ZIV Aplicaciones y Tecnología focuses its activity on the design, development, manufacture and marketing of intelligent solutions based on elements of protection, control, communication and measurement designed to be incorporated into high, medium and low voltage power grids. ZIV applies numerical technologies to algorithms of protection, control and automation. It has innovative products such as:
• Integrated protection and control equipment.
• Integrated systems with distributed functions for
supervision and automation of substations and telecommunications.
• Definition of automation protocols.
• Monitoring and control equipment, measurement.
• Software tools and associated services.

ZIV was founded in 1993, and its mission is to be the user’s ally to improve the safety, quality of service and profitability of its electrical systems. The vision is to lead the market by means of excellence in innovative, cost effective, customer oriented solutions. Thanks to a commitment to innovation, to an open and flexible approach and to teamwork, ZIV has grown to become a leader in intelligent solutions for HV, MV and LV Grids. Solutions based on the integration of protection, control, communication and measurement technologies. Today, ZIV is a team of around 500 professionals, with worldwide presence, serving the needs of both consumers and utilities offering a full range of products with in-house developed technology and related engineering services. ZIV participate in the main international technical forums, as well as in the alliances that are promoting the development of standard solutions that will facilitate the generation of new interoperable and open solutions. Likewise, ZIV has collaborated with the main Spanish electric companies in the development of the communications protocol between elements of substations, a protocol that tends to become the de facto standard in electrical grids.

Towards the digital transformation of electrical grids

Electricity transport and distribution grids are currently facing several challenges, including: maintaining reliability and stability, avoiding blackouts, improving their efficiency and reducing operating and maintenance costs. A very important factor is knowing exactly what the grid situation is and what is happening in it. One of the operators’ concerns is to improve the safety of their entire grid, while at the same time supporting a greater penetration of distributed energy resources and dealing with other environmental problems, such as the elimination, where possible, of the insulating oil used in equipment.

In pursuit of this objective, new technologies have been implemented to overcome the limitations of the old measurement, control, protection and monitoring systems. Smart solutions, with digital transformers, Ethernet networks and intelligent electronic devices and systems, are the future. The intelligence of intelligent grids is no longer relegated to the central control room. These grids are also becoming smart at the substation level. A digital substation offers a flexible communications infrastructure, which reduces the limitations of point-to-point cabling systems and allows bidirectional sharing of information and device status in real time, improving the responsiveness and flexibility of the system in its set. This visibility and control provided by the digital substations help the electricity companies to gain responsiveness and flexibility, allowing them to better meet the demands of today’s grid operators.

main tasks and responsibilities within the project

ZIV will be responsible for the following activities:

  • New protective relays for M.V. grids including high renewable energy penetration: based on RTDS simulations performed by CIRCE and other partners, ZIV will analyse the behaviour of their protective relays applied in the MV grid, including directional overcurrent, distance, transformer differential, line differential, frequency, voltage, etc. ZIV will define the limitations of the algorithms used in these relays and it will propose improved algorithms. These algorithms, implemented in ZIV relays, will be tested in CIRCE RTDS.
  • Feeder Mapping algorithm Improvement.
    This project relates to the detection of the meters of each low-voltage line at the secondary substations and the inducer-receiver sensors being arranged in one of the phases of the lines that are in contact with the final meters.
    A method is used for the collection of the current induced by the inducer-receiver sensors via the PLC, thereby identifying the dependent meters of each line.
    The proposal is to analyze the impact of improving the solution using both the voltage and the inducted current, obtaining the power flow of the signal on each feeder.
    For this, it would be necessary to carry out measurements in real field installations, with adequate equipment, to verify if this combined measure would provide a unique identification of the dependency of a meter related to a feeder of the LV distribution grid.
    For the current transducers, the phase shift response through the bandwidth of analysis must be studied, along with the required synchronization of the overall system.
  • New generation of smart meters with real-time information for final consumers.
    • As numerous studies show, part of the economic success of smart meter deployments is based on the adoption by consumers of efficient behaviour patterns (energetically speaking). For this, it is important that the smart meters have the appropriate communication interfaces that provide information in real time to consumers. The objective of this development is, on one hand, to identify which are the main use scenarios in which, to provide information in real time of the consumption of electric power is relevant, and on the other hand, to investigate what technologies are suitable to provide said information in real time. To do so, two main subtasks have been identified:
    • Use scenarios for the management of information in real time of final consumers. This sub-task aims to identify both the main future use scenarios, related to more efficient use of electric power, both in homes and in commercial clients, as well as the information needs in real time that such use scenarios impose. In this task we will analyze the main initiatives that are being carried out in Europe and we will also try to identify potential barriers to import the most successful initiatives in Spain.
    • Investigation in real-time interfaces for electric meters. In this task, we will investigate the main technologies that can be used to make the use scenarios identified in the previous task a reality. It is very important to indicate that we will focus mainly on potential technologies, both radio and powerline communications (PLC), since they do not imply an investment in new telecommunications infrastructure. In this task, a comparison of telecommunication technologies will also be carried out bearing in mind the cost of adding said interfaces in the electric energy meters with telemanagement and time discrimination function.