Ionate teams for digital smart grid transformer

Ionate teams for digital smart grid transformer

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK startup Ionate has teamed up with EDP in Portugal to test out the latest high voltage digital smart grid transformer technology.

London-based Ionate has developed an all-in-one HV digital transformer that equips the grid with real-time power flow control and data. EDP is piloting the technology in live grids.

The Hybrid Intelligent Transformer (HIT) replaces the passive transformer with a real-time control node, regulates voltage and reactive power with millisecond-level precision by using a new design for the magnetics. This stabilizes power flows and gives the grid operator a much-needed tool of active intervention.

The HIT transformer technology increases the grid’s tolerance for renewables and the amount of power it can carry, while minimizing wasted power. This will transform the network into a flexible, smart grid, optimizing power flows across the whole system.

This project has already commenced with a design study this summer and will continue with testing with Labelec, before live deployment of HITs with E-REDES in Portugal and Spain, and also in the Brazilian market with EDP. Beyond the initial trial-phase, the plan is for the HIT transformers to stay in the grid as permanent assets and help its transition over the next years.

The collaboration on digital smart grid technology is the result of two key innovation programmes: Free Electrons, the world’s largest innovation program in the energy sector, co-led by EDP, and Energy Starter, EDP’s collaborative innovation program, launched with the aim of attracting the most innovative and disruptive startups and scaleups capable of driving the energy transition on a global scale.

“In response to the imperative of accelerating the energy transition, EDP is actively engaged in transformative projects,” said Luís Manuel, Executive board member of EDP Innovation.

“The Hybrid Intelligent Transformer (HIT) has the potential to be a game-changer, replacing conventional passive transformers with state-of-the-art real-time control nodes. This strategic partnership not only fortifies grid stability and resilience but also aligns with EDP’s commitment to innovation and its unwavering dedication to shaping a smarter and more efficient energy landscape,” he said.

“EDP is a global shaper of the energy industry. Their bet on early-stage innovation shows just how urgently the grid needs new technologies to deliver on our sustainable future. And their confidence in Ionate is the best feedback we can get that we are on the right path to deliver a key solution for the energy transition. We are so proud to have them as our first customer,” said Ionate’s founder & CEO Matthew Williams.


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