Technology and Innovation

Technological development and innovation are crucial to the activity of Efacec. Supported in its valences and endogenous knowledge, innovation has as main objectives the creation, optimization and customization of products, systems and services. The strategic importance of innovation and technological development is evident in the constant technological portfolio update which contains products developed entirely “in house”, beyond the realms of the calculation and the project, and still in production and integrated systems, relying for that purpose with a highly qualified staff as well as an extensive network of national and international partners.
The transformation of the energy sector presents a challenge to which Efacec intends to respond with sustainable solutions that are differentiated. The need to increase the efficiency, resilience and reliability of the system even taking into account all the different assets (including renewable source) introduces a plurality of technological solutions. Besides this being a concern in internal development processes, Efacec participates actively in international technical groups to contribute and follow the state of the art in the standards and regulations in addition to the various regulatory changes facing the sector.
The process of innovation and technological development has the ignition addressing a problem perceived by our customers or to be glimpsed in the future. With the involvement of transversal teams and leveraging the synergies between the different business units and corporate areas of the Efacec Group, differentiation of solutions that present combined with customization that allow are great goals that are present in technological designs and innovation practiced by Efacec, be it incremental or disruptive.
To the wise policy of alliances and licenses with renowned manufacturers of electrotechnical industry developed ever since the company joins the endogeniztion process of their technological knowledge, made of solid and progressive manner and based on a strong investment in R & D. The network of technological and scientific partners of Efacec is global and has more than 50 different entities.

These factors are the fundamental basis of the continued development of new products by the company with own know-how and full autonomy.

Technology Office

Our technology office is linked with the Committee of Technology
and its Mission
supporting the definition and implementation
Strategy of Technology and Innovation Efacec
through the development of the following external and internal activities:

Definition and communication of technological positioning

Relationship promotion with stakeholders
and strategic partnerships in

Technology Radar

Design of Efacec technological Roadmap

Creating conditions for development
of new technological opportunities

Promoting synergies as
the internal base skills
and cross technological knowledge

Promotion of new IDT+I projects

Intense technological monitoring
and implementation of projects

Facts | 2015


People allocated to R&D


More than 20 articles presented international


More than 50 active scientific and technologic partnerships


R&D project in course


All Projects

Portugal 2020

Project Nº 045409 – GreenGear36 [2020 – 2022]

The GreenGear36 project, undertaken by Efacec Energia through its Switchgear (AMT), Automation (ASE) and Service (SRV) business units, has the objective of investigating and developing a new, smart GIS switchgear for primary distribution networks up to 36kV, with advanced sensor and monitoring capabilities for the smart, flexible power grids of the cities of the future, while also substituting the use of SF6 gas (current technology with a high environmental impact) with a greener, preferentially natural alternative that maintains high levels of functionality and safety in line with international standards. In parallel the project also aims to investigate and develop an innovative internal arc simulation methodology in collaboration with the INEGI institute, allowing shorter equipment development time and higher levels of equipment safety.

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Portugal 2020

Projct Nº 39906 – Nextra [2019 – 2022]

“The project NEXTRA aims to explore the value chain on EFACEC’s transformers portfolio, with the goal of presenting to the market a new generation of thermally more efficient, reliable, flexible, compact and sustainable transformers.

The market for transformers presents itself as extremely mature, where constant innovation and customization focused on the clients’ needs becomes more and more a factor of differentiation.

With distribution transformers, power transformers and mobile substations as target-products, five complementary working groups were established: i) new designs ii) new materials with superior properties, iii) decision support models and tools, iv) disruptive condition and diagnostic techniques and v) life cycle assessment.

For instance, in the short term it is expected that the new designs will increase the MVA/ton ratio. In the mid-term the new diagnostic techniques are expected to create differentiating after-sales services and. In the long term, that the new materials lead to transformers with longer life and increased efficiency.

NEXTRA is promoted by a two entities consortium: a company, EFACEC ENERGIA, S.A., leading promotor, and a Non-Business Entity of SI&I (ENESII), CICECO, through Universidade de Aveiro, presenting the technological and market skills necessary to ensure the pursuit of the outlined objectives and the economic valuation of the results.”

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Projet Nº 31/SI/2017 – GPDER+ [2019 – 2022]

The GPDER+ project aims to develop (i) a SCADA/DMS system dedicated to the predictive management of the distribution network and (ii) a Demand Response Management System (DRMS) platform dedicated to the creation of new business models dedicated to the management of Distributed Energy Resources – DER, operated by third parties, such as aggregators, sellers, consumer cooperatives. These two platforms will be developed having in mind the specificities of distribution grids with high integration of renewable energies and flexible resources, considering functional and non-functional technical requirements for the integration of flexibility in the electricity market and system operation, endowing the Distribution Operator with greater observability and predictable controllability of the electric grid, and promoting the integration of new business models based on the sale of flexibility to the Distribution Operator.

