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Supporting Market Solutions by Calculating Ancillary

Services and Quality of Service with Metrology Meters

Mihai SANDULEAC, member IEEE Catalin CHIMIREL, member IEEE Joao MARTINS,
ECRO and University Politehnica Bucharest Mircea EREMIA, Senior member IEEE member IEEE
Bucharest, Romania Lucian TOMA, member IEEE FCT/UNL and UNINOVA- University Politehnica Bucharest, Romania CTS, Portugal

Abstract The increasing penetration of renewables at TSO cross-border exchange, usually being measured either at the
and DSO level, requires more complex solutions for ancillary controlling point - e.g. the order of AGC (Automated
services. Currently, in large interconnected power systems, there Generation Control) in the TSOs (Transmission System
are various solutions for their calculation. The ancillary services Operator) EMS/SCADA (Energy Management System /
for load balancing control or for cross-border power exchange Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), or by measuring
are currently calculated based on SCADA measurements or on with local SCADA the real-time data [1, 2]. Our studies show
TSOs AGC order. In this paper authors propose alternative that ancillary services can be calculated with high accuracy by
solutions for calculating, with high accuracy, the ancillary using metrology energy meters which use 1-minute load
services and quality of service by using legally enforced
profiles (LP01), with the advantage of legally enforced results
metrology meters using 1-minute load profiles. These solutions
are based on several exploratory tests performed within the
(due to metrology), with high accuracy (always under 0.5%
Romanian power system and on various simulations. Moreover, for our use-cases) and with preservation of equal values
the traded quantities on energy and balancing markets can be between the meter measurements and transacted energies on
exactly retrieved on the metrology meter measurement energy and balancing markets. Moreover, Quality of Service
trustable through IEC accuracy compliance, thus bringing high (QoS) can be also assessed and the method applies also for
transparency and trust for partners. The method applies also for aggregated services provided by Virtual Power Plants (VPPs)
aggregated services provided e.g. by Virtual Power Plants.
Index Termsancillary service (AS), metrology meter, 1-minute This chapter presents the main aspects related to the
Load Profile (LP01), quality of service, Virtual Power Plant.
calculation of the ancillary services. Figure 1 illustrates the
communication scheme of the Automatic Generation Control
I. INTRODUCTION (AGC) between the control center of the Transmission
Electricity markets have been highly developed in the last System Operator (TSO) and the Dispatchable Unit (DU). The
years and new web based platforms have been implemented to variables shown in the figure are explained in chapter III.
increase the competition among participants, while various
technical rules were established to enhance network security.
In particular, the balancing market was created to manage the
acquisition and deployment of energy reserves for load-
frequency control. With the increased penetration of
intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) in both
transmission and distribution networks, there is an increased
need for effective balancing solutions which need also to be
calculated in an accurate, transparent and trustable way. This
is also needed because the amount of necessary balancing
services is increasing in time, due to high RES penetration.
Just for example, in the Romanian power system, during
windy periods, the volatile generation from RES may reach up
to 50% of the total load, which ask for higher volume of Figure 1. Calculation of ancillary services using various methods
balancing services compared in the past. In Portugal this value
has already reached a maximum value of 100%. A. Data sources for ancillary services calculation

