Communication systems with renewable energy micro-grid

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A smart micro-grid is a small-scale power-grid system consisting of a number of distributed energy sources, loads and storage units, which is responsible to ensure power sufficiency in a small area. The effectiveness of a smart micro-grid depends on the proper implementation of a communication and networking system which monitors, controls and manages the grid’s operations. Due to the ever growing worldwide energy consumption, the need of an efficient framework for managing the way power is distributed and utilized has increased.

The main objective of this project is to study the fundamental interplay between communication and power networks in the context of smart micro-grids and renewable energy sources. On the one hand, we study advanced signal processing techniques and communication methods that optimize the operation of smart micro-grid systems. On the other hand, we focus on mobile communication networks with base stations based on renewable energy sources and we investigate communication and networking techniques that take into account both data traffic and energy profiles to support high quality-of-service (QoS). The theoretical results derived will be tested using the telecommunication network of MTN in Cyprus but also the state-of-the-art equipment of the CITI/INRIA research lab in France. The outcome of this project will provide a theoretical framework and a practical demonstration for the optimal cooperation between communication networks and power networks in the context of smart micro-grids and renewable energy sources.

The results of the COM-MED project are promising and of highly importance for the Mediterranean area, where due to the weather conditions renewable energy could be a sustainable energy solution. In Mediterranean area, the coverage of the mobile communication networks is still under development and base stations consume a high amount of energy (mainly due to the cooling operations and the high temperatures); the optimal design of fully autonomous cellular networks with renewable energy sources becomes an emerging research topic for the Mediterranean countries with important socio-economic impact.

Prof. Ioannis Krikidis from the KIOS Research Center is coordinating the project.

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The project is funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Program under the ERANETMED scheme.