Fit4eChange – truly flexible smart grids

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Category: Development

2 Min. Read time
Smart grid
Smart grid
Smart grid
Smart grid

The energy transition requires smart grids that continuously monitor themselves to avoid overloads. This is necessary as there will be more volatility in the future due to feed-ins from photovoltaic systems and power consumption by electric vehicles. Fit4eChange is a research project with the aim of implementing this requirement in existing low-voltage grids as efficiently as possible. As part of this project, ithinx and its partners duotec, EEBUS, ELE Verteilnetz GmbH, Fraunhofer IMS, Netze Duisburg and Nuromedia are developing a radio-based metering system that can be retrofitted and deployed in just a few minutes without disconnecting the power supply.

The solution developed by the project participants is currently in the laboratory phase and will be tested in a field test by Stadtwerke Duisburg in a real environment in Q2 2024.

“To manage it, you have to monitor it”

In order to achieve better visibility of the grid situation, a monitoring system has been jointly developed that is able to measure the key electrical parameters in the low-voltage grid and make them available to a control room.

Aim

The aim of this research project is to develop a sensor system that is easy to retrofit and enables
and enables control rooms to monitor energy flows in the low-voltage range.

Requirements

The main requirements for the research project are:

  • Simple installation of the live monitoring system
  • Handling the simultaneity of solar feed-ins
  • Balancing peak loads through simultaneous charging of many electric vehicles
  • Fast response to critical situations in the low-voltage grid
Stack
stack
Stack
stack
The ithinx solution
  • The sensor system can be installed in the distribution box without having to de-energize the distribution box.
  • The current measurement sensors are self-powered – by means of energy harvesting from the electromagnetic field of the current conductors.
  • The transmission of measured values by radio eliminates the need to lay cables in the distribution box.
    Remote data transmission via the gateway also takes place by radio.

On this basis, ithinx selected the openThread and NB-IoT wireless protocols and integrated them into the gateway.

The particular challenge for ithinx was to combine two radio systems in one gateway that would enable reliable communication despite the difficult radio installation situation in the distribution box.

ithinx Fit4echange Platine
ithinx Fit4echange Platine
ithinx Fit4echange Platine
ithinx Fit4echange Platine
Strengths of ithinx in this project:
  • Selection and realization of suitable radio solutions and protocols to implement the requirements
  • Development of the electronics for the use case, including antenna design and optimization in the ithinx laboratory
  • Effective partnership and collaboration across the entire network of participants.
  • i.MX 93 Evaluation board with ithinx SOM
    i.MX 93 Evaluation board with ithinx SOM

    New partnership between NXP Semiconductors and ithinx

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