The research team focuses on the development of Smart Grid, which uses information technology to optimize production, distribution and consumption. The goal is to optimize the entire grid of electricity that goes from producers to consumers to improve the energy efficiency.
In this context, many international efforts are being made to develop an intelligent grid that collects energy from different sources to better distribute it according to demand. The implementation of this system requires a large set of equipment of different types.
The Smart Grid expression is often associated with the concept of Smart Meter capable of giving hourly billing allowing consumers to choose the best price from the different producing companies, but also to play on hours of consumption, allowing thus a better use of the electricity network. Such a system would also make it possible to map consumption more accurately and to better anticipate needs, at the local level.
Effective protocols and software solutions are required to communicate the different devices in a network in order to intelligently manage the energy grid.
The rate and volume of data retrieved from these devices are quite substantial. This massive data (BigData) is widely diversified and relatively heterogeneous and is often produced continuously, with a steady pace. In order to manage and process this large amount of information and massive data flow, large computing and storage capabilities are needed, often only available in large data centers.
The Smart Grid Team is composed of several researchers affiliated to several research structures in different fields: electronics, telecommunications, electrical engineering, computer science and quantitative methods.
The contribution of information technology must be able to save energy by smoothing consumption peaks and reducing the most expensive peak production capacity, securing the network and reducing its cost. In addition, Smart Grid is one of the components of Smart City concept.
Knowing that electricity cannot be stored easily, rapidly and economically in large quantities, "smart grid" technologies seek to adjust the generation and distribution (supply and demand) of electricity in real time by prioritizing electricity needs. of consumption (quantity and location) according to their urgency in order to:
- Optimize plant performance;
- Avoid having to regularly build new lines;
- Minimize online losses;
- Optimize the (random) insertion of decentralized production, in particular of renewable origin;
- Reduce or eliminate the problems related to the intermittency of certain sources (solar, wind, tidal energy, and for less hydroelectricity).
Implementation of sensors connected to a computer network and a powerful analysis system capable of relying on short, medium and long-term prospective data on the existing electricity distribution network must allow a better adjustment. electricity production and consumption, with the following advantages:
- Optimize the supply of electricity during peak consumption, smoothing the load curve, thus reducing electricity production;
- Reduction of breakdowns by reducing line overload;
- Reduction of online losses;
- Integration into the network of clean energy sources; safe and complementary, but often irregular and diffuse such as domestic wind turbines, tidal turbines, wind farms, domestic solar panels, solar power plants, small hydro, tidal sources, etc.
- Easy and optimized transfers of electricity production over long distances.
The emergence of smart grids is prompted by the evolution of the legislative logic introduced by the opening of the electricity supply markets to competition, thus, the previous contributions come mainly from the distribution network operator, but other contributions smart grids are directly related to end customers in relation to their energy supplier:
- Encourage the consumer to consume at a time when energy is the most abundant (and the least expensive) and therefore optimize its bill, especially through new tariff offers made possible by the smart meter (Smart Meter),
- Realize a "just-in-time" response according to users' consumption / production needs, for example by consuming the energy produced close to home (photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, etc.)