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Shakti testing phase at Concept Grid

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On the 15th April 2021, the live demonstration at Concept Grid concluded successfully three weeks of testing, and set an important milestone for the Shakti demonstration.

The Shakti demonstration is a pilot project, which experiments new innovative solutions not yet existing on the market. Moreover, various equipment  provided by different suppliers have to interact with each other. As a result, the demonstration leader Enedis identified a high risk of errors in the interoperability of the equipment and in the Sequence of Operations, which might highly impact and delay the demonstration that will be implemented in Delhi.

In order to mitigate the risks of malfunction at the Indian site, the partners of the Shakti demo decided to add a testing phase in France before shipping the equipments to India. Indeed, it is easier to solve any problems in France, in the presence of Schneider Electric, Enedis, EDF R&D and Socomec’s experts.

The tests were performed at Concept Grid Lab, an EDF R&D facility, located in the southeast of Paris, dedicated to the testing of electrical equipment under actual conditions. This testing platform is particularly adapted to assess smart grid solution integration in a real Medium Voltage/ Low Voltage (MV/LV) power system (Battery Energy Storage Systems - BESS, renewable production up to the MV scale), prior to field deployment.

  • Planning

Most of the tests took place over the span of three weeks, during March and April 2021. There were two main objectives:

  1. Investigating the behaviour of the Battery Energy Storage System during defaults (short-circuit and overload conditions).
  2. Validating the interoperability of the equipment and the Sequence of Operations.
  • Short-circuit and overload tests

The purpose of those tests were to characterize the Concept Grid SOCOMEC BESS behaviour during short-circuit and overload events, especially during islanded mode where the BESS is acting as the generator. Those tests were significant because the observed behaviour at Concept Grid should be very similar to the one to be expected from the BESS sent to India.

A variable resistor was connected to the BESS and various defaults were tested (L-L-L, L-N, L-L). Enough data were collected to adapt and improve the protection study. Short-circuit currents were not significantly impacted by the loads connected to the BESS.

  • Interoperability tests

Only the LV ECC Switchboard was sent to Concept Grid to be tested. This equipment contains the main communication & control modules of the Shakti solution. The first step was to validate the serial communication, then the TPC/IP link between the switchboard and the BESS. Secured communication with external cloud servers, following the defined cybersecurity criteria were then set up accordingly.

Once the communications were verified, the expert teams could begin the testing of the most crucial point, the Sequence of Operations. The main focus was to ensure a good transition between the grid-tied state to the off-grid state, during a power outage.

Production and consumption scenarios with the loads connected to the LV ECC switchboard were also tested. After some tuning of the algorithm inside the Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), the Sequence of Operations was successfully validated.

  • Live demonstration

The live demonstration of the equipment interoperability and Sequence of Operations took place online on the 15th April 2021. All the demo partners were invited to participate to this online event. After a short presentation of the project, Schneider Electric successfully demonstrated the main scenario of the Shakti demo, with the transition from the grid-following mode to the off-grid mode and vice-versa.

The live demonstration was made possible by the use of an augmented reality helmet  (Hololens), which provided the audience with an immersive experience of the testing phase. This innovative technology proved to be all the more important during this sanitary crisis, paving the way towards remote interventions.

  • Conclusion

This testing phase was crucial to ensure a good interoperability of the equipment and will contribute to a reliable and efficient installation and commissioning phase in India.

The next step for the Shakti demonstration is the reception of all the equipment on the Indian site. The last equipment should arrive at Delhi by mid-June 2021.