Karlstad University contributes to the development of smart electricity grids in Africa2017-05-04
In Africa energy supply is an important sustainability and development issue. It is particularly important to develop green energy and utilise natural resources such as sun and wind. The smart electricity grid is an important factor in this development. This is also an important reason for Computer Science at Karlstad University to participate in the project DAMOC, Development of a HArmonized MOdular Curriculum for the Smart Grid.
DAMOC aims to develop Master-level programmes at universities in South-Africa and Tanzania, with a focus on smart electricity grids. In South-Africa, this development is already underway and expected to spread to other parts of Africa, for instance Tanzania, where the ambition is to provide reliable electricity at a reasonable price to create growth and combat poverty.
Computer Science, together with Technische Universität Dresden, contributes expertise and development of courses and course material on information security and personal integrity linked to smart electricity grids.
”When you develop smart electricity grids, you have to pool different types of knowledge such as electricity supply, information systems and economy,” says Hans Hedbom, lecturer in computer science at Karlstad University. “You also have to consider new risks to personal integrity and the handling of sensitive data, which is one of our areas of expertise.”
Smart electricity grid is a term for electricity grids with intelligent control. It involves different types of systems linked to an electricity grid, which enables better planning, measuring and control of electricity consumption and supply and connecting new and more environment-friendly and sustainable energy sources
”With the help of smart electricity grids you can measure electricity consumption in real time for different activities in a household, for example, how much electricity is used when you blow dry your hair or watch TV,” says Simone Fischer Hübner, professor of computer science at Karlstad University. ”In these sysgtems a great deal of personal and sensitive information is stored, which can be a security threat if it falls into the wrong hands.”
The Project DAMOC had a kickoff at the end of March in 2017. It is funded by Erasmus+ and runs till October 2019. During the project time the aim is to develop and test run a number of master programme courses, build two laboratories, develop online courses and establish and strengthen the network between the project partners.
The project partners are Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Karlstad University, Stellenbosch University, Technische Universität Dresden (project coordinators), the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi, University of Dar es Salaam, University of Pretoria.