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Photo: Sarah Rönnberg PhD in energy technology at LTU
Sarah Rönnberg PhD in energy research at Luleå University of Technology are to do field measurements of disturbances in the grid.

New research on electric grid which is loaded by technical gadgets

Published: 5 March 2012

Noise in the radio, flickering TV screens and that electrical devices can have shortened life expectancy are examples of disturbances in the electricity network due to new electronic products charged to the net. Researchers at Luleå University of Technology, in cooperation with the Swedish Energy Agency are to seek ways to reduce interference and has received over 4 million SEK in research funding by the Authority.

- The project gives us a better understanding of how the devices can work together without disturbing each other or have shortened life span. The knowledge of the project will directly be used in the development of new standards, says Martin Lundmark responsible for the electrical power group at Luleå University of Technology.

A growing number of new products such as solar cells, heat pumps, electric car chargers and LED lighting is dependent on the grid and more and more products were graded up to low energy applications. In addition, electricity companies have begun to use the network for communications to and from the mesurement tools in real estate, which requires that the voltage is stable. According to the Energy Agency the research project is urgent to find standardized limits.

Real environments, in laboratory form, with common household appliances, lighting, computer, television, stove, kettle, will in a first step be measured in the project. Its aim is to simulate the electrical environment in an ordinary house that also has solar panels that produce electricity. LTU's researchers will also make field measurements in Skellefteå in a residential area, a hotel and at a solar PV system.

- No one knows what disturbances new products will generate, so it is important to measure, says Sarah Rönnberg PhD in energy research at Luleå University of Technology.