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Dario Di Cara

Contact information

Position Research Scientist
AddressVia Ugo La Malfa, 153
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Short biography

M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 2005 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2009 both from University of Palermo.

His collaboration with CNR started during the Ph.D. and continued during a first research fellowship of 1 year funded by ISSIA-CNR of Palermo
(2009) and a second fellowship funded by the University of Palermo (for 2 years in 2010 and 2011).
From July 2012 he is a Researcher Scientist at CNR-INM of Palermo.
From February to August 2007 he was Visiting PhD Scholar at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA. The International research activity was funded by the International Relationship Commission of University of Palermo.
In 2014 and 2018 he gained the Italian national scientific qualification to function as a university associate professor in the measurement sector (09/E4).
In 2016 he gained the 2016 Best Application in Instrumentation and Measurement Award, granted by IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society.

Dario Di Cara is an inventor of the international patent: “Coupling interfaces for communication transceivers over power lines”, Grant Number US8896393 B2, Grant Date: 25.11.2014.
The patent is about a low cost coupling circuit for power line communications in medium voltage networks. It was developed with STMicroelectronics.
Dario Di Cara was a participant of the Non-Sinusoidal Situations Working Group, which developed the IEEE 1459–2010: “IEEE Standard Definitions for the Measurement of Electric Power Quantities under Sinusoidal, Nonsinusoidal, Balanced or Unbalanced Conditions.”
He is currently a participant of the Joint Working Group WG55 (IEC) -TC39 (IEEE) for the development of P61869-105, “Recommended Practice for Uncertainty Evaluation in the Calibration of Instrument Transformers”.

Research interests

Smart grids, power line communications, intelligent electronic devices, power quality, electromagnetic compatibility, monitoring of protected marine area. 

Research topics/groups

Selected projects

SMART GRID – Communication, Measurement And Automation Study, Design And Development Of Islanded And Interconnected EMC Compliant Smart Grids

In the last years, the diffusion of distributed generation systems (DGs), mainly based on renewable energy sources (RES), has required the need of a higher level of automation of the electrical networks, which in the next future have to become smart grids. In this evolution, new measurement tools and strategies and bidirectional communication systems are required, in order to implement not only simple functions (such as the disconnection of a DG in the case of unwanted islanding), but also more complex tasks such as the management of islanding in the presence of faults in other parts of the network (i.e. safe islanding), reconfiguration of the network topology, remote control of DGs (to allow their participation in the regulation of voltage and frequency), power quality analyses.
A key role in the distribution grid can be played by the storage systems (SS), especially those decentralized (including even those of electric vehicles). In fact, when DGs from RES are present in the network, the SS can allow the energy storage during periods when the energy production overcomes the load consumption, thus preventing the reversal of power flows on the network.

The general aim of the project is the development of innovative technology for smart grids, in order to increase the integration of distributed generation (DG) based on renewable energy sources (RES).
In detail the objectives of the project are:
– design of new intelligent measurement systems for the remote monitoring of load consumption and power quality of the grid;
– study of innovative algorithms for the load flow analysis and the anti-islanding protection;
– development of new communication systems for the information exchange between the different devices connected to the grid, with a particular focus on the Power Line Communication technology;
– study and development of smart interface devices (ID) for DGs, with and without decentralized SS;
– analysis of the electromagnetic compatibility of the developed devices and systems devices for the enhancement of the network reliability.

SInERT – (Solutions innovantes pour l’intégration des énergies renouvelables sur le réseau électrique tunisien – Innovative solutions for the integration of renewable energy on the Tunisian electricity grid)

This is an international cooperation project between Italy and Tunisia.
The project partners are:
· Università degli Studi di Palermo
· Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto INM di Palermo
· LAYER Electronics Srl di Trapani
· École Supérieure des Communications de Tunis  (SUP’COM) (Tunisia)
· ACTIA group Recherche et Développement en Informatique Appliquée (ARDIA), Ariana (Tunisia)

Furthermore the project sees as associated partners:
· STEG: Société Tunisienne d’Electricité et du Gaz
· SOPES s.r.l. di Palermo
· Impresa Elettrica D’Anna e Bonaccorsi di Ustica
· Comune di Ustica

The project involves the development of innovative solutions to increase distributed generation of renewable energy in medium and low voltage power distribution networks. The proposed solutions will in particular be oriented towards isolated or weakly interconnected electricity networks, such as those of the smaller Tunisian and Sicilian islands and / or rural areas. In these networks, in fact, the increase in distributed generation (DG) can lead to critical situations, network instability, uncontrolled variation in voltage and frequency or to undesired operating modes (islanding). The purpose of this project is therefore the development of an intelligent management solution that implements advanced features for monitoring, protection and automation of distributed generators (DG) and storage systems. The ambition is to develop new industrial systems, innovative, low cost and easy to install, which include bidirectional power converters, interface protection systems, communication systems and management algorithms to be implemented in the control, supervision and data acquisition systems of the distributor, in order to guarantee the full exploitation of renewable energy sources and the consequent reduction of environmental pollution due to the use of fossil fuel and their transport.

Selected publications

  • G. Artale; A. Cataliotti; V. Cosentino; D. Di Cara; R. Fiorelli; S. Guaiana; G. Tine, “A New Low Cost Coupling System for Power Line Communication on Medium Voltage Smart grids,” in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 3321-3329, July 2018.
  • S. Rinaldi, F. Bonafini, P. Ferrari, A. Flammini, E. Sisinni, D. Di Cara, N. Panzavecchia, G. Tinè, A. Cataliotti, V. Cosentino, S. Guaiana, “Characterization of IP-Based Communication for Smart Grid Using Software-Defined Networking,” in IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. vol. 67, no. 10, pp. 2410-2419, Oct. 2018.
  • A. Cataliotti, C. Cervellera, V. Cosentino, D. Di Cara, M. Gaggero, D. Macciò, G. Marsala, A. Ragusa and G. Tinè, “An Improved Load Flow Method for MV Networks based on LV Load Measurements and Estimations,” in IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, Vol. 68, No. 2, Feb. 2019, pp. 430-438..
  • G. Artale, A. Cataliotti, V. Cosentino, D. Di Cara, R. Fiorelli, S. Guaiana, N. Panzavecchia, G. Tinè, “A new PLC-based smart metering architecture for medium/low voltage grids: Feasibility and experimental characterization”, Measurement, Volume 129, 2018, Pages 479-488.
  • A. Cataliotti, V. Cosentino, G. Crotti, A. Delle Femine, D. Di Cara, D. Gallo, D. Giordano, C. Landi, M. Luiso, M. Modarres, G. Tinè, “Compensantion of Nonlinearity of Voltage and Current Transformers,” in IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. (Early Access Articles), 2018.
  • A. Cataliotti, D. Di Cara, A. E. Emanuel, S. Nuccio, “A Novel Approach to Current Transformer Characterization in the Presence of Harmonic Distortion,” IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation And Measurement, vol. 58, no. 5, pp. 1446-1453, May 2009.
  • A. Cataliotti, D. Di Cara, R. Fiorelli, G. Tinè, “Power-Line Communication in Medium-Voltage System: Simulation Model and Onfield Experimental Tests,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 62-69, Jan. 2012.
  • G. Artale; A. Cataliotti; V. Cosentino; D. D. Cara; S. Nuccio; G. Tinè, “Arc Fault Detection Method Based on CZT Low-Frequency Harmonic Current Analysis,” in IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, vol. 66, no. 5, pp. 888-896, May 2017.