Study, development and validation of methodologies and tools for the management of active power distribution networks including renewable energy sources

SmartGen will propose electric power and control system solutions for an intelligent management of generation and electric loads in active distribution networks equipped with small and medium size generators and storage units so as to meet technical and economic constraints.

Three layer hierarchical power network

It will contribute to define the architecture of a Distribution Management System (DMS) for portion of electric distribution networks capable of managing problems of optimization, power flow control, voltage control, supply of auxiliary services from distributed generators and loads. Control logics for compensation devices will be developed in order to mitigate grid disturbances. Possible emergency conditions and restoration will be also analyzed. Innovative protections systems will be analyzed and proposed. The set-up of some models of distribution networks with distributed generation for validating the analysis on simulators and on test sites to be selected along the project development.

DMS integration in distribution systems

The project is funded by CCSE "Cassa Conguaglio per il Settore Elettrico" (Compensation Fund for the Electricity Sector) a public non-profit entity that is a "technical body of the accounting of energy systems", under the chapter "Ricerca di Systema" (System research) aimed at innovation and development of the electricity system.

Intelligent power distribution network

Power distribution network example

Expected benefits for users of the electric National system include:

  • The increase of the participation of players in the electricity market in particular end users; the increase the integration of distributed generators (especially renewable sources) into distribution networks; the reduction of the need for new transmission lines;
  • the improvement of network congestions management; the reduction of losses;
  • the improvement of controllability and management of the electric grid;
  • the contribution of GD to prevention (improving stability) and the recovery from emergency events (blackouts);
  • the improvement of the quality of service;
  • the improvement and development of specialized regulation.

The results of the Project may constitute an important basis for the development of DMS’es that really enables real-time management of electricity distribution network (with the real control of generation and load) instead of the actual off-line control procedures. The wide spread, both at MV and LV levels, of a DMS that operates as a true distributed control center capable of communicating with the higher and lower hierarchical levels – with consequent significant market potential– is expected. A technical analysis of the economic fallout will be carried out. Benefits for systematic use of standards for communication between the electricity grids and distributed generators. Suggestions and contributions to Standardization Bodies.

Softeco Sismat (IT)

University of Genoa - DITEN (Department of Telecommunication, Naval and Electric Engineering) (IT)

University of Bologna - Alma Mater Studiorum - DIE (Department of Electric Engineering) (IT)



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Main expected results will include:

  • the definition of architecture and specifications for the development of a DMS able of managing power distribution networks with the presence of generators and controllable loads;
  • the integration of existing instruments and/or development of other ones suited to enable the provision of the electric power service, of ancillary services such as regulation and active and reactive flow control, enhanced quality of the service, fast and reliable restoration service after faults and blackouts, participation to electricity market.
The project is running, stay tuned for results!

Gianni Viano

Stefano Bianchi

Know how - Energy & Environment


Funded by CCSE "Cassa Conguaglio per il Settore Elettrico" (Compensation Fund for the Electricity Sector)

ID 4593

Start date
January 2011

36 months

Softeco Sismat (IT)