#Energy Energy systems

A reference grid with Norwegian considerations


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By using data from a real distribution grid, CINELDI has developed a more relevant reference grid for researching Norwegian smart grids.

A reference grid is a digital representation of the electricity grid. Such digital reference grids are used to test new technologies, various possible scenarios, and potential challenges. This makes it possible to visualise the effect of adding different elements to an existing grid; elements such as renewable power production, charging stations for electric cars and new patterns of consumption. The digital representation can then highlight potential issues. This is an incredibly useful tool for scientists and industry partners alike. 

There are a number of international reference grids in use, but they pose several challenges. These grids are usually designed for academic purposes and are therefore not always applicable to real life simulations. Another issue is that they are usually based on international data. This is less than ideal when researching challenges specific to Norwegian distribution grids. Because of this, CINELDI has been working to establish a Norwegian reference grid. The work began in 2020, and the first high voltage reference grid was finalised in 2021. 

CINELDI was granted access to data from a high voltage distribution grid, through a Norwegian grid company. The grid in question was chosen because it has properties which make it representative of the Norwegian grid. All data has been anonymised, to ensure the reference grid can be made openly available to scientists without compromising the security of the grid data. This means that the various components of the reference grid are described in such a way that does not make it possible for users to identify which real-world grid it’s based on. The advantage of this approach is that it makes it easier to define new problems and adjust the reference grid to our research needs.  

During the period 2022-2024, security of supply will be the main research subject for CINELDI. In this work, the reference grid will be an important tool to test different strategies for ensuring security of supply. It has already been well received by our partners, as well as other interested parties.  Moving forward, we wish for this reference grid to become an accepted part of the toolbox used by both national and international actors. 


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