ID4AL Project: Hierarchical and distributed automation for medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) grids






The EU-funded IDE4L project demonstrated an entire system of distribution network automation, IT systems and functions enabling active network management. The vertically and horizontally distributed decision-making architecture aims to improve real-time monitoring and controllability of MV and LV grids and to integrate renewable energy sources and new loads more efficiently, without compromising the distribution grid’s reliability.  



  • 6 laboratory demonstrations and 3 field demonstrations validating the developed architecture, monitoring, control and protection systems in real physical grids with connections to PV panels, wind turbines, heat pumps and actual consumers
  • Decentralised Fault Location Isolation and Supply Restoration (FLISR) solution based on IEC 61850 GOOSE including adaptation to grid topology or DER configuration changes is ready for market launch
  • 3-4 times increase of grid capacity compared to existing passive grid reinforcement methods
  • Interoperability through standard-based interfaces and scalability of automation system
  • Reduced reaction time to varying conditions and workload for control centre operators  



Although the practice was demonstrated in Denmark, Italy and Spain, the automated architecture, solution and functionalities are applicable to any distribution grid in Europe (or globally where relevant).  


Main information:

The emergence of distributed renewable energy resources has increased the complexity of managing MV and LV grids. New challenges that have emerged include:

  1. Exploitation of existing networks and resources more efficiently
  2. Maintaining high reliability and power quality standards
  3. Reducing demand uncertainties
  4. Resolving conflicts between electricity market needs and technical constraints

The IDE4L project was conceptualised to address these challenges and design advanced automation systems that utilise ancillary services of distributed energy resources and aggregators.  

IDE4L relied on existing technology, solutions and emerging requirements in order to design the advanced automation system. Key functionalities include decentralised FLISR, real-time monitoring, state estimation and congestion management. The resulting concept managed fast charging conditions and utilised the existing distribution network more cost-efficiently through exchanging dynamic information and services among flexibility market actors (DSOs/commercial aggregators and TSOs).  


Additional information:

The Tampere University of Technology is the project coordinator of the EU FP7-funded project IDE4L (2013-16), which includes research institutes and university faculties, associations, technical solution providers and distribution system operators, and energy providers from 6 countries in Europe.  


RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

EU LIFE funding support Logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.