On Thursday 14/10/1436 H corresponding to 30/07/2015, an agreement between KACST and the Saudi Electricity Co. was signed to establish the ‘KACST-SEC Joint Research and Development Center for the Distribution Sector’، located at KACST
The center aims to establish bilateral knowledge exchange between the two entities by conducting joint research and projects in the distribution sector. The focus is on the advanced research that helps in improving the operational efficiency of the sector, maximizing the utilization of the network, and creating opportunities that are more economical. The center is focused on several scopes related to the distribution sector, which are: electrical power quality, protection systems, renewable resources integration, automation, communication, control, and training. More than 35 personnel from the two entities and other collaborators, with different educational degrees (PhDs, MScs, BScs, Technicians, Administrative, and Experts) are working in the center, either full or part time, and this number is expected to increase.
The center is working on implementing several projects that can have high positive impact on the distribution sector such as: roof-top PV installations on schools and large mosques; data analytics for smart meters; distributed energy resources allocation in distribution network. These projects were designed and conducted in order to help the sector to be prepared for the promising implementation waves of renewable resources and smart meters in 2020 and 2023. The R&D efforts in such projects include detailed design processes, real time simulation tools, planning techniques, data navigation and optimization, and field work. They all enhance the R&D personnel capacity and expose them to real distribution network problems, which should be reflected eventually in advanced network solutions.
The center is participating in several local and international workshops and exhibitions, and collaborating with local and international universities and experts, which ensures the improvement and the quality of the research.