The Group’s R&D activities in the area of electric energy distribution focus on optimizing the distribution grid, with an emphasis on worker safety, environmental issues, and improved quality of supply. IBERDROLA is leading the development of smart grids through different projects designed to implement modern electricity grids and develop grid intelligence both at the European level and in Spain.
In Europe, IBERDROLA leads the UPGRID project, which seeks to strengthen its capacity as an integrator of active demand and distributed generation of low voltage. There are ongoing projects IGREENGrid, for developing precise methods for integrating renewable energy sources into electricity distribution networks and DISCERN which compares various grid intelligence solutions and seeks the most optimised set of architectures. In Spain, IBERDROLA continues with PRICE project which aim is to cover the needs for the development of an intelligent network within a framework of efficiency, safety and sustainability.
In order to maintain and normalize the airlines, the next projects has been concluded, TABON for the development of a verification technology and inspection lines, MATUSALEN, for development of a tool which determine the aging medium voltage cables in underground lines and SILECTRIC, new insulators for overhead lines and high voltage switchgear.
In Scotland, there are developing projects to promote smart grids. It should be mention the ARC project, which aims to accelerate the renewables connection process in the distribution network and FLEXNET, for the development of solutions and technologies which improve and increase network capacity. In Brazil, there are ongoing innovation projects for the inspection of distribution networks like VANTS and ROBÔ; projects for underground networks installation in order to reduce the impact of air lines and projects to improve protection among others.
It is important to mention, ELEKTROBUS project, which aim is to develop a prototype vehicle with a system of electric propulsion through ultra-capacitors. In the United States, Integrated Aerial Damage Assessment System, is particularly noteworthy, whose objective is the development of an air system in order to evaluate the damage caused by strong storms in electrical network.
IBERDROLA has an R&D Technology Centre for smart grids in Qatar. A study will be conducted with the Qatar state-owned electricity company Kahramaa to analyse the feasibility of implementing a smart grid system and a pilot project will be launched to prepare the final deployment of smart grids in Qatar.
About the Cathedra IBERDROLA at Salamanca University, it has been signed an agreement for the exchange of teaching staff with Qatari institutions and joint collaboration in R&D projects in the region.
In addition, it has reached an agreement with Qatar University and the University of Salamanca to present together an R&D projects to Qatar National Research Funds (QNRF).