The measurement of provided services and the quality of While the control signals are sent from TSO to DU, by
service do not have a unique method over countries and for SCADA, the ancillary service (AS) delivered by DU can be
calculated with several possible methods:
The work has been funded by the Sectorial Operational Program Human
Resources Development 2007-2013 of the Ministry of European Funds through
the Financial Agreement POSDRU/159/1.5/S/132397; part of this work has
been done in the frame of the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and
innovation programme under the Nobel Grid project grant agreement No
a) by using real time data from local SCADA of the DU, with based on prequalification tests performed by the TSO. The
a typical sampling rate of 1 or 2 seconds, depending on the real QoS may be worse depending on various real time
hardware technology (M_SCADA); operation aspects, varying from human error to defective
b) by using the integration of AGC command, called also transducers, which are not subsequently checked. On the
control order CO(t), at the TSO level (M_AGC) contrary, the LP01 based calculation allows an easy post-
c) by using local meter with 1-minute load profiles (M_1m); factum analysis of QoS, from next minute to next day,
depending on the needs of the TSO [4].
Calculation based on local data source as delivered
service measured with local SCADA (method a) and ordered C. Checking the balance between traded energies on energy
service in AGC based on CO(t) (method b) are the main and balancing markets compared with the recorded meter
current used methodologies for this purpose. data a commercial issue
In this paper is proposed a new method, based on meters As explained earlier, the current procedures for calculation
of the ancillary services may lead to large errors. This brings
data source (method c) (M_1m). For assessing the validity of
also difficulties in checking the energy balance at various
this method, we consider also an ideal measurement at the
measurement point of within certain network areas, for both
DU local level, where measurements are done with highest electricity gross market and balancing market.
accuracy (near zero error), which we mark as
M_ideal_etalon. The two meters are shown in figure 1 with During some commercial hours the errors may be as low
dotted red circles, as they are the subject of our analysis. as 0.5% (which is acceptable), but during dynamic periods the
It has been already reported in [3] that the accuracy of errors may increase up to 1 to 5%, depending on the specific
instrumentation measurements from meters are at the same resource that provide the service, which is no longer
level with the measured energy, which makes the meter a acceptable for commercial reasons.
much solid source of real-time data, instead of SCADA data, This inconvenience can be easily overcome by using
thus making it a better alternative to (method a). Furthermore, metrology meters, which are capable of providing reliable
the billing meters have usual accuracy of 0.2S for large data, as meters are subject to legally enforced certificates.
generators or for tie-lines and they are always connected to
Figure 2 illustrates an example that shows the way in
instrumentation windings of CTs/VTs. As this local real-time
which the LP01 method employed for ancillary services
data is the most accurate which can be obtained, for practical
calculation preserves perfect match between the energies sold
reasons we consider this source as providing etalon meter on the energy markets, including the balancing market, and
measurements for the ideal ancillary service calculation the energy recorded by the meter. This is possible because the
M_ideal_etalon. LP01 profile are calculated exclusively based on data from
Measurements made with real-time data from SCADA metrology meters, without mixing with data from SCADA
(method a) will inherently produce higher errors in ancillary (source a) or based on power orders at AGC (source b).
services calculation, due to the fact that usual SCADA
provides measurements with errors of at least 0.5% (Remote
Terminal Units- RTUs, Bay Control Units - BCUs), thus we
infer that their cumulated errors for calculating ancillary
services are at least 0.5% higher than those with
Authors have also analyzed several sets of data received
from the AGC system (method b), consisting in power control
orders CO(t) sent to the dispatchable units. This analysis
revealed that, statistically, the order-based method has higher
errors than the method based on LP01 data, and the difference
may change during each commercial interval (e.g. one hour) Fig.2 Preserving energy balance between markets and real meter readings.
based on CO(t) specific evolution. Method b is therefore
considered less accurate than method a, as in principle it Energy metering using LP01 profiles helps matching, with
measures orders for services and not executed services. very good accuracy, the energy components supplied within
the electricity markets with the energy records by metrology
With data source from our proposed method c, the meters, trustable through the legally enforced IEC accuracy
ancillary service is calculated by using 1-minute energy load- compliance. For this reason, this method can be generalized at
profiles recorded in the meter. This is the main method which national level or even to monitor the cross-border trades.
is further proven in the paper to be accurate for calculating
various ancillary services, based on legally enforced data In order to show that the LP01 based method can be
from metrology meters, with errors being under 0.5% for the widely used for calculating the energy supplied as ancillary
studied cases further presented. service, let us consider two relevant cases: a) the f-P
secondary control, and b) the non-mandatory voltage control.
B. Quality of Service (QoS)
Furthermore, the demand response (DR) is considered for
Usually the quality of the ancillary services provided by the tertiary frequency control by aggregating multiple small
various dispatchable units is not verified, but are estimated entities with the support of LP01 profiled.
III. THE SECONDARY FREQUENCY CONTROL SERVICE Moreover, we showed that due to difference between P
The principle of calculating the f-P secondary control corresponding to the control order CO(t) and the effective P
contribution is based on the upward secondary control energy execution, the two curves are different and that a Quality of
(USCE) and downward secondary control energy (DSCE) Service (QoS) can be computed each minute, bringing a QoS
(Figure 3). These energies are calculated by integrating the assessment in the same paradigm, as presented in fig. 5.
difference between the actual power (Net active power) and
the nominated (notified) power Pf(T) approved for operation.
In Romania, the notified power denotes the total power of a
generator corresponding to a certain dispatching interval T
accepted for generation on the energy market, and the
secondary regulation band SRB is a symmetrical band around
the notified power Pf(T) approved for operation in interval T.
The Net active power Pnet(t) depends on the order CO(t) from
AGC and has an ideal evolution based on the formula :
Pnet(t) = Pf(T) + CO(t) x SRB(T) (1)
where CO(t) is in the range (-0.5 .. 0.5) or (-50% .. +50%).
Fig. 5: Quality of Service (QoS) assessment