These solutions will be integrated into the ScateX# ADMS (Advanced Distribution Management System) system and will contribute to a change in the current paradigm of Distribution Grid Management.

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Project Nº 773406 – OSMOSE [2018 – 2021]

Project OSMOSE – Optimal System-Mix Of flexibility Solutions for European electricity, is a TSO-led consortium that aims to address, through a holistic approach, the identification and development of the optimal mix of flexibilities to enable the Energy Transition. Our purpose is to consider the power system as a whole, embracing the necessary flexibility sources and identifying the techno-economic potential of technologies, regardless of traditional silos, in order to capture synergies and make the Energy Transition as affordable as possible. OSMOSE will contribute to this purpose:

  • Increase the technical-economic maturity and the scalability of flexibility solutions to foster synergies across the European electricity system;
  • Improve the prediction of the technology mix that optimizes the contribution to the flexibility of the European system, taking into account these synergies to maximize the social benefit;
  • Propose upgrades and developments in the design of the European energy market and its regulation, in order to enhance the optimal mix of energy flexibility;
  • Implement 4 pilots demonstrating flexibility solutions in the European electric transmission network.

OSMOSE involves 33 partners from 9 European countries, including several Network Transmission Operators, such as TEN, REE, TERNA, REN, ELES, ELIA, as well as various corporate and university entities such as Schneider Electrics, ABB, Saft, Ingeteam, IBM, R & D Nester, TU Berlin, Université Paris Dauphine, among others. Efacec participation aims to proceed with the development of innovative solutions for smart grid and energy storage operation and management.

Project Nº 765585 – InnoDC [2018 – 2021]

Project InnoDC – Innovative tools for offshore wind and DC grids, aims to develop know-how and technologies for the transmission system, considering grid integration of offshore wind generation with the grid system and its future integrated operation. InnoDC project is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Training Network project lead by University of Cardiff and has several other academic and industrial partners: Efacec, University of Porto, Technical University of Denmark, University Politècnica de Catalunya, KU Leuven, CINERGIA, CG Holding Belgium, and ELIA System Operator. InnoDC will allow Efacec to continue with the development of technologies for renewable energy and for DC networks.

Portugal 2020

Project Nº 038431– FLEXERGY [2018 – 2021]

The FLEXERGY project aims at developing an advanced and highly innovative management solution, enabled by artificial intelligence, suitable for managing battery-based energy storage assets, integrated with renewable energy sources or meant to be applied in micro grids. This platform will be development according to the intrinsic features of this kind of systems, being suitable for adaptation to different scopes of integration.

The specific goals of FLEXERGY aim to provide the management system with a relevant spectrum of features suitable for some of the application scopes of the energy storage systems, such as integration of renewables and micro grids, also considering the management of the useful lifecycle of the battery system. On the other hand, the project aims to develop a fully differentiated platform that allows the aggregation of functional applications in the same storage system, thus leveraging its added value.

The solution developed will be demonstrated at the DEMOCRAT testbed, already deployed at the Efacec facilities in Maia, Portugal.

Efacec has chosen INESCTEC as the outsourcing scientific partner to, jointly, participate in the R&D tasks of the project.

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Project Nº 24035 – QT2 [2018 – 2019]

QT2 project – Quiet Transformer 2 aims to consolidate and apply the knowledge acquired in the multiphysics of the phenomenon of generation, transmission and radiation of vibrations and noise, with a view to development and technological maturation of new vibration-acoustic mitigation solutions for power transformers. The project aims to develop calculation models for more accurate prediction of no load and load noise, to develop technological solutions for structural design and noise mitigation, to reduce the acoustic noise power in each transformer, and to re-evaluate and adapt the design structural, mitigation and manufacturing technologies to improve product quality. It is also the objective of the project to provide new tools that enable the optimization of processes and the industrialization of an innovative range of low-noise transformers.

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Project Nº 24539 – Mobilizador 5G [2018 – 2020]

Project 5G – Components and services for 5G networks, aims to actively contribute to the development of technologies and services for the next generation of 5G communication systems. The focus of the project is the research, development, validation and demonstration of a set of products and services for 5G networks, gathering and harmonizing the efforts of different agents to create innovative solutions for the global market. These products cover all the functional domains of the 5G networks, reflecting in their organization this structure of domains: access, core and vertical sectors. During the project, products for network access, network management and control products and security will be specified and designed. Together they will support products and services for the IoT areas and broadband multimedia. At the end of the project, all products from the different domains will be integrated and demonstrated in an ecosystem that promotes new 5G services, which will benefit from a realistic test environment.

The 5G project is led by Altice Labs and has as co-promoters: Altran, Efacec, IT Center, Nokia, OneSource, PDM & FC, Ubiwhere, Wavecom, Institute of Telecommunications, University of Coimbra, INESC TEC and TICE.PT.

