The platform contains all the tools and applications that have been developed within the course of the project as well as market structures and business models that provide substantial flexibility resources to all levels of the flexibility assessment. The tools and business models are hosted within this FEG platform which provides all the necessary interconnections between them to ensure the interoperability of the system and to implement a more holistic solution rather than several “non-connected” tools and applications. The various parts of the system share inputs from several databases of electricity demand, weather and grid data and use commercial simulation engines.

The FEG Platform is designed to provide a powerful set of tools to players in the Energy community. It is envisioned as a different approach and a step ahead in flexibility, scalability, security and reusability.

In modern times information is always critical for every system, but due to the nature of the Power Industry, this is taken to a new level altogether. For FEG to succeed as a platform, information must:

  • be protected
  • be transmitted on time
  • be able to be commercially exploited, if necessary
  • be able to be transmitted using a multitude of technologies/protocols

Also, in a real-world scenario, the FEG Platform would be utilized by Operators who will inevitably own systems with different hardware and software components, different network architectures, and potentially even different measurement systems.

The FEG Platform responds to the above challenges by employing SOTA components on a secure and proven architecture, while at the same time introducing interoperability. It follows a generic integration approach that enables it to operate in a wide array of environments without the need for costly, customized integration effort.

The diagram below provides an overview of the final FEG Platform architecture. The open architecture of the FEG Platform provides ease of integration within the operators’ software environments and facilitates bi-directional communication with external systems, thus adding a high degree of flexibility and adaptability even in extreme brownfield situations.

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Furthermore, the design of the platform itself guarantees that information remains private and is only shared if its owner decides to do so. This is achieved by separating the system into two components, FEG Local and FEG Central.

The FEG Central component acts as the global registry of FEG installations and provides:

  • FEG Local registration

  • Access control

  • Encrypted communication

  • System administration

  • Data and service commercialization

  • Public UI hosting

  • Integration with external data sources

The FEG Local is a ready-to-use toolbox - installed within System Operators’ and Flexibility Providers’ secure infrastructures - which allows them to employ innovative processes in order to achieve their goals. It ensures that no internal information is shared/exposed with other FEG installations (unless that is explicitly configured by the system administrator to do so for commercialization purposes), while at the same time providing full access to all available external information using encrypted and secure connections.

FEG offers a sophisticated and user-friendly User Interface implementing various horizontal and vertical functions and applications

  • Horizontal Functions:

    • Data Upload

    • User Groups

    • Contacts

    • Notifications

    • User Management

 

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The users have the possibility to upload files. This can be done directly to FEG Central or through FEG Local. In the first case the file will be uploaded unencrypted to the user’s account but all the access control will be enforced so it will only be available for the specific user. If the FEG Local is also used the user has the option to upload the file encrypted to the central database. In this case the encryption will happen locally and no plain data will be sent to the server. If the user wants to retrieve the encrypted files a FEG Local installation needs to be used again that will retrieve the data from FEG Central and decrypt them on their local machine.

The FEG Platform implements the concept of user groups. These are groups of users that share common cryptographic keys. Any user can upload a file to the group which can be decrypted by all users in the same group. For every user a default user groups named “me” is created with the account creation which only contains them and can be used as a personal data repository. There is no number limitation so the groups can contain two or more users. The cryptographic keys are bound to these groups so if a user is deleted from the group they will lose the access to its files. Caution needs to be taken because if a user group is deleted the keys will be lost so users will not be able to decrypt the data and could only be restored by an administrator through a previous backup.

There is a separate User tab that is available to the administrator dedicated to user management. From there users can be added and have their details and roles updated. The role of each user is then synced between FEG Central and the FEG Local instances so they can gain access to the modules available to them.  Regarding the Market app, each user access to the Cyprus and Bulgarian market can be controlled separately as well as the administrative tasks that a user can perform on it.

  • Vertical Applications
    • HyPPO
    • Flexibility Market
    • Active Substation Management

 

HyPPO

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The HyPPO tool has been developed in the frame of PI-BESS design and with a scope of value estimation. A PI-BESS is a power plant in which a battery is integrated in order to increase the flexibility of the power plant and to extend the catalogue of ancillary services that the plant is able to provide compared to the stand-alone operation without the BESS. In the WP11, it was possible to develop models and simulation platform which allow to demonstrate the flexibility enhancement for different grid services. Nevertheless, the main issue in the current electricity market is how to calculate the business case of the installation of such an equipment.

HyPPO gives an overview of what a customer could expect from his power plant if it is turned into a hybrid one. Test trends such as frequency injection or day-by-day load profiles, market data can be uploaded, and a new enhanced response with a battery is calculated. The software can calculate extra revenues that can be expected from ancillary services.

 

FLEXIBILITY MARKET

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Within FEG an advanced market platform was developed, which offered an environment for flexibility providers to trade flexibility services in a structured and user-friendly way.

This market platform allows the placement of bids, supporting different order types (e.g. iceberg, fill-or-kill, all-or-nor, basket orders, etc.) and materializes and intra-day energy trading marketplace, having as a main purpose to increase the liquidity in the intra-day time horizon. The platform features all open products that are available for trading at any point in-time. Accurate weather predictions are also provided by the platform for places of interest, facilitating more informed decisions and the establishment of a bidding strategy that can well mitigate uncertainties, due to the intermittent nature of renewables; thus, initial day-ahead positions can be easily and more effectively corrected, leading to decreased balancing requirements. The market participant has access to all placed bids and established trades. A history tool is also available providing statistics and an insight into trading data.

The market platform was developed following the examples of widely used commercial market platforms and was tailored for the trading of flexibility. A very helpful feature is the presence of real-time weather data. In this way participants will not need to open many additional data sources and could focus on the trading.

 

ACTIVE SUBSTATION MANAGEMENT

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The active substations (AS) developed in the FLEXITRANSTORE project integrate a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) aimed at processing power/energy in the substation, and a hierarchical control system designed to regulate the BESS and integrate it into the monitoring and control system of the substation operator and the grid operator. In both cases, the new elements integrated in these active substations (BESS, transformer, breakers and measurements) should be properly operated and monitored to allow the seamless integration in the existing infrastructures.

The FEG platform hosts the Active substation module to, among other tasks, process services, collect AS information, receive bids, and send signals to the Hierarchical Controller. FEG offers the User Interface to mainly process services, collect battery information, receive bids, send signals to the Hierarchical Controller, and to send execution signals. The necessary back-end functions that ensure the data exchanges that are needed by the aforementioned processes are also in place.