This case was presented in [9] and a brief summary of
results is presented below.
Figures 6 and 7 show the zones of the PQ loading diagram.
Operation in the mandatory zone is a condition for network
connection and usually not paid, while operation in the
secondary zones is subject to payment and thus requires
appropriate measurement. Figure 6 refers to classic
synchronous generators and figure 7 to new 4-quadrant
inverters, as a generalized functionality in the future for
distributed energy resources (DER) deployments.
Figure 3 Example for usage of secondary reserve service measurement.

It is a different integral for the upper part and for the lower
part (USCE and DSCE). Since normally the meters are not
capable of integrating P, but only P, a different calculation
approach is required. In the paper [4] we showed by
simulation, and later it has been proven by practice, that if we
consider average power per each minute, obtained from LP01
of energy (PMED_1min=ELP01/60), we can calculate each minute
the energies related to the ancillary service, getting a very low
error on the whole commercial interval of one hour. Figure 4
shows that this error, compared with the ideal etalon, is always
under 0.5% in the analyzed cases, thus bringing a new method
Figure 6. PQ diagram of a synchronous (classic) generator
of ancillary services calculations by using only energy meters,
as traditionally is done also for the transferred energy.

Fig. 7 Q values subject to a paid service by using advanced inverters.

We analyzed specific regimes for which the contribution to

the Non-Mandatory Voltage Control (NMVC) service was
Fig 4: USCE, DSCE (1-minute LP) error for a specific case developed in [5] calculated with both instrumentation values (for computing
etalon results) and with LP01 data. In all studied situations minute-based calculation, using the LP01, of the average
we reached at errors less than 0.5%, thus proving that LP01 in powers for 20 aggregated DRs was done. The one-hour profile
metrology meters are suitable to calculate ancillary services illustrated in Figure 10 shows an even lower dispersion of P,
also for NMVC. More details can be found in [10]. which increases the predictability of the aggregated power.


There are high expectations regarding deployment of
demand response (DR) services as mechanism to intelligently
mitigate the unbalances between generation and load,
especially in the situation of high renewables penetration. The
target resources for this services are the appliances with
nominal power in the kW range, such as air conditioners,
washing machines and electrical cookers. Although washing
machines and electrical cookers are frequently analyzed for
being used for load shifting, the air conditioners are also
promising targets for DR aggregation, as they are used many
hours per day (up to 24) and their total consumption is Figure 9. P load profile normalized to hourly average, for AC appliances.
significant in the house budget, particularly in the
Mediterranean area.
The air conditioner was analyzed to estimate its potential
for the tertiary frequency control service in general, and in
particular on the measurement service, as it the purpose of this
paper. In this regard, measurements with meters providing
both LP01 and real-time instrumentation values were
considered. Figure 8 illustrates the load profile of an air
conditioner (AC) running in two different scenarios: for Figure 10. Load profile of aggregated P from LP 1 minute (normalized to
cooling (blue line) and for heating (brown line), using real- the average power per hour).
time measurement with a modern energy meter.
This dispersion is an important key performance index
(KPI) for the bidding process of ancillary services based on
the DR aggregation. The load profiles of various DR
aggregations were compared using as KPIs the average P
deviation (Avrg.P.Dev) with respect to the hourly average
power Pav_1h, and the maximum P deviation ( with
respect to the same Pav_1h (Figure 11).

Figure 8. Load profile of an air conditioner using real-time data of a

meter: cold (in blue) and heat (in brown) regimes.

