Efficiency is a matter of innovation

Engineering has always been active in designing and realizing innovative solutions to support the integration of growing amounts of non-programmable energy, which comes from renewable sources.

There has been a significant increase in the amount of electrical energy produced by distributed renewable sources (photovoltaic, wind power, biomasses...) in recent years, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the production of energy from renewable sources and increasing overall energy efficiency in the electricity distribution grids (under the use of energy produced close to consumption points). Actions that come under the context of the European 20-20-20 Plan for energy efficiency and climatic change, to be achieved by 2020.

The growing share of distributed generation, which often comes from intermittent sources (sun, wind) connected to the electrical grid, even on low and medium voltage stretches, makes electricity distribution grids statically difficult to program and requires new, real time monitoring and control modes that have greater levels of intelligence and smartness than traditional grids.
On the other hand, technological evolution makes ICT functions available at accessible costs, which could only be justified up to now if they were combined with high cost infrastructures - such as transportation grids - and opens the doors to a ground-breaking change in the very philosophy of distribution grid functions.

The term, therefore, is Smart Energy Grid intended as intelligent infrastructures that are enabled by innovative ICT applications to support the concept of Smart Cities, that can combine freedom of individual behavior and system efficiency, integration of distributed energy resources and safety in supplies, a priority use of renewable sources and the possibility of programming grid conditions.

Engineering has been active for several years now in the area of design and realization of Smart Grid innovative solutions. It has consolidated experience, acquired through the development of innovative applications, in order to support a greater, more efficient integration of growing quantities of non-programmable energy from renewable sources through a more flexible demand.

These applications concern:

  • the energy marketplace as a tool for supporting the balancing of electrical loads and energy supply, and also long term, for supporting stability in the new generation electrical grid, which is measured by the reduction in the number and duration of service interruptions.
  • Demand side management (demand response) policies and mechanisms, steered by the presence of a broker between the energy distributor and the consumer; these techniques are aimed at offering the required flexibility (by programming the reduction of consumption) to the electrical operator for an optimal balancing of the energy load on the grid.
  • Optimal management of energy consumption in smart buildings, with the capacity for electricity self-generation, that can monitor, control and optimize their own consumption and exchange of surplus energy with the electrical grid.
  • Real time monitoring and control of energy storage systems to support intermittent renewable sources, based on hydrogen, for optimal management, and hybrid, interconnected energy systems (Power to Gas) with platforms that can detect the optimal electricity and/or gas (hydrogen) surplus in real time for it to be transported through the respective distribution grids.
  • Monitoring, control and optimal management of consumption and generation and energy exchange capacity for Smart Data Centers, allowing the data centers of the future to interact:
    1) with the smart grid, providing flexibility in demand for the electrical operator, using demand-side management policies
    2) with other data centers in the same grid (virtual data centers) for any migration of the computational load in return for the reduction in electrical consumption as part of demand side management policies with the electrical operator.
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