10. Mar 2023

Grid company: “SafeBase’s software expertise is virtually unmatched”

Could batteries be an alternative to grid expansions? Could batteries support high-voltage power grids? These are questions Tensio wants answered in a new pilot project in Lierne.

Several partners are looking into whether batteries can be a real alternative to expansion – and SafeMon is used to find the answers.

Tested for low-voltage – but what about high-voltage?

In the SmartGrids IDE project, funded by ENOVA, several grid companies have, among other things, tested the use of batteries in low-voltage grids. Results in terms of voltage support and phase balancing are positive.

At the beginning of the year, a brand new battery went live in the Municipality of Lierne. Tensio is taking the project further in a new pilot, in partnership with Eidsiva, who wants to commercialize leasing large battery packs to Norwegian grid companies through a product called PeakShaper.  .

“The battery is connected to the 22 kV grid through its own transformer. We will be exploring whether the battery can support the high-voltage grid, as we have seen it do for the low-voltage grid,” says the head engineer of grid development for Tensio TN, Jon Arnesen.

Testing in an industrial area

The project is being carried out in an industrial area in the Municipality of Lierne, approx. 40 km away from the nearest substation. The municipality has identified a considerable need for increased power capacity in the industrial area, but the alternatives all involve costly investments.

“Our goal is to find out whether batteries can be a realistic alternative to such costly expansions in the grid. Could batteries be the key to increased load capacity in the future?” asks Jon, rhetorically.

Another option could be to use batteries as a temporary solution, to get new customers connected quickly, while waiting for the new grid to be built. 

To find the answers, Tensio has to do readings and analyse data from the battery and the high-voltage grid. They will use SafeMon to do so. The substation is fitted with the SensorHub, which reads and transmits data to the dashboard on Jon’s computer.

The batteries are provided by Eidsiva Peakshaper.

Unique software expertise

Jon is quite familiar with SafeMon already. The grid utility application is part of our daily operations at Tensio – so the choice of software was easy.

“SafeBase’s software expertise is virtually unmatched, and in addition, they have strong knowledge of the power grid and about the needs of grid operators. In this project, they have helped us connect to an advanced voltage quality instrument from Elspec, which allows us to retrieve data directly from the instrument. Normally, this data would have to be retrieved from specialized software, which is much slower, so SafeBase’s expertise makes it a lot easier for me to monitor the readings in real-time.”

Until the summer of 2023, Jon will primarily use SafeMon for monitoring, but in time, Tensio will be testing whether metrics from SafeMon can also be used to operate the battery.