Pan-European project lays foundations for powering the smart grid

December 21, 2015 //By Paul Buckley
Pan-European project lays foundations for powering the smart grid
A multi-million euro pan-European E2SG (Energy to Smart Grid) research project, which featured 29 project partners from nine European countries, has been completed.  The project focused on developing a power supply that was more efficient, stable and secure.

E2SG lays the foundations for greater stability, energy efficiency and data security in the smart grid. Infineon Technologies AG coordinated the project, which has now been successfully completed. At the European Nanoelectronics Forum 2015 E2SG was presented with the 2015 ENIAC Innovation Award.

The research project E2SG began in 2012 with a set duration of 42 months. Half of the total budget amounting to about 32 million euros was contributed by the project partners. The European Commission initiative ECSEL JU funded the project to the tune of about 5.2m euros. Additionally, the participating project partners’ countries of origin contributed 10.5m euros to the project.

The smart grid can be understood as the 'Internet of Things' at the power supply level and has a power network whose nodes are communicatively interconnected. By exchanging information within the network and processing status and environment information, energy can be generated according to demand and be transmitted and used more efficiently.

The research results of the E2SG project will allow for a more sustainable energy production and more efficient energy conversion. For example, a bi-directional voltage converter – with an efficiency of over 96 percent – will facilitate the efficient power supply of electricity from different energy sources thereby supporting the use of renewable energies and makes the power supply more flexible and, by extension, more stable. By using optimized MOSFET power switches with more than ten percent lower on-resistance in voltage transformers such as power supplies and converters, together with advanced high voltage technology, power and conversion losses can be reduced. The solution saves power and reduces CO2 emissions. The increasingly communicative networking in the smart grid also requires reliable security solutions to protect the data from unauthorized access. One of the E2SG project components was the development of new security controllers which use advanced encryption of the data exchange to increase the security in the smart grid.

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