Smart Innovation Norway researchers published two journal articles during the summer

In June and July, researchers from Smart Innovation Norway published two new journal papers within the topics of energy and construction.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm, 12 August 2021

The first case study paper introduced a new systematic approach to minimize the gaps between the Distribution System Operators (DSOs) need and technology developers in the energy domain.

“The paper investigated one of Smart Innovation Norway’s EU funded projects, called RESOLVD. Its objective is to improve the efficiency and the hosting capacity of distribution networks. Indeed, the DSOs have long been exposed to a multifold challenge associated with lack of grid observability, critical even detections, power quality, network faults, etc. To overcome these challenges, the project developed hardware and software solutions which enable to smartly manage the low voltage grid operations,” explains Dr. Alemu Belay (photo).

He is Senior Researcher Sustainable Energy at Smart Innovation Norway and co-writer of the paper “A Systemic Approach to Investigate the Gaps between Distribution System Operators Need and Technology Developers’ Perception—A Case Study of an Intelligent Low-Voltage Grid Management System with Storage”.

Eight value propositions

The RESOLVD project developed four technologies which are tested and demonstrated in a real-life pilot at the Spanish DSO, EYPESA. The technologies cover advanced power electronic devices (PED), decision support system (forecasting and scheduling algorithms), tailored enterprise service bus and data management system, phaser measurement unit (PMU) and edge computing, and decision support systems. These technologies enabled the DSOs to integrate hybrid storages (lithium-ion and lead acid batteries) with better observability of the grid infrastructure and efficiency.

The project achieved to demonstrate eight value propositions including voltage control, fault detection, prevent congestion and over/under voltage issues, etc. All these value propositions were measured and assessed with well-defined KPIs.

“The project technology readiness level is medium and needs further steps to be matured for the market and commercialization. Therefore, a continuous validation, interaction and communication between technology developers and customers, in this case the DSOs, is needed. This communication and incorporating the feedback will speed up the maturity of technologies and improve the time-to-market,” says Dr. Belay.

Better engagement between DSOs and technology developers

In the paper, the researchers proposed a bi-directional communication by applying a sense and response method together with a broader survey which covers four aspects.

“We assessed and analyzed the gaps between technology developers and DSOs. The paper attempted to address and answer research questions linked to challenges, status and practices of low voltage grid management, like relevance and urgency of the value propositions, preparedness and readiness of the DSO to deploy new technologies, and investigate if there is any regulation challenge which hinders renewable energy source (RES) integration at the low voltage grid level.”

According to Dr. Belay (photo), the result showed that most of the value propositions proposed by RESOLVD are in line with the DSO needs. However, the gap analysis of the survey revealed some interesting observations that need to be filled through better engagement between the DSOs and technology developers.

“For example, a high importance was given to cybersecurity by DSOs, which was not reflected as strongly with the technology developers, and not all value propositions were urgently needed,” notes Dr. Belay.

Please see the full paper in the link below with all authors:

Belay, A. M., Puranik, S., Díaz-González, F., & Tuiskula, H. (2021). A Systemic Approach to Investigate the Gaps between Distribution System Operators Need and Technology Developers’ Perception—A Case Study of an Intelligent Low-Voltage Grid Management System with Storage. Applied Sciences, 11(12), 5348.

Cost performance in construction projects

For the second journal paper published this summer, Dr. Belay collaborated with Assoc. Prof. Olav Torp from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The paper investigated 110 construction projects and analyzed the cost performance using the quality gated framework.

“We used the Norwegian state project delivery method for investment projects and investigated how different project settings such as size, location and quality assurance influence the cost performance,” says Dr. Belay.

The paper found that the overall cost deviation of the projects considered is about 5%, and the analysis also showed that smaller projects’ cost deviation is more spread compared to larger projects.

“In addition, city projects registered higher deviation compared to the rural ones. The implementation of a two-stage quality assurance scheme also influenced the cost performance,” the researcher explains.

Further reading of the article can be found in the link below:

Belay, A. M., & Torp, O. (2021). Construction cost performance under quality-gated framework: the cases of Norwegian road constructions. International Journal of Construction Management, 1-14.