Socio-technical modelling of customer roles in developing low voltage distribution networks
Sirviö, Katja; Berg, Petra; Kauhaniemi, Kimmo; Laaksonen, Hannu; Laaksonen, Pirjo; Rajala, Arto (2018-06-07)
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The transition of low voltage (LV) distribution networks towards more intelligent and smart microgrids is dependent on both technical and behavioral factors, thus forming a socio-technical systems change. Sociotechnical aspects need to be taken into account when developing concepts and models to establish and manage successful niche experiments. This paper presents a new framework to model actor (customer) evolution and engagement in the process of developing smart LV Microgrid distribution networks as socio-technical systems. The framework is based on combining the Multi-level perspective (MLP) and the Strategic niche management (SNM) approach with the Unified Modeling Language (UML) tool. Customer engagement is an essential element in SNM, wherefore understanding their and other actors’ different development paths is invaluable to uncover the dynamics of the Microgrid transition in the societal and the technical contexts. The proposed framework could be applied to other key actors such as DSOs and energy retailers. The benefit of the models created by the developed framework is the articulation of expectations and visions as well as building up the networks in the SNM.
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