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» DemoLab

DemoLab serves mainly for testing the Monitor BT architecture and for validating the developed solutions, namely fault detection and location, as well as voltage regulation. It provides an integrated environment comprising several components developed by Efacec and by INOV. It is worth mentioning that DemoLab is an alternative solution, as opposed to the initial project idea of deploying a real demonstrator on dynamic power curtailment for voltage regulation purposes.

The need for that alternative arose from the fact that, presently, the terms defined by the regulator – ERSE – and the associated licenses grant by the Energy General Board – DGEG – do not allow the deployment of any solution preventing the full injection of the produced energy into the grid. Therefore, it was not possible to perform any changes over an existing installation, by replacing a conventional PV inverter by another with remote control features, thus suitable for responding to curtailment set-point orders.
This system aims at enlarging the scope of communications and of monitoring sensor devices, defined in the Monitor BT architecture.
In one hand, the real grid demonstrator – to be deployed in the Batalha region – included only LV and public lighting sensors developed by INOV. These sensors dialogue with the secondary substation master controller – the Distribution Transformer Controller, also named DTC – through RF Mesh (IEEE 802.15.4) communications.
In another hand, the Monitor BT architecture is agnostic concerning communication protocols and physical media. As a result, in the DemoLab, the monitoring is performed through Smart Meters, by Efacec. These dialogue with the DTC via Power Line Carrier (PLC Prime).
The communication protocol for both the real deployment in Batalha and the DemoLab is the DLMS/COSEM.
Two views of the DemoLab, while placed at the Efacec’s test laboratory

The Monitor BT Consortium acknowledges the role of SMA Portugal, as the two SunnyBoy SB3600TL PV inverters being used at the DemoLab were gently assigned by that reputable manufacturer.

For more detail about the SMA Group (other partner), please click here.