11 Aug 2022

Innovative software solutions which improve efficiency of grid management

Schneider Electric believes that electricity is the only energy that offers the fastest vector for decarbonisation through a combination of renewables and digital software-led solutions. Smart bi-directional grids – or Grids of the Future – are the only way to enable the energy transition, helping the world halve its emissions by 2030 by removing 10Gt of CO2 per year and keeping within the 1.5C warming trajectory. Grids of the Future enable this through allowing multiple sources of locally generated decentralised renewable energy to combine safely, reliably, resilience and efficiently while stemming transmission and distribution energy losses.

As the frequency of climate-linked severe weather events intesify, Schneider Electric delivers innovative, new software solutions designed to enable greater grid flexibility from distributed clean renewable energy (Electricity 4.0), maximise reliability and resilience, and improve operational efficiency of grid management. Decentralised generation is the future, with a joint Schneider Electric -Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) assessment indicating that solar is a major under tapped opportunity, with the potential see 167 million households and 23 million businesses worldwide hosting their own clean power generation by 2050. These deployments will unlock major decarbonisation benefits, but policy and tariff design will be critical to enable them.

Paving the way to the electric decade

All roads to decarbonisation rely on distribution utilities (DSOs) that manage the essential infrastructure for the energy transition. Only a data-driven grid overhaul allows the ‘prosumer revolution’ – the ability of consumers and businesses to generate their own renewable energy through solar and microgrids and sell excess back to the grid – that we are all counting on to decarbonise the biggest CO2 emitters, including buildings, homes and personal transportation. With EcoStruxure Grid software and services, Schneider aims to equip distribution utilities with data gathering, data management and advanced analytics solutions that let digital speed up the hard work of decarbonisation.

“The next ten years will be known as the “electric decade” promising a low-carbon future powered by a reliable and resilient supply of smart and clean renewable electricity we call Electricity 4.0. However, that is only possible if we invest in bi-directional smart grid infrastructure able to cater to the growing demand for clean electricity and a growing supply of decentralised renewable generation providing power to the grid,” said Frederic Godemel, Executive Vice President for Power Systems and Services at Schneider Electric. Today DSOs – electric distribution system operators– are truly the centre of the successful energy transition. We need to ensure they have the means and incentives to invest in digital grid solutions.”

“A data-driven grid overhaul will unlock the prosumer revolution needed to decarbonise our economy and society, and will bring demand-side flexibility to DSOs. Not just the grid itself but everything the grid feeds, including buildings, industries, and mobility,” he added.

Grids of the Future – enabled by digitalisation and software

Today, Schneider Electric is proud announce powerful new capabilities that help grid operators minimise the risk of outages, manage supply and demand flexibility, and improve operational and energy efficiency.

Major Event Mitigation: Schneider Electric’s latest EcoStruxure ADMS release provides utilities with new capabilities in coping with far-reaching effects of climate change – lower reliability, higher expenses, and more power outages. EcoStruxure ADMS now delivers more tools for improved response time to outages and the ability to anticipate incidents and proactively ensure consistent power quality by greater grid automation. These new capabilities prepare a utility’s system to mitigate major events, enable a utility to keep customers and communities safe, all while maintaining high quality and reliability of supply.

Grid Flexibility and Active Network Management: EcoStruxure DERMS provides Active Network Management with the ability to identify and coordinate upper and lower operating limits for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) to enable greater Grid Flexibility. SE’s latest release of EcoStruxure DERMS analyses whether the desired DER output schedule or export-import limits is in accordance with grid capacity in the near term. DERMS checks planned DER operation against thermal limits of grid sections and transformers, allowable reverse flow, and under/over voltage constraints. If a violation is detected, the application derives new DER output schedule or export/import limits, to mitigate possible grid issues and maintain grid capacity for providing good quality and service to all customers.

Advanced Operational Efficiency: EcoStruxure Power Automation System provides ease of maintenance for more efficient operational and maintenance programs as a predictive and condition-based maintenance data collector for cloud-based applications alongside advanced system inventory and baseline management capabilities.

These new capabilities, are part of Schneider Electric’s end-to-end integrated portfolio of software and services that help grid operators manage the lifecycle of the grid to provide digitalisation, optimisation and automation for flexibility, efficiency, resiliency, and risk mitigation.

What’s more, Schneider has recently extended its award winning green and digital switchgear range with RM AirSeT, a gamechanger to decarbonise the grid and contribute to the global fight against climate change, by replacing SF6 greenhouse gas with Grids of the Future solution using pure air and vacuum interruption.

Uniquely positioned to deliver value

Earlier this year, Schneider completed its unique electricity power systems software portfolio with investments in ETAP and OSIsoft. Its vendor-agnostic software-driven modeling, design, real-time predictive simulation and operation solutions enable unique cloud-based design and cyber secure operation of mission-critical power systems. This delivers end-to-end lifecycle digitalisation and enhanced efficiency, sustainability and resiliency to a broader audience and customer base.

These solutions are designed to support better integration of renewables, microgrids, fuel cells and battery storage technology by digitally streamlining complex mission-critical systems.