One important observation is the fact that in both regimes

the consumption is intermittent, being driven by the local
control loop of the AC appliance, based on the temperature
set-point. When deciding to use it for providing tertiary
reserve, meaning a known power to be offered as plus or
minus compared with existing situation, this intermittency is Figure 11. Deviation of P (real-time and from LP01) from the average
difficult to be handled. value over one-hour PAV_1H.
To mitigate this, we aggregated several AC appliances, The previous figure presents the average deviation over one
having for diversity both cooling and heating. Figure 9 hour and the maximum P deviation in the same period. It was
illustrates the load profile for 8, 20 and 100 aggregated AC concluded that, using sole AC equipment gives so unstable
appliances. The last two profiles have been simulated by behavior that the power information cannot be practically used
superposition of the 8 devices load profile with stochastic time (please refer to the last two situations, on the right end side of
shift. For the reason of easy comparison, the profile has been the figure). It can be also seen that the predictability increases
normalized to the average power per hour (the value 1 on when the aggregation is higher (8 or 20 devices) and has the
vertical axis means average power Pav_1h) for each aggregation best behavior when using the 1-minute load profiles,
(8, 20 and 100 equipment used for DR). It can be seen, as comparing with real-time observability. We may expect that
expected, that the higher the number of aggregated AC higher periods of integration can bring lower dispersion, but in
appliances, the more steady is the real-time load profile. A the same time it delays the possibility to actively react during
the commercial interval, in order to fulfil the conditions of The previous figure shows that various levels of aggregation
providing a smooth tertiary reserve service, therefore we can bring higher total powers, which can be offered as
remained on the 1-minute interval, as a good compromise ancillary services in specific markets at TSO level, such as for
between stability and speed of reaction. tertiary reserve.
Figure 12 advances even further and shows how VI. INTER-COUNTRY ENERGY EXCHANGE
predictability (using the same average and maximum power
deviation as KPIs) is always higher with 1 minute LPs Based on the positive experience of previous case-studies,
comparing with real-time data monitoring, for both 20 and 100 we are proposing that the new pan-European market of energy
devices aggregation, meaning that the deviations are smaller. and ancillary services can be based on similar grounds. The
major advantage is the scalability at any level: aggregation can
be made on multiple levels, and minute based measurements
can be seen also as minute-based micro-services, which can be
recognized at any level, from prosumer premises up to
national aggregated services at the TSO level or at inter-TSO
exchange of energy and of ancillary services.
In todays common practice, inter TSO energy exchange is
based mainly on energies over commercial time intervals
and/or are also subject of compensation between TSOs. There
is still, as in the f-P secondary control, a reliance on SCADA
information for security operations and the meters are used
Figure 12. Deviation of P (selection of aggregated data: real-time and only on longer periods for recording the exchanged energies.
from LP 1 min) from the average value over one hour. There is not yet a strong connection between exchanged
power and exchanged energies, despite only energies are
It can be concluded that LP01 recorded on the metrology changing the status of any system and usually the delivered
meters have the following important advantages for DR: energies have costs incurred (powers are related to capacity
- they can be better used for describing DR aggregation rather than to system exchange).
comparing with real-time values, as integrating DR over one
minute is lowering the dispersion and is paving the way for Based on previous work and on current studies, even if the
stable algorithms for aggregated small resources; subject needs further investigations, we consider that minute
- they provide metrology enforced data, thus being able to be based records of the exchanged energy between TSOs is
used also for the service payment, with a high level of trust suitable for measurement of the inter-TSO services, with legal
between market participants; enforcement given by the meters 1-minute load profile
- if LP10 are read each next minute, they can be basis for both (LP01) and with full balance of energies, ancillary services
active control to reduce cumulated deviations as well as for and meter measurements.
calculating the quality of service (QoS).
- it allows both aggregation of many individual services as VII. MARKETS IMPACT
well as de-aggregation for payment of each contribution, by This paper shows that 1-minute based measurements are
using the 1-minute granularity inside 15, 30 or 60 minutes of sub-intervals which can complement the one hour, 30 or 15
commercial period for the entire service. minutes emerging markets intervals, which can be seen both
This latest characteristic is very important, as DR is usually as micro-services to prepare the next markets down to minute
related with medium to high level aggregation, in order to markets of services, as well as a precise method to calculate
offer and operate quantities which fits with market thresholds today energy services, all based on the traditional idea of using
