Technology as the basis for launching the energy transition

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Complying with the agreements of the 2015 Paris Summit or the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 entails completing the energy transition path and, at the same time, promoting a decarbonized economy whose pillar is renewable energy. Likewise, other measures such as self-consumption should be promoted and respond to the increasingly pressing need for massive energy storage systems.

Convinced that technology will be the main tool to face these challenges, the Red Eléctrica Group created Elewit in 2019. It is the technological platform with which it develops innovative projects and solutions, based on state-of-the-art technology, to contribute to the realization of the two major transformations in which the country and the planet in general are immersed today: that of the energy model and that of connectivity.

Two of the developments that have come out of this innovation laboratory are Dalia and Saga, with which it is intended to face the challenges implied by the change of model for electrical networks. For this, it will be essential to carry out asset management and maintenance that is at the forefront of technology, allows increasing the reliability and availability of the networks and also generates greater efficiencies.

Dalia (acronym for ‘Detecting Anomalies in Lines Inspection Autonomously’) seeks to simplify and automate the visual inspection processes of power lines in Red Eléctrica de España to optimize their maintenance. Thus, it is intended to develop a prototype of drone to take images of these lines that will then be treated and interpreted by artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision algorithms, which will be designed within the framework of the project to help in the detection of possible anomalies. Professionals from Red Eléctrica de España and the startup SigmaRail participate in its development, along with other technological partners.

The Saga platform (acronym for ‘Advanced Asset Management Solution’) is also based on AI systems, a pioneer in the electricity sector and developed by professionals from Red Eléctrica de España. It allows electricity infrastructure management companies to transform their asset management model. With this, companies evolve their inspection, maintenance and renovation strategies towards predictive risk management, while incorporating a holistic view of the facilities aimed at optimizing their planning. Thus, they can make more efficient decisions and ensure maximum network reliability.

Towards the internet of things

Another great line that Elewit and Red Eléctrica are working on is developing innovative tools and solutions to incorporate greater flexibility in the operation of the electrical system. This will be very relevant in a future characterized by the massive penetration of renewable energies, together with the implementation and consolidation of self-consumption and other forms of distributed generation.

An example is the project that pursues the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for self-consumption, in this case photovoltaic of small power (less than 1 MW). The project will design a panel of self-consumers with a representative sample of self-consumption in Spain to know the generation and impact of storage on consumption patterns, data that the electricity system does not have today and that would be very valuable for the operation of the system in the performance of the function of guaranteeing the balance between demand and generation, especially in future scenarios of greater penetration. It will incorporate blockchain technology thanks to the startup FlexiDAO.

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