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Artificial Intelligence by OmegaLambdaTec in Stuttgart Power Supply System


In the beginning of 2020, Stuttgart Netze together with their partners SMIGHT and OmegaLambdaTec have started a project themed to enable the network operator to better analyze blackout causes and improve their network monitoring. Now first precise results of the second part of the project are on hand, focussed on aritficial intelligence (AI). For the first time, damaged wires could be precisely detected by means of determined training of an algorithm. Therefore, this technology is planned to be implemented on further sites of the Stuttgart power network and, thus, make power supply more reliable.

Are network operators able to automatically detect and potentially localize cable breaks within the net by means of artificial intelligence? This was challenged by the project partners in the second part of the project. In order to train a respective algorithm, they worked with manually induced cable breaks within the meshed Stuttgart power network. The team of gate-Startup OmegaLambdaTec, a service provider for data analyses, succeded in tracing anomalies inside the network. „This kind of data collection, analysis and interpretation holds great potential for the challenges of the energy revolution. The fact that this proof of concept was successful will open new doors“, comments Dr. Rene Fassbender, Managing Direkctor of OmegaLambdaTec. Presently, his team is working on the transition from a static detction of anomalies toward continuous monitoring. Data visualization, too, will be further optimized in co-operation with the colleagues from SMIGHT.

Reliable and sturdy data acquisition as a basis

A little bit more than one year ago, Stuttgart Netze have mounted measuring technology of the EnBW-subsidiary „SMIGHT“ in several cable distribution cabinets and transformer stations in a typical neighborhood in the Stuttgart quarter Bergheim (Weilimdorf) (see https://bit.ly/39EG93q). At 20 out of 170 possible points, the sensors measure how much current (in ampere) flows through the respective leads. The measuring points are chosen on basis of a substantial analysis by OmegaLambdaTec.

„Measurements on this network level are quite unusual and challenging. Installation and operation are complex and expensive“, reports Christian Körner, team leader site management at Stuttgart Netze. In addition, data processing and interpretation of the data gained is often difficult.

Innovative technology for on-site operation

The Weilimdorf pilot project has dispelled these reservations. The implemented solution could be installed fast and easily – and, beyond all, data recording and transfer proved to be reliable and sturdy. „When developing this solution, it was essential to enable installation during on-site operation. Thus, an area-wide application is quickly possible“, says Oliver Deuschle, head of SMIGHT. The mechanics of Stuttgart Netze have mobile access to measuring data via their smart phone and, thus, instantly know which net site could cause problems.

After the likewise successful second part of the project, Stuttgart Netze plan to implement SMIGHT’s intelligent sensor technology in combination with OmegaLambdaTec’s AI in other areas of the Stuttgarte power network, too. „Especially in areas where major changes are to be expected in the next years – e.g. more electric vehicles or renewable energies – we can very well imagine automated measurements“, says Arvid Blume, president of the management of Stuttgart Netze. The system coul help to prioritize network expansion measurements, to react faster on disturbances and, thus, to secure a stable service security and customer satisfaction.

Structure of the Stuttgart power network
Electrical power comes from the wall socket. But for loading mobile phones and operating coffee machines, it runs through a complex system with several voltage levels. Most private buildings and smaller businesses are supplied by a low voltage system (400 Volt) via transformer stations and cable distribution cabinets. In Stuttgart, this voltage level is outstanding due to the fact that consumers can almost always be supplied with power from two sides. If, e.g., a cable fails due to a disturbance, the customer won’t notice. This is called “meshed net structure”. The consumer advantage, however, is a great challenge for Stuttgart Netze. After all, a cable may be defective, but yet the customers are supplied with power furtheron. This may result in that defective cables will remain undetected for a long time. If, in addition, the second supply wiring, which is now strained more heavily, fails, an even bigger number of clients wil sit in the dark. In this case, trouble-shooting as well as re-supply are enormously time- and work-consuming for the the power net operator. The solution now proven by SMIGHT and OmegaLambdaTec could help, amongst others, to get on to power breakdowns more quickly in the future.

About Stuttgart Netze:
Stuttgart Netze are responsbile for a safe power supply in Stuttgart. We own the high-, middle- and low-voltage power net with a length over 5,600 kilometers and keep cables, distribution grids and relay stations to state of the art. Beyond, we expand and amplify the net, if, e.g., charging points for electric vehicles are needed, solar collectors are installed by citizens or new buildings are connected to the power network. Furtheron, we take care of the public street lighting on behalf of the regional capital. We are also in possession of the gas distribution system. The latter will be perspectively run by ourselves. The security of energy supplies is alyways top priority. For this purpose, we are committed to modern technology, processes and materials as wells the experience and qualifications of our employees. We are a joint enterprise of Stadtwerke Stuttgart and Netze BW with about 300 employees.

SMIGHT develops smart city digital solutions in order to sustainably increase the quality of life in public space. Their solutions address topics like digitazation of of power networks, transportation management and public WLAN. The special thing about it is the use of the existing infrastructure as, e.g. local switching entities or street lanterns which are euipped with various sensors. The processed sensor data are fully available to the customer in order to avoid a web overload or to efficiently control the traffic. SMIGHT offer their customers a complete variety of suitable sensor systems, their installation and bringing into service to the point of equipment monitoring and safe data management.

About OmegaLambdaTec:
OmegaLambdaTec GmbH for Data Science Services was established in 2015 by Dr. Rene Fassbender at the gate Garching with the mission to offer their business partners the best possible tailor-made physical analytics, KI- and data science solutions. The basis for this is the research transfer of state-of-the-art physical analytics methods from astrophysics into data-driven use cases in the industry sectors energy, mobility and industry 4.0.
For further information pleas click www.omegalambdatec.com.