Efacec focuses its contribution on the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications area and specific innovative techniques to demonstrate the use of 5G networks in critical M2M applications, namely for power grid management and critical rail signaling solutions supported on 5G networks.


Project Nº 33442 – DEMOCRAT [2018 – 2019]

Project DEMOCRAT has the objective of demonstrating an integrated micro-grid management solution that includes a battery storage system from Efacec. The project will demonstrate an innovative concept of micro-grid applied to LV networks to manage Distributed Energy Resources (DER), namely PV generation, and will act as an active that may provide grid flexibility. The demonstration pilot will be implemented at Maia and will include new equipment, namely converter, controllers and management system. The Storage solution will consist of a battery-based solution of 200 kW/200 kWh.

The DEMOCRAT will integrate several innovative smart grid technologies namely for energy monitoring and management of an industrial condominium and a consumption management system will be integrated through the installation of automation solutions.

Project Nº 33811 – GreenEst [2018 – 2020]

Nowadays more than 99% of the worldwide fleet of power transformers uses mineral oil as both dielectric and coolant fluid. This practice is not aligned with the global convergence of the energy sector towards sustainability through the increasing use of biodegradable materials. The use of ester fluids as an alternative to mineral oil has been under the global spotlight over the last decade, however multiple technical and scientific challenges are not yet addressed or are under industrial secrecy.

The GreenEst project is a 30-month initiative aiming at researching and developing the techniques and the technologies needed to bring to the market a new generation of ester-immersed power transformers up to 500 kV.  The project is led by Efacec in a joint consortium with REN (Portuguese TSO) and Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto (Portugal). This consortium comprises the relevant technological and industrial competences needed to achieve increasingly sustainable and ecological power transformers.

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Project Nº 761913 – SliceNet [2017 – 2020]

Project SliceNet – End-to-End Cognitive Network Slicing and Slice Management Framework in Virtualised Multi-Domain, Multi-Tenant 5G Networks, aims to design, prototype and demonstrate an innovative, verticals-oriented, QoE-driven 5G network slicing framework focusing on cognitive network management and control for end-to-end slicing operation and slice-based/enabled services across multiple operator domains in SDN/NFV-enabled 5G networks. SliceNet will tackle several highly challenging outstanding issues in 5G network slicing in terms of fine-grained and integrated management, QoE modelling & management, customizable control, cross-plane coordination and orchestration, slicing scalability, security, resource efficiency and interoperability across multiple domains. Efacec focus on developing, test and demonstrate self-heling smart grid solutions able to operate safely and efficiently on communications provided by future 5G networks.

It involves 15 partners from 10 different countries such as Ericsson, Eurescom, IBM, DELL EMC, Altice Labs, University of the West of Scotland, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, among others. Efacec participation aims to develop and demonstrate efficient and safe operation of self-healing smart grid systems using 5G networks.

Portugal 2020

Project Nº 24307 – DigiXsafe [2017 – 2019]

Project DigiXsafe aims to create an innovative solution for automatic level control systems, based on modular hardware and software security architectures, with a digital interface. The new system will use PLCs with SIL-4 certification and will be based on an innovative software architecture that will streamline the processes of development and customization of novel solutions and certification, increasing competitiveness and reducing time-to-market. The new solution will have a high degree of intelligence capable of mimicking “constant announcement time” systems even in “constant announcement distance” installations, which will be a global innovation in the industry.


Project Nº 17796 – WinPSC [2017 – 2019]

Project WinPSC aims to develop thin film photovoltaic cells, sensitized with perovskites (PSC), making them more efficient and reducing manufacturing costs. The project joints Efacec (project leader) in partnership with University of Porto and University of Porto. Perovskite solar cell technology (PSCs) is ideally positioned to meet the growing demand for energy from renewable sources. The Consortium believes that there were strong scientific efforts to increase the PV Cells efficiency, but too little attention to research and develop technology for low cost industrial manufacturing.


Project Nº 675318 – INCITE [2016 – 2019]

Project INCITE – Innovative controls for renewable source integration into smart energy systems is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Training Network (ITN-ETN) funded by the HORIZON 2020 Programme that brings together experts on control and power systems, from 7 European countries, from academia and industry with the aim of training 14 young researchers capable of providing innovative control solutions for the future electrical grids.

New smart meters, distributed generation, renewable energy sources and the concern about the environment are redefining electrical networks. Now, both consumers and generators are active agents, capable of coordinating the power exchange in the electrical grids depending on multiple factors. To take full advantage of the new electrical networks, it is necessary a coordinated and harmonic interaction of the all actors in the network. Control algorithms are intended for this purpose; to act at several levels to conduct the electrical power exchange and improve efficiency, reliability and resilience of the network. INCITE seeks new control algorithms with an integral view of the future electrical networks, covering aspects like energy management, stability of electrical variables, monitoring and communication implementation, energy storage, among others.

