The current power grid is the result of decades of expansions and adaptations. However, society is developing faster than ever, and if the power grid does not manage to keep up with these developments, it will not be able to handle a fully electrified society in the future, where cars, boats and industry run on power produced by “new” green energy sources, such as wind, wave and solar power, instead of fossil fuels.
At SINTEF, we investigate solutions that allow us to digitalise and modernise the power grid in a way that is as cost-efficient as possible for both our customers and society in general.
A large part of this work is developing technology that will automate the planning and operation of the future Smart Grid to a much greater extent compared to the current non-digitalised grid. For example, this technology will enable faults to be dealt with before they occur, allow power customers to use their power more efficiently, and improve the utilisation of the power grid’s capacity.
This will save significant maintenance costs and contribute to reducing the number of expensive cables that will have to be built as society requires more power due to increased electrification. In addition, a Smart Grid will facilitate an increased use of wind, wave and solar power than the current grid allows.
The Smart Grid presents many opportunities. However, a challenge with a digitalised grid is that it also presents many challenges, such as cyberattacks. Therefore, cyber security is an important part of our Smart Grid work.
SINTEF runs research projects of all sizes that focus on innovative technologies and methods for digitalising and modernising the distribution grid, and we welcome participation from both the private and public sector. In addition, we work with our customers to test and further develop existing technologies as part of pilot and demonstration projects.
SINTEF is a host of one of the biggest research centres in the world on the Smart Grid, FME CINELDI (Centre for Intelligent Electricity Distribution). We are also a host of Smartgridsenteret (the Norwegian Smart Grid Centre), which is a membership organisation for everyone working with the Smart Grid in Norway. Smartgridsenteret works to promote research, education, test and demonstration activities related to the Smart Grid in Norway.