(e.g. steps of 100 kW up to 10 MW to offer tertiary reserve to energy meters, which are legally enforced by metrology
TSO or balancing services in the active distribution networks). means. We are presenting some additional thoughts for
Our tests showed that 1-minute LPs are suitable for these showing the feasibility and value of the proposed solution, as a
multilevel / hierarchical aggregation, as described in [4] and reliable and scalable enabler for markets of ancillary services
can provide, as presented in the figure 13, a Pyramid of and for future market trends.
energy services, with hierarchical levels of VPP aggregation. A. Today markets and tomorrow accelatared markets
To assess the needed dynamics of the market processes,
we can express the minimum time for a chain of the service as
having the following stages:
a) Offer before gate-closure (energy & energy services + QoS);
b) Win the bid and prepare for delivering the service;
c) Operate (also by controlling for a QoS target) and measure;
d) Energy data readout and service calculation + QoS - which
can be made starting next hour after the commercial interval
ends, but which can be more traditionally made next day;
Fig 13: Example of aggregated ancillary services in VPP e) Service validation (process of acceptance by all involved
parts), in terms of quantity and quality (QoS);
d) Settlement (payment for the service, considering also QoS) Moreover, the new Unbundled Smart Meter (USM) which
The a) and b) activities are service ahead activities and do is developed under Horison 2020 project Nobel Grid [10] will
not imply measurement, but market participation and also have enhanced functionalities on the Smart Metrology
contractual engagement. Activity c) is done during the time Meter (SMM) part, with will comply and go beyond these
when service is provided, so it is a n intraday/intra-hour requirements. In today situation, when 8 or 16MB of Flash
operation (real-time or close to real-time dynamics). memory is insignificant compared with the meter price, the LP
By looking at the market dynamics trends we can expect storage, at 1-minute or even below, is not anymore a technical
that this will be accelerated by using more and more ICT nor a commercial problem. Both commercial existing meters
(Information & communication technologies) infrastructures, and new USM can have various enhanced functionalities with
and that the LP01 measurement and readout will be standard the SMX part, in top of the metrology meter part.
features, along with precise real-time data read from meters.
Moreover, by coupling energy services with their QoS, the VIII. CONCLUSIONS
service markets can become more responsible and correct. Starting with a systematization of previous work, this
paper shows that legally enforced metrology based
B. Today market energy Meters and ICT support technologies
measurements with 1-minute load profile are suitable for
We showed that the accuracy in measuring ancillary calculating and billing complex ancillary services such as f-P
services is high enough to bring the LP01 as a legal, secondary control or voltage secondary control of the non-
metrology enforced method to cope between the market actors, mandatory zone. Furthermore, the paper also advances in
thus increasing the trust in new markets with a big number of using the same method for aggregated DR services, showing
participants, where bilateral understandings are no more easily that real-time control during the commercial interval (each
applicable or it is not practical to be done in a dynamic minute) can be applied even in hierarchical aggregations in
markets where service providers can change from a day to different levels of VPPs, in pyramid of energy services.
another. But are the meters manufacturers offering meters to
As European markets are under a clear roadmap towards
cover the 1-minute records with an acceptable period of
largely integration for both energy and ancillary services
storage under metrology conditions (meaning under the
purpose, it is inferred that inter TSO exchange of ancillary
trustable metrology seal) ?
services can be also measured and checked with the same
In order to be well managed, an ancillary services market 1-minute LP method (LP01), with high accuracy and legal
needs to allow at least 3 days of storing of the recorded LP01 enforcement through the metrology approval based on specific
under metrology seal (LP should not recirculate in order not to IEC standards for different levels of accuracy.
loose legally enforced data). This period is a minimum for
We propose the 1-minute LP method with metrology
reading and validating the data. Considering various situations
meters as being the general method for measurement,
which may need additional days for reaching the settlement
settlement, payment and QoS assessment of ancillary services,
(e.g. 2 days of weekend may be lost for the process chain), we
as being enabled by today mature meter solutions available on
may consider that 5 days are appropriate for extracting and
the market.
validating the ancillary service measurements from a meter.
New Metering codes, as it is the Romanian Metering code,
[1] A Survey of Frequency and Voltage Control Ancillary Services:
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thus being enough for any litigations procedure. If a longer [2] Ancillary Services: Technical and Commercial Insights, Brendan
time is needed for solving a litigation procedure, the data can Kirby, July2007
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Metrological Procedures, paper accepted for the IEEE 18th
on the market and found already an acceptable number of
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