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Research & Development and Innovation1

Saudi Electricity Company is gearing towards the process of scientific researches and Innovations in order to accomplish and achieve a strategic position in the ranks of international energy companies. The basic objectives of the long-term process is to improve the efficiency of  electrical system performance, increase reliability, adoption of smart technology and applications to realize company's vision and develop innovative solutions by improving the company's core business as the leading technology and innovation in the electric power sector.

In this context, the initiatives have been started in the fields for the establishment of Innovation Energy Incubator and Research Excellence Centers that will serve the various activities of the company aligned with five strategic domains; smart uses, energy efficiency, reliability and stability of systems, energy storage and renewable energy, environment and safety. These centers were facilitated with all resources i.e. expert manpower, equipment and financial possibilities, support the participation of strategic partners such as National Universities, Research Centers and the specialized institutes in studies related to electric power that will link them towards the sustainable development of all activities in Saudi Electricity Company.

 

• Research and Development : 

  - Research Center of Transmission and Digital Simulation

  - Research Center of Renewable Energy

  - Research Center of Distribution and Smart grids

  - Research Center of Generation and Fuel Efficiency

  - Portfolio of Research Projects Management

• Innovation of Energy Incubator

 

Research Center of Transmission and Digital Simulation in Dhahran Techno-Valley 

This center, which is located in the Dhahran Technology Valley, represents a qualitative leap forward in carrying out the special studies of the network in planning, operation and protection. The center has a laboratory with 44 digital processing units, making it one of the largest electrical network simulators in the world. The center includes controllers for dynamic compensators and DC systems.

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Center's Objectives:

  • Finding innovative and developed solutions and solving problems related to the reliability and stability of the electrical network.
  • Analysis of the transmission network using Real Time Digital Simulation software to support various sectors such as planning, engineering, operation and maintenance. Further, support deployment of new technologies to enhance and improve transmission networks.
  • Provide specialized technical support to study of network failures and use Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) for various control and protection tests.
  • Enabling the network by integrating available renewable energy sources and power storage systems.
  • Provide specialized studies for HVDC and FACTS energy projects and its effects on power system.

Center's research projects:

  • Selection of Optimal Transmission Voltage/Technology for Transmission network Expansion: Feasibility of 765kV versus 380kV and HVDC.
  • SVC Interaction Study for Madinah East, Madinah South and Harmain High Speed Railway-6 SVC's.

 

Research Center of Renewable Energy in Riyadh:

The center started through a joint research project with King Saud University in the field of concentrated solar power CSP. The Center's roles and responsibilities expanded to include Renewable Energy technologies and the technologies that complements their deployment such as energy storage.

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Center's Objectives:

  • The Center aims to research and develop renewable energy technologies to utilize the clean energy resources suitable for climate conditions in Saudi Arabia.
  • Introducing latest renewable energy technologies and integrating them into SEC electrical system in accordance with the environment of Saudi Arabia.
  • Contribute to identifying and overcoming the obstacles that limit the use of renewable energy resources by creating environment friendly conditions and legislation.
  • To stimulate research and development in the field of renewable energy technologies by studying the challenges of applying the renewable energy systems and developing them to accelerate the commercial application of these technologies.
  • Study of an alternative energy storage systems and solutions.
  • Study E-mobility and its chargers under different climatic conditions in Saudi Arabia.

Center's research projects:

  • Development of complete system of gas turbine, solar heating and storage of heat energy in sand at Riyadh Valley of Technology in cooperation with King Saud University.
  • Testing of solid oxide fuel cells for electricity generation in power plant No. 9 at Riyadh.

 

Research center of Distribution and smart Grids in KACST

Saudi Electricity Company established a shared Distribution R&D Center with KACST on the 30th  July, 2015. The Center has established a Smart Grid laboratory to test, research and develop latest technologies in Distribution Sector for grid automation and distributed generation.

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Center's Objectives:

  • Utilizing the latest global technologies related to distribution and smart grid.
  • Finding technical solutions for the distribution field.
  • Studying smart solutions and its applications on distribution networks.
  • Studies of electrical power system quality

Center's research projects:

  • Smart Monitoring System for Distribution Network.
  • Supplying Al-Hikma Mosque in Riyadh with a grid connected PV system.

 

Research Center of Generation and Fuel Efficiency at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

The Center was established in March 2016 by Saudi Electricity Company in collaboration with KAUST in Thuwal. The Center's vision is to deploy and implement advanced high-efficiency combustion technology and enhance business by enabling total unit efficiency, fuel efficiency, fuel flexibility and reduction of harmful emissions to make power generation more environment friendly.

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Center's Objectives:

  • Enable Saudi Electricity Company to lead the sustainable use of clean combustion technologies for fossil fuels.
  • Conducting research studies of energy efficiency (combustion, steam turbines, gas turbines, boilers as well as auxiliary units).
  • Emission abatement and negative impact on power generation units, operation and maintenance.
  • Investment in research and development to enhance the ability of Saudi Electricity Company to innovate in order to improve efficiency and resolve environmental and economic concerns.
  • Strengthen partnerships with universities, companies, research centers and regional and international organizations.

Center's research projects:

  • The study of Combustion of Emulsified Heavy Fuels and Low Sulfur in steam turbine boilers.
  • Pilot station project to remove vanadium from crude fuel in gas turbines.
  • Applied research of new fuel inhibitor system in gas turbines to increase the avaliability and reduce the accumulation of deposits on the blades of gas turbines in cooperation with Central Generation sector and General Electric at Power Plant in Riyadh (PP9).
  • Feasibility study of establishing the National Clean Combustion Test Platform (NCCTP) in cooperation with SEC Generation Business Line, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and Saudi Aramco.

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Portfolio of Research Projects Management Group (PRPMG)

PRPMG supervise R&D projects under execution stage and follow up their progress and revise milestones..

Group's Goals:

  • Review project proposals, agreements and contracts, identify change orders with stakeholders.
  • Coordinate project plans and follow-up initiatives implemented from operational plans in collaboration with research centers in R&D Department.
  • Supervising the research projects, following up the project implementation procedures and documenting the achievements according to the planned schedules.
  • Contribute in collection of all data and information necessary to measure the operational performance indicators of projects and formulate them to follow up progress of the work.
  • Coordinate with research centers regarding the technical aspects of the projects and provide the necessary support in preparation of the technical reports.
  • Evaluate the performance of the consultancy companies and institutions that execute the research projects.

Center's research projects: 

  • Solar-Air-Sand Project to produce electricity.
  • Electric Vehicles and Quick Chargers Project.
  • Project of Feasibility Study of Smart Grid Laboratory in the Solar Village.
  • Project of Research Center Building at Dhahran Techno Valley.

 

Innovation Energy Incubator

The Innovation Energy Incubator was established at the beginning of 2017 to be the first innovation incubator and entrepreneurship focusing on energy sector in Saudi Arabia, supported by a set of R&D centers, national and global partners.

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Innovators -  Figures and  Statistics :

No. of Participants

102

No. of​ Innovati​on in Progress

10

No. of filed patents

8

 

Information about the Programs : 

  •  "Let's Think to Innovative" Program: Targeted employees of the Saudi Electricity Company and business lines.
  • "Innovative Family" Program: Targeted families and relatives of Saudi Electricity Company's employees.
  • "First of All" Program: Targeted experts and prospective retirees from Saudi Electricity Company.
  • "Towards an Innovative Nation" Program: Targeting all citizens and residents within and outside of Saudi Arabia.​​