Information about supply quality through data analysis for Netbeheer Nederland

Prof. dr.ir. Sjef Cobben

Since 1989, Netbeheer Nederland – the association of Dutch grid operators – has been measuring grid Power Quality, periodically reporting to the National Regulatory Authority (ACM). Professor Sjef Cobben of Eindhoven University of Technology, who has years of experience with advanced analysis and working on standardization committees, is closely involved in this project on behalf of HyTEPS.

The Power Quality Monitoring project (‘PQM project’), which involves all grid operators in the Netherlands, is focused on monitoring the quality of voltage within the electricity grid. Based on the data collected and analyses, information about the quality of supply voltage can be gathered and shared with the customers.  

Operators provide data for the PQM project in order to help determine the national grid’s performance. Commissioned by Netbeheer Nederland, HyTEPS supports this process through independent extensive analysis of collected data from grid operators and clear reporting, while verifying measurements are compliant with the Dutch grid code (‘Netcode’).

This has two key benefits.

  • Grid operators can meet the legal requirements and demonstrate the voltage they are supplying is of good quality.
  • Monitoring their systems helps uncover issues and causes, allowing operators to fix them right away, or develop long-term strategies to ensure they won’t happen again.

The PQM project has some additional benefits. It promotes cooperation and exchange of knowledge and best practices between grid operators, suppliers, manufacturers, and users. It also supports development of power quality regulations, policies, and standards based on data and uniform measurement and assessment methods and criteria.

Extreme accuracy

On all connected high and extra high voltage connections, measurements are taken continuously. On low and medium voltage networks 250 measurements are taken each year, at random selected locations. For each of these four categories, requirements are slightly different. This adds up to a truly huge amount of data. Validating that data and checking whether Power Quality limits are exceeded requires far-reaching automation. Especially because all stakeholders have their own meters, and therefore provide their input in different formats.

Together with the grid operators, the aim is to develop more advanced data correlation and dashboards. By working closely with all involved, we can obtain more insights from the collected data. HyTEPS is delighted to contribute to this, and we’re always thinking about new measurements that can help pinpoint bottlenecks or potential issues.

Extreme accuracy is essential in this project. When we, as an independent party, inform the ACM or grid operators, we have to be sure that our analyses are 100% accurate. We spent a large part of the first year developing a complete understanding of all the processes and time frames involved and realizing uniformity wherever possible. We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve been entrusted with this work – after all, we’re helping to provide information about the quality of electricity grids regarding the quality of the supply voltage and, in future, perhaps information about the impact of new technologies.

“Adequate monitoring of power quality is more relevant than ever now that there is constant ‘pressure’ on the electricity grid as a result of the energy transition. The energy transition not only means enormous challenges for grid operators in achieving sufficient transmission capacity. It also requires the full attention of grid operators to achieve the product quality prescribed in legislation and standards: so-called Power Quality. To measure is to know for sure, and therefore insight into power quality is essential. Last year, HyTEPS became the fourth external service provider to support Netbeheer Nederland in the power quality monitoring program over the past 25 years. HyTEPS is in the unique position of being able to combine the fresh perspective of a newcomer with Sjef Cobben’s years of experience. And Netbeheer Nederland is gratefully making use of both dimensions in HyTEPS’ involvement.”

Johan Janssen, chairman of the NBNL Werkgroep Spanningskwaliteit

 

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