Smart Gas Grid, energy transition booster

Thanks to the implementation of new equipment and digitized functionalities, the natural gas network operated by GRDF becomes a key enabler of the energy transition in the territories.

The most mature innovation, the smart gas meter, already contributes to a better monitoring of energy demand. In addition, the Smart Gas Grid maximizes the network’s ability to integrate decentralized production of renewable gases and therefore accelerates decarbonization of end-uses (heat, cooking, industrial processes and mobility); it allows connection between complementary energy systems (especially with the power network) and thus, increases the development of renewables and the flexibility potential of the whole energy system.

 

What is Smart Gas Grid ?

It’s a digitized gas network supporting new functionalities by integrating innovative, low cost and smart sensors based on nanotechnologies. It’s also an innovative way of collecting data (through a 169 MHz radio network) and treating it (data analytics, IA). These solutions allow a more dynamic monitoring of the distribution network including local balancing.

Intelligent gas network: smart pipes at your service

Smart pipes are based on three key concepts:

  1. Remote surveillance of installations to detect any malfunctions and to ensure the highest quality service possible.
  2. By combining data from the various meters and sensors at key points in the network, remote-sensing will help improve flow reconstruction. Added benefits: improved response in emergency situations, optimized investments, and optimized stocks.
  3. Remote control of certain installations will enable a more even balance between supply and demand.

Smart pipes could help support the electrical power grid, with decentralized production by micro and mini-cogeneration units. In high-density energy areas, heating networks combining renewable energy with gas in central heating systems could be developed.

The interconnection of smart pipes with other urban infrastructures, such as electrical smart grids, also forms a smart network. Making them communicate will benefit customers by combining their strengths, with each network bringing its own specific advantage.

To develop smart gas grid functionalities, GRDF is taking part in demonstrators:

  • West Grid Synergy: 
    Develop a reverse flow solution (between distribution and transportation) to maximize integration of renewable gases
  • GRHYD:
    Test injection of H2 into the distribution network (up to 20% in volume in a mixture with natural gas). Quality impacts on the network and on end-uses
  • Energy management experiments based on data delivered by smart meters:
    Test different approaches and determine the most effective means of encouraging consumers to use gas consumption data to control their energy consumption
  • Nice Smart Valley:
    Test the potential of smart gas products (hybrid boilers, micro-CHPs) as flexibility providers for the local power network Develop connectivity for smart products allowing their integration within aggregators portfolio