Portugal 2020

Project Nº 18006 – NEXTSTEP [2016 – 2019]

Project NEXTSTEP aims to develop an innovative solution for electric Transformation Post – PT. Efacec Energy, the project leader, partners with Efacec Electric Mobility, Eneida, University of Coimbra, INESC TEC and ITeCons, joining industrial experience with knowledge and scientific capacity to develop an innovative PT solution, which will be demonstrated in the Low Voltage (LV) distribution network of EDP Distribuição. The main developments of the project are:

  • A modular casing with high thermal, acoustic, physical and mechanical performance;
  • Solutions for network resiliency;
  • A PT controller supported in a modular and distributed architecture; remote monitoring and self-healing of the LV network; monitoring the condition of the assets; asset management DER and public lighting; automatic mapping and agnostic of smart meters.
  • A MV/LV transformer: following best practices in eco-design, with improved energy efficiency;
  • A Compact MV Switchgear;
  • A flexible application device – in the PT and LV network;
  • A local energy storage system.

Project Nº 17584 – iCubas 5D [2016 – 2019]

Project iCubas 5D represents a milestone in the disruptive mechanical design of tanks for power transformers, through the evolution of classic 2D representation for a new design concept based on the use of innovative 5D knowledge. The aim is to join the potential of the most updated 3D representation tools, with the calculation and automatic drawing to minimize transit times, making simpler and more ergonomic solutions, “manufacturing friendly” solutions, responding to the increasingly concerns of Quality, Environment and Safety. The project execution will be assured by Efacec Energia, as project leader, in partnership with Universidade do Minho. The project aims the creation and application of experimentally supported scientific knowledge and it presents several innovative steps.

At the end of the project, the innovative developed solutions will effectively contribute to increase company competitiveness in the market.

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Project Nº 11122 – DSGrid [2016 – 2018]

Project DSGrid is a multidisciplinary project that brings together areas of knowledge of power, automation and protection, communications, real-time systems, embedded systems, cybersecurity and information and software technologies contributed by 4 participating entities, Efacec, EDP Distribuição, INESC TEC HASLab (High-Assurance software Laboratory) and ISEP / IPP CISTER (Research Centre in Real-Time and Embedded Computing Systems). This fully digital system is characterized by the integration of networks and replacement of analogue subsystems signalling and electronic real-time communications, transforming substation at an advanced integrated platform automation, control, protection, monitoring and information from the process to remote interfaces of supervision and maintenance / management. The benefits include the simplification of systems and processes, flexibility and scalability, interoperability, performance and reliability and safety operation.

Project Nº 11490 – ADMS4LV [2016 – 2018]

Project ADMS4LV aims to develop a Low Voltage (LV) network management system aimed to contribute to effective implementation of smart grids, by creating flexible solutions to not only anticipate future trends but also to support the emergence of new technical solutions and commercial regulation, thus fostering greater efficiency in the operation of power grids. From the potential created by the various implementing initiatives metering smart infrastructure able to support the development of the concept of smart grid, the LV network shows now, more than ever, a set of assets with diverse characteristics. While conventional LV networks have very limited control possibilities, smart grids now offer various dynamic network management possibilities. It is precisely the aim of the system ADMS4LV.

Project EEM@Future [2016 – 2018]

Efacec Electrical Mobility developed a self-financed EEM@Future project to develop new products and to efficiently direct its production capabilities to specific standards and requirements of each market where the company intends to strengthen its commercial position in the market for EV chargers. Much of the investment was done to improve the industrial area and increase the R&D and Labs to allow faster and more flexible response to needs or specific product development requests. In this context, it is important to emphasize that a charger designed for the Asian market is different from a product directed to the EU, given the requirements and standards are completely different. In this sense, there was an urgent need to achieve more agile methodologies and tools to provide shorter-time responses in face of specific requests.

Support and Incentives – Project P2020

It is the PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT adopted between Portugal and the European Commission, in which the programming principles are set out to mark the economic, social and territorial development policy to be promoted in Portugal between 2014 and 2020

Worthy to mention is the Portuguese Innovation and Research Strategy for a Smart Specialization at its NATIONAL and REGIONAL levels, which identifies the great strategic smart issues, which are themes with scientific, technological and economic specialization, in which Portugal and its regions have comparative and competitive advantages or that have the potential to emerge as such. The alignment with these strategies is mandatory for the implementation of Portugal 2020 investments in Research, Technological Development and Innovation (OT 1) and represents a priority in other cases, such as in supporting SME competitiveness (OT 3).

These programming principles are aligned with the Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth pursued by EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY.


Smart Cities by Efacec

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T&D Asset Performance Management Solutions

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