Earlier this year on a Sunday renewable power supplied almost all of Germany’s power demand, a major milestone in Germany's “Energiewende” policy. The transformation of the grid (called by some a revolution) is being driven by distributed energy (DER) and smart devices. It requires profound changes to how we monitor and manage the power grid and to be able to understand the impact of the integration of more distributed intermittent sources and new consumer, industrial, and commercial electronics requires data and tools that only exist partially today.
If you are familiar with OpenStreetMap (OSM), then the OpenGridMap project is not that different except that it focusses on mapping electric power infrastructure instead of transportation. I had heard rumours about an OSM-like project in Germany to map electric power infrastructure several years ago, but was unable to find more information about it. OpenGridMap is an new open community that crowdsources power grid geospatial location and related data to be used for research purposes. The goal is to collect reliable grid data to enable researchers to conduct simulation studies. OpenGridMap is intended to support the entire process from data collection to making grid data available for various applications. An OpenGridMap app for Android for people interested in helping to collect grid infrastructure data is available on Playstore.
Using OpenGridMap data analytics developed at the Technical University (TU) Munich generates a power grid model in the form of a Common Information Model (CIM) description file which provides the basis for a power grid simulation model. Experiments with OpenGridMap data have demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach for grid modeling and simulation. It is expected that as more data is collected it will be possible to generate power grid simulations of larger size, more variety and more accuracy than the currently available state-of-the-art test power grids.
The project was initiated by Professor Hans-Arno Jacobsen, Chair of Business Information Systems, and José Rivera at the Technical University of Munich. It is supported by a German Federal Ministry of Education and Research grant and the Alexander von Humbolt Foundation. Collaborators include Siemens AG, World Bank's ESMAP, the Technical University Berlin's VEREDELE project and Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) KOSiNeK project.
OpenGridMap: An Open Platform for Inferring Power Grids with Crowdsourced Data, José Rivera , Christoph Goebel, David Sardari, Hans-Arno Jacobsen, Energy Informatics, Volume 9424 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 179-191, 06 January 2016
OpenGridMap: towards automatic power grid simulation model generation from crowdsourced data Rivera, J., Leimhofer, J. & Jacobsen, HA. Comput Sci Res Dev (2016). doi:10.1007/s00450-016-0317-4