Institut für Energiesysteme und Elektrische Antriebe, Arbeitsgruppe Elektrische Anlagen
> Zum Inhalt

ICT4RobustGrid - ICT requirements for operation of advanced and robust smart grids


Multi-agent systems (MAS) are able to cope with complex tasks in various areas of daily life. An application field is the electric power grid and research approaches towards smart grids. Due to the increased complexity, sole control by the human seems impossible and thus highperformance assistance control systems are required. In order to use multi-agent systems, an efficient and fault-tolerant ICT infrastructure that is feasible for the task of remote control solutions, is needed. ICT4RobustGrid analyses existing structures and compares them with the requirements of a MAS and provides a road map for a possible transition from a centralised to a decentralised control system in the power supply grid.


Climate change and the scarcity of resources inspired research, in the field of renewable energy and its implications for energy networks, far-reaching ideas from micro-grids, across smart grids, to the super-grid have emerged. Despite the differences in these approaches, synergies are present, which are helpful to increase the use of renewable energy. This connection also leads to an increased demand for ICT. Currently the technologies of the networks are controlled by distributed systems, this increases the requirements for safety (safety and security), reliability and availability. Due to the complex nature of the associated controls, such systems are based on different types of data and data structures. They are not able to ensure a continuous flow of information between the participating entities, which makes the control of the entire system inflexible and too complex. Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) are a promising technology to control a complex network with an enormous number of different connected components (inverters, meters, etc.) and services for smart devices in a smart grid. The power grid is a strongly critical infrastructure; accordingly, changes in the existing control concepts are implemented with great cautiousness. To justify confidence in the new systems, the possibilities, but also the risks of novelties need to be assessed in a test.

ICT4RobustGrid examines existing and on-going decentralized control mechanisms and raises the challenges and opportunities for smart grids. The analysis of existing networks and their infrastructure will show potential synergies and areas that represent special challenges. The focus is on analysis of multi-agent systems and the creation of specific performance criterias. These are placed in contrast with the existing ICT networks and distribution networks. On this basis, a roadmap for change from a centralized to a decentralized control solution will be created. It will also take account of the possibility of island solutions. Concrete requirements are elicited in the ICT structures, interfaces and possibilities to exert influence. ICT4RobustGrid thus creates a necessary and clear starting point to develop and test distributed control systems in field tests.

Project Members

Project Coordination:

  • Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Computer Technology

Project Partner:

  • Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives
  • Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Automation and Control Institute
  • Siemens AG Austria


Dipl.-Ing. Markus LITZLBAUER

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas KAUFMANN

Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen MARCHGRABER

Duration/ Funding

From 10/2013 to 11/2014

This project was funded by the "Klima- und Energiefonds" and is conducted within the research programme "IKT der Zukunft, 1. Ausschreibung".

This project is related to the following research topic: Smart Grids