Distribution Grid Monitoring and Automation


Distribution grids are undergoing a major evolution due to growth of renewable energy sources and the increasing demand brought by electric heating and mobility. These changes call for the deployment of smart automation in order to guarantee the efficient, reliable and secure operation of the distribution system. The team “Distribution Grid Monitoring and Automation” covers different topics associated to the whole automation chain, spanning from measurement techniques to state estimation-based monitoring, from automation architectures and communication protocols to grid automation algorithms. Main research topics are:

  • Design of low-cost measurement instrumentation
  • Development of new state estimation approaches for distribution grid monitoring
  • Definition of automation requirements and architectures for hybrid ac/dc grids
  • Testing of automation schemes in software and/or hardware in the loop
  • Design of innovative algorithms for distribution grid management, such as voltage control, fault location and network reconfiguration
  • Design of innovative automation architectures for improved resiliency

Team Leader: Edoardo De Din


Research Projects of the Team



The four years project HYPERRIDE, starting on 1st October 2020, contributes to the field implementation of DC and hybrid AC-DC grids. Starting with the definition of most relevant fields of application for DC grids (local microgrids, grid enforcement to overcome congestions, coupling of AC grid sections, etc.), the enabling technologies will be specified in detail on different levels. More


Open DEI

The Digital Transformation strategy of the European Union has, among others, a particular priority: the creation of common data platforms based on a unified architecture and an established standard. Manufacturing, agriculture, energy and healthcare represent key fields for the deployment of the EU strategy for digitalisation. More



IElectrix is a response to the Horizon 2020 Call for proposals by the European Commission: “Integrated local energy systems (Energy islands)”. The project addresses the challenge of a single and smart European electricity grid in integrating renewable energy sources and promotes the enabler role of the Distribution system operators to connect Local Energy Communities to the network. More


EdgeFLEX - Providing flexibility to the grid by enabling VPPs to offer both fast and slow dynamics control services

EdgeFLEX is a H2020 European project, which aims at defining a new architecture for Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) deployed in a multi-layer solution, where multiple layers of dynamics are interfacing via communication addressed by 5G-powered edge clouds, laying the foundation for a fully renewable energy system. With the proposed architecture, VPPs are brought to a new level, enabling them to interact on markets offering various ancillary services to System Operators. EdgeFLEX will develop this next generation VPP concept and demonstrate it in the context of field trials and lab tests. It will explore innovative optimisations, financial tools and business scenarios for VPPs and assess the economic and societal impact. It will actively work to remove barriers by contributing to standards and European level regulation. More


BRILLIANT: Blockchain based secure, reliable & resilient operation of critical infrastructure

In BRILLIANT we focus on the Blockchain as a structural component, where the application itself depends on the role of the Blockchain for its functionality, taking advantage either on its distributed nature, its transparency, its immutability or a combination of these properties. Currently, on BRILLIANT, the main applications explored focuses on monitoring and virtual redundancy for distribution networks, where cost-efficient distributed alternatives represent a good option for the monitoring, automation and control of the electrical system, especially due to the horizontal scalability versus the vertical scalability required by centralized solutions. More


SOGNO – Service Oriented Grid for the Network Of the future

SOGNO is a H2020 European Project, which aims at developing a new concept of distribution grid management, based on the use of 5G communication, advanced deep learning techniques and cloud virtualization to provide the intelligence needed to control future smart grids as a service for distribution system operators. SOGNO solution will be demonstrated in different European field trials as well as in the ACS laboratory and in the RWTH Smart Campus grid. More