Smart open source solutions help energy transition along

18 June 2021
Network company Alliander is entering into national and international collaborations using open source software. With open source software, the source code is freely available and can be used, modified and shared by third parties.

For Alliander, participating in open source projects is a way of meeting the challenges of the energy transition and, this way, accelerating innovation. It also helps to further increase the reliability of the power grid by, on the one hand, deploying smart solutions and, on the other, by sharing insights. The Weather Provider API is exactly such a smart open source tool, one that allows you to collect weather data with ease. Alliander will be holding a webinar on this tool on 7 July.

In our open source projects, software developers from different companies work together in a simple and accessible way. We contribute to a multitude of open source projects, and we are also a member of LF Energy of The Linux Foundation, through which we partner with other companies in the energy sector and elsewhere. After all, the energy transition is a challenge many organisations are facing, and by sharing information and smart solutions, all parties benefit.

Open sources
At Alliander, we actively look for projects we can contribute to. For example, via LF Energy we are working with several other parties to develop OperatorFabric, a platform that shows at a glance the status of our grid. If the system operator needs to take action, they will see this on this platform. We also investigate which of our own projects we can make available via open source. For example, the Short-Term Forecasts project will soon be open-sourced. This prepares forecasts about the load on the power grid for the next 48 hours so that we gain more insight and can better guarantee the reliability of the energy supply. Our Weather Provider API has recently also been open-sourced. We will be explaining more about this tool during a webinar on 7 July.

Weather data
There is a lot of meteorological information available. The Weather Provider API was developed from the need to easily access this weather data. The information can be used to forecast the weather and provide insight into the historical effects of weather. By combining this data with data about the power grid, we may be able to analyse what influence the weather has on the condition of the underground grid infrastructure. The weather has a major influence on possible outages in the power grid. For example, it is known that there is a greater chance of power cuts during a prolonged period of warm weather. The dry soil and high temperatures can cause weak components in the grid to overheat. In order to restore power quickly – and preferably prevent power cuts altogether – it is important to know where a fault could possibly occur. At Alliander, we use the weather data from the Weather Provider API to look into whether we can make better predictions about where weak points in the grid will arise and when.

We are happy to share our information about the open source projects we participate in. Like the Weather Provider API, for example, which may just be interesting for other companies as well. In the spirit of sharing, the Alliander Open Source Program Office will be holding a webinar about this project on 7 July 2021. This webinar is intended to inform other organisations and get them excited about what this software and its functionalities can mean for their services. It is also intended to get developers interested in developing the Weather Provider API further. This way we can share knowledge and expertise. Interested companies and open source developers can find more information and register at https://www.alliander.com/en/weather-data-an-open-source-of-information/.