Strategic measuring at Falbygdens Energi

Connecting renewable energy to the grid puts new demands on the utility companies. Uneven flows in the grid and frequent disturbances in the production increase the need of good information to regulate and manage the grid. Therefore Falbydgens Energi is focusing on measuring the power quality.

– During the last few years we have connected a lot of wind power to the grid and we identified a need of monitoring the energy losses and changes in the power quality, says Lars Ohlson, CEO at Falbygdens Energi (Falbygden Utility Corporation).  This was the reason why we contacted Metrum and since then we have improved our measuring and follow up substantially.

The collaboration with Metrum was initiated already in 2005 when Falbygdens Energi started to replace all the energy meters. The main reason to this upgrade was that the company wanted to measure the energy losses, which for example was caused by technical errors or theft of electricity. The development project resulted in an integrated module which has been of great assistance to map out the energy losses.

Preparations for smart grids

Smart Grids was hardly a term 2005, but is today used very much. Monitoring and measuring play a key role in this concept. The need of more accurate measurements is due to the fact that the electricity production is taking place further out in the grid and that new loads have appeared, e.g. charging electrical vehicles.

– Strategic measuring is a prerequisite for smart grids, says Lars Ohlson. It is not only about measuring at the end customer, but even more important to measure in the grid, discover potential issues at an early stage. When the new measuring equipment is implemented, we are ready for the future smart grids.

The new standard EIFS 2011:2, established by the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate and implemented in 2012, is an important step towards building smart grids. The standard define what is  “good power quality”, i.e. what demands the customers can put on the utility companies. Metrum has included this new standard in both its instruments and software, which means that the user gets, as in all Metrum’s solutions, an easy to understand report with a green signal if everything is according to the standard, and a red signal if there are any issues which needs to be attended.

Many exciting projects

In a parallel development project Metrum has delivered a software which shows the power variation at certain measuring points in real time. This means that the energy consumption can be monitored in an easy way with a good overview. Falbygdens Energi use the system in the reception at the head office, showing the consumption in the grid to all its employees and visitors.

In 2011a pilot project about renewable energy and energy storage was initiated. The purpose is to reach a stable power delivery without any disturbances and an even power output. The project is a collaboration between Falbygdens Energi, Metrum, ABB and the industry association Sust. Lars Ohlsson see great value in the collaboration with Metrum.

– The most positive side is that we have control over our power quality. Up to now we have not seen any lowering performances, but we will probably experience larger power quality problems as we connect more wind power. In this particular area, we expect to have great use of the equipment from Metrum, where we can identify issues, get assistance with identifying the source of the issue as well as identity solutions.

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