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Caruna Tests Next-generation Grid Protection Technology in Finland

Intelligent technology powered by centralized artificial intelligence will automatically react to irregularities and provide real-time view of grid security.

Finnish electricity distribution company Caruna is developing and testing a new grid protection technology in the Noormarkku network area in Pori, Western Finland. The goal is to achieve a major improvement in the reliability of electricity distribution.

The Noormarkku substation in the Pori region and the power grid it supplies are being used to test intelligent electricity protection technology based on contact voltage data from the network and centralized artificial intelligence. The goal of the new system is to automatically interpret and react to any irregularities that occur in the electricity grid and provide a real-time view of the grid’s security status. This will help to speed up troubleshooting and avoid power outages altogether, and above all will ensure grid security.

A paper with preliminary results of related research was chosen for inclusion in this year’s International Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution (CIRED), the world’s leading forum for the electricity distribution sector.

The project is the first phase of a four-year R&D collaboration agreement between Caruna and ABB.

“The electricity distribution sector is considered traditional, but like other sectors, it is benefiting from the opportunities created by digitalization. The innovations we’re looking to develop through this collaboration will make our customers’ daily lives simpler, create security, and diversify the ways in which we can serve them,” said Caruna’s head of development, Antti Keskinen.

“The innovation can be compared with a smart home. Instead of handling each and every electrical device separately by pushing in or pulling out plugs, we will be able to do everything from a single interface. At the same time, the system will issue a warning if a lightbulb needs replacing before it gets dark,” added Keskinen.

“It’s great to see world-class innovation expertise. Electricity distribution is a critical part of a sustainable development in societies, and we’re very pleased to be able to develop it with our customers such as Caruna,” said Alessandro Palin, managing director of ABB’s Distribution Solutions business.

While renewable energy is causing increasing fragmentation in future energy production, wireless 5G connectivity and the Internet of Things are decentralizing the production and processing of data.

With the aid of artificially intelligent analysis of the growing mass of data, power companies could, for example, notify a customer if their home heating is consuming an unusually large amount of electricity because of doors or windows being left open, or the company could prevent or reduce disruptions in electricity distribution experienced by the customer by anticipating maintenance more effectively.

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