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Power quality in coastal smart grids (SMARTWAVE)
Start date: Jan 5, 2015, End date: Jan 4, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Although almost half of the European population lives in coastal areas, the specific issues associated with the dramatic transformation of the coastal electrical networks into smart grids have been little addressed. These issues stem from the fact that coastal electrical networks are usually more structurally fragile than inland electrical networks. Hence, the former are more prone to be affected by a significant deterioration of the quality of the electricity supplied to the customers which is referred to as “power quality”. This problem will be further aggravated due to the high amount of distributed renewable energy sources (e.g. wave energy farms and groups of photovoltaic panels), whose rapid power fluctuations may be very detrimental to power quality, and of electric vehicles to be connected to the low-voltage, electrical distribution systems in the next decades. However, no study has addressed their combined grid impact yet in the specific context of coastal electrical networks. This constitutes a considerable gap which must be filled immediately for Europe to meet its targets in terms of renewable energy consumption. The proposed “SmartWave” research project will constitute a positive step in this direction. Its objective is to bring the research on coastal smart grids to the next level by tackling urging challenges by means of a realistic, integrated approach which addresses the combined impact on power quality of the different renewable energy sources mentioned earlier and of electric vehicles. It will also investigate different options to mitigate this impact in the form of intelligent charging scenarios for electric vehicles. The studies will be conducted based on typical coastal networks which will allow the conclusions of the research project to be transferable to a wide range of maritime countries, thus giving it a worldwide impact.Keywords: power quality, renewable energy sources (wave and photovoltaic), coastal smart grids, electric vehicles
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