i-Autonomous Standardization and integration of modular-autonomous automation components in novel, intelligent local network stations


Driven by the electrical energy revolution in Germany and Europe, there is also an increasing demand for automation in the medium and low-voltage grids. This automation is intended to increase the capacity of the electrical networks for decentralised power generation plants and for new loads (in particular heat pumps and electric mobility) or to delay and reduce the network expansion required for this.


The goal is to reduce the effort involved in integrating smart grid automation functions through standardized processes. Standardization, especially for components with adaptive functionality at runtime, does not yet exist. Therefore, such standardization should be developed in close cooperation with distribution network operators, taking into account all aspects such as hardware, software, communication, functionality and security. Developed concepts of smart grid automation of the predecessor projects i-Protect and i-Automate shall be transferred to a system platform within this project, which allows a continuous project planning and a standardized installation, under the aspect of the above mentioned standardized integration and maintenance. Finally, a template for an industry standard for the in-field introduction of smart grid automation systems into the medium and low voltage network level is to be created in order to minimize the effort and costs and thus reduce the risk for manufacturers in the development of automation systems and the hurdles for distribution network operators in the development of smart grids.

Such automation functions already exist in the higher voltage levels. However, the requirements for these functions differ significantly from those that arise in the lower voltage levels. Thus, the functionalities are centralized in the high-voltage and extra-high-voltage networks. The protective functions are implemented on hardware specially designed for this purpose. The individual functions are predominantly redundant and the number of measuring points is manageable. In contrast, automated medium and low-voltage networks require a large number of sensors and actuators. The large number of protection and automation functions requires the combination of all functions on a standardized system. In addition, the individual functions must be able to operate semi-automatically and function fail-safe and robustly without having to redundantly execute any hardware.  

Together with the results of the predecessor projects i-Protect (funding number 03ET7503) and i-Automate (funding number 03ET7561B), the i-Autonomous project aims to design and exemplarily apply a standardized protection and automation system for use in medium and low-voltage electrical networks, including a project planning, installation and maintenance concept that considers the entire life cycle. In close cooperation with network operators, the requirements, in particular for automated local network stations, will first be developed within this project. From this, specifications for the system and the concept are derived and documented in an integration guideline. The necessary protection and automation functions, interface adaptations, a suitable engineering process and automated test procedures will be implemented in hardware and software. Subsequently, the prototypical protection and automation system is implemented and validated in a selected network area using the specified processes.




External Leader

TU Dortmund (ie3)
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A comprehensive analysis of threats and countermeasures in virtualized cyber-physical energy systems

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TU Dortmund - Institut für Energiesysteme, Energiewirtschaft und Energieeffizienz (ie3)
H&S Hard- und Software Technologie GmbH & Co. KG
KoCoS Messtechnik AG
Energie Waldeck-Frankenberg GmbH
Westnetz GmbH


Start: 01.10.2019
End: 31.03.2023

Source of funding

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