Monitor BT was a joint project by Efacec and INOV, which was granted with European Union funds managed by QREN, the National Strategic Reference Framework.
Monitor BT project’s main goal was to develop and deploy advanced functionalities for fault management and voltage control on Low Voltage (LV) grids, through the use of distributed sensors.
Operational data collected along the LV feeders by wireless meshed sensors enable fault detection and location, as well as fuse-blown detection in distribution cabinets and in secondary substations, leading to a reduction on LV grid downtime, improving Quality of Service (QoS). Similarly, public lighting grid segments are subject to an identical solution, also comprising faulty light bulb detection and location.
Furthermore, last-gasp alarms from sensors allow the management system to react faster, improving maintenance teams response.
Monitoring LV feeders by deploying distributed sensors assures that the increasing micro-generation penetration could be monitored, leveraging new opportunities for dynamic voltage control through the active management of Photovoltaic (PV) micro-generation, by controlling their inverters with control set-points calculated locally at the secondary substation master controller.
The developed devices and fault detection and location functionalities were integrated in a pilot grid area of EDP Distribuição (the Portuguese DSO) in the region of Batalha, Portugal, whose infrastructure provides a realistic demonstrator for the solution validation.
A laboratorial demonstrator – the DemoLab – was also deployed for validating the active management of PV micro-generation for voltage regulation purposes, as present regulatory terms do not allow the deployment of effective remotely curtailed grid connected PV inverters.