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Mitteldeutsche Netzgesellschaft Strom mbH

More transparency in the network thanks to low-voltage monitoring

The Customer

Mitteldeutsche Netzgesellschaft Strom mbH - MITNETZ STROM for short - is the largest regional distribution system operator in eastern Germany and is responsible for planning, operating and commercializing the electricity grid. The grid area of MITNETZ STROM covers an area of 30,804 km² in the four grid regions of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, South Saxony and West Saxony and thus supplies around 2.3 million people in this territory with electricity. The company's top priority is to ensure a reliable, economical and environmentally friendly supply of energy to households, companies and municipal partners through its network.

The Challenge

In order for the growing share of electric vehicles on our roads to continue gaining momentum, there needs to be sufficient charging infrastructure and, consequently, successful integration into our power grids. However, detailed monitoring of power grid components and segments in the low-voltage range does not yet take place across the board. The distribution system operator is therefore faced with the challenge of monitoring its own network. It needs to establish cost-efficient methods of recording all relevant measured variables from the outgoing feeders in low-voltage grids to guarantee network stability.

This requires the collection of measured values such as current and voltage and their transmission in variable time intervals (e.g. minute values). These captured values can be transferred to a scalable cloud system, in compliance with all requirements of the GDPR. Furthermore, data access from different end devices must be coordinated and configuration via remote access must be enabled.


The Solution

For implementing the monitoring, Robotron has put together the NeMo hardware bundle. This bundle consists of edge gateways from Moxa including cost-efficient measurement hardware and the RoboGate software component from Robotron. Data acquisition, processing, and visualization are realized by means of the corresponding Azure-native solution and by using PaaS components such as Azure IoT Hub and Azure Data Explorer. The measurement data is transmitted to the Azure IoT Hub via MQTT and LTE.

A browser-based dashboard shows measured values such as current, voltage, frequency, active power or reactive power. The information and results are visualized, for example, as a phase-by-phase display of time series and heat maps. The notification module is used to detect measured value anomalies with downstream e-mail notification. A total of 20 local transformer stations will be equipped with gateways. Data- and thus cost-efficiently a total of almost 150,000 measured values per hour are supplied by these gateways.


The Benefits

NeMo collects and displays all relevant data of the low voltage distribution level and thereby allows to assess the condition of the outgoing low voltage feeder at a glance. Due to the continuous monitoring, the distribution system operator now has the best preconditions for maintaining the voltage band at the network connection point or avoiding cable and transformer overloads. Furthermore, the project has created a blueprint suitable for a large-scale rollout to MITNETZ STROM's entire grid area without much additional effort.

"The monitoring of our low-voltage grid is an essential building block for ensuring grid stability in the future. Especially the combined use of the hardware bundles with Robotron's native cloud software offers significant benefits for a successful and fast realization of such a project. It is also an important building block for the coordination of charging processes with our NetzFlex reservation logic. By optimizing charging operations, we are able to transport more electricity through existing grids."

Steve Bahn, Project Manager/Product Owner NetzFlex, MITNETZ STROM