Energy Storage is the Holy Grail for Smart Grid
- Posted on December 8, 2011
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The ability to store energy to the grid is an important part of making the grid smarter, stored electricity can be used to provide the load following reserves necessary to balance and integrate variable renewable energy onto the grid. The market is shifting toward renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar. The most desirable situation for a commercial producer of electrical energy is to supply energy at a constant rate. The reality requires utilities to respond to rapid changes in demand, and to have a reserve to meet increases in demand.
There are lots of potential solutions, all have significant drawbacks, they are not portable, they require expensive infrastructure and added transmission, and they are inefficient for addressing short-term sags. The more realistic way to address the short-term sag problem is with batteries, capacitors or a combination of the two.
As we move toward a green energy future, local production that uses renewable sources will go a long way to relieve stress on the grid infrastructure. Energy storage has always been inconvenient, matter in the form of the ideal storage is energy generated from renewable that sources are used at the same time they are generated. New technologies as Nanotechnology, will surely bring a new impetus to this area.
Its four main segments are:
- Electric Car: With only one Electric Car the consumer will double its residential consumption, imagine the power consumption of a family with the need to have two or more Electric Cars. The current infrastructure of transmission and distribution is not designed to withstand this excess of consumption. Then we have to build numerous filling stations similar to gas stations, as we currently have, or stations where we can exchange a discharged battery for other charges. The batteries could have the appearance of a rack with several slots you only need to swap the modules of the slots; this system could be used for electric cars and also for other applications. But for the consumer is taken to replace your current car the electric car, it needs to make sure that the flexibility of supply current is the same for electric vehicles.
- Renewable Energy: Renewable Energy bring constraints on resource availability, that the current Grid were not designed to address. Addressing these constraints will require new efforts at coordination of resources and capabilities within the electric grid, both to mitigate difficulties and to maximize benefits, and built to provide energy from different sources for various loads through a single large interconnected infrastructure.
The system requires active control, in real time, the resolution of Control in Space and Time is limited by extant technology and design philosophy.
Intermittent, what we still do not know...
How much advance warning can we get before rapid variations in Solar and Wind output, and how we can use this information effectively. What is the point of intermittency of renewable energy that can cancel the high penetration levels, locally and around the system? How quickly will vary from aggregate production for large and diverse collections of resources for Renewable Energy.
Without energy storage will have to maintain an expensive infrastructure for the supply of energy -- fossil fuel -- on standby to maintain safety and reliability of the GRID. The intermittency of renewable energy is well known, although the techniques of predictability are improving every day.
- Distributed Generation - How Do We Integrate: Time and space make up the two main factors in the connection and disconnection of the distributed power generation. The storage of energy at certain point of the GRID can give us the confidence necessary to handle this new source of energy generation. Balance Load and Generation Distributed, there is blend individual Micro Grid requirements with Grid and market support: It is still common to hear comments about the instability that we can add to the GRID with this new topology of Generation Distributed, but Energy Storage can bring the reliability necessary to supply energy.
- Micro Grid: In many countries we have isolated populations -- like islands -- in many regions that already use this topology distribution, energy storage will give comfort and security of these people. The independence part of your DNA and your goal -- without even knowing it -- it will be like trying to mop up the ice, the Nordic Countries could serve as an example. Geography, Culture and Renewable Energy characteristics are crucial for their development and maturation.
New economic activities will be developed in these regions with the assurance of continuous supply of energy that will bring the energy storage. Whoever wants to control the Micro Grids may lose the battle and war. Its how to control the Internet, it is impossible! There are no rules, only exceptions are when we speak of Micro Grids, the regulatory standards have to be kept to a minimum. If not this way, it may not be advantageous for those who sell and the buyer. Do not believe the Micro Grids will connect the network of Utilities, their development and survival is in its independence.
Faced with such diversity and versatility, it is virtually impossible to map any topology distribution under the Micro Grid typical in terms of energy sources or settings, each one tended to have a different topology, especially remote systems. Barriers to implementation, in commercial, industrial or residential, do not rely so much on the topologies themselves, but on the commercial aspects of operations management. Micro Grids could create a black market in energy, and worse still, their power sources will not necessarily clean.