Smart Grid & Solar Energy

The use of solar energy and the smart grid will become more and more important in the coming years. These two technologies will be able to provide an enormous amount of benefits for consumers and businesses alike. If you haven’t yet started exploring the advantages of these technologies, you should do so right now.

Electricity storage

Energy storage is a great way to address the challenges associated with intermittent solar power and other variable renewable energy sources. It can reduce the need for expensive distribution upgrades and backup power plants, and it can provide flexibility to the grid.

The value of storage increases with increasing amounts of solar and wind generation. When wind and solar produce at different times of the day, battery storage can be charged to store electricity at off-peak periods. This can enable a smooth supply of electricity and help prevent price spikes.

While most energy storage systems are not designed to replace the conventional grid, they can help improve efficiency and reliability by reducing congestion and curtailment. They can also provide load management and frequency regulation.

In the United States, small-scale projects are mostly for the commercial sector. Most batteries used in these projects are lead-acid, although lithium-ion batteries are becoming more prevalent. The best storage systems are designed to offer multiple system services, and they can earn revenue through operating reserve services.

The most important benefit of storage is the ability to reduce demand during peak hours. The price of electricity becomes more expensive during these times. Some consumers may opt to purchase power at cheaper off-peak times.

Storage can also improve the capacity factor of existing resources. It can defer the need for new transmission and distribution infrastructure to accommodate an expected increase in peak electricity demand.

The use of solar energy storage is particularly important for isolated communities that may not be connected to the larger electrical grid. When a blackout occurs, these communities can use battery storage to avoid the onset of grid failure.

EV charging

The smart grid and solar energy for EV charging can be beneficial for both the vehicles and the power grid. A smart grid and vehicle-to-grid solution can minimize costs and enhance reliability. It also can prevent the grid from overloading at peak hours. Moreover, EVs can be charged at cheaper rates during off-peak times.

Smart charging algorithms can help EVs to be charged at optimal time. This will reduce the net cost of charging compared to average rate charging. However, a proper charging algorithm must incorporate several applications.

A charging algorithm will take into consideration the solar PV system power, the grid electricity price, and the uncertainties of EV load. The charging schedule will be optimized to provide maximum solar PV system power while minimizing the overall charging cost. This algorithm will be validated by simulation studies.

The proposed algorithm is based on day-ahead forecasting of connected renewable power generation source. The algorithm uses this information to schedule the charging of electric vehicles. It will minimize the overall charging cost while eliminating the negative impacts on the power grid.

The proposed approach can be applied in both residential and workplace EV charging. It can reduce the power loss and voltage drop while increasing the efficiency of the utility system. The charging rate and duration will vary according to the charging frequency and location.

In the residential sector, the charging of EVs is paid through the utility company. The Virta digital EV charging platform replicates corporate fleet schedules and automates the export of energy in accordance with the signals.

The V2G communication allows rescheduling of the EV charging process in case of grid violations. It can also adapt the charging process in near real time.

Transmission grids

Solar energy can be used to provide electricity. This requires transmission grids that carry high-voltage power. Currently, most grid infrastructure is above ground. As a result, the system is less resilient.

One of the key challenges for building a renewable energy network is managing the variability of the sun and wind. In addition to variability, the aging of power transformers and distribution lines makes the task of delivering clean, low-cost electricity increasingly challenging. Keeping the system running reliably is also critical.

To keep the grid functional, developers must implement a number of strategies. For example, they can use power electronics to collect real-time grid information and control the operation of the system. They can also deploy thermal storage.

As solar and wind generation rise in popularity, the need for more transmission to move the clean power from the source to the destination becomes more apparent. During an extreme weather event, existing power lines are often overwhelmed. The ability to store excess power allows grid operators to restart the system. A special “grid-forming” inverter can be built to provide power in the event of a blackout.

A recent survey from JPMorgan Chase found that transmission growth in the United States is growing at two percent per year. This may be good news for consumers, but it does not mean that transmission projects are moving forward rapidly. Several major projects, such as the Clean Line Energy project and the Northern Pass, have been derailed, while others have continued to move forward.

In order to be a successful renewable energy transmission project, it must have the support of a diverse set of stakeholders. These include state and federal authorities, as well as local communities. The project must be in line with international climate obligations, and the developer must be able to ensure participation from those who are directly affected.

Challenges for DSOs

There are a number of challenges for DSOs in the smart grid and solar energy sectors. One of the key challenges is that these entities are undergoing a huge transformation. The changing role of DSOs, the adoption of DER technologies, and the need to optimize their services to consumers all combine to create an environment where DSOs must re-evaluate their business models.

Historically, DSOs have focused on planning, maintenance, and billing of the network. In recent years, however, the rise of distributed energy resources has led to more complexity in the operation of the electric power system. DSOs are now faced with challenges such as meeting new decarbonization targets while maintaining efficiency and resilience.

DSOs must develop new systems to manage the grid. They must find ways to adapt to the varying production and demand for energy, and find innovative alternatives to make the grid more flexible.

Flexibility is a key feature of the future grid. This means being able to move electricity consumption in time and to optimize the use of the grid. It also means having the ability to respond quickly to imbalances in the grid.

The emergence of aggregators, a new actor in the sector, poses a challenge for DSOs. Aggregators need to be regulated and have a standard of operation. In addition, DSOs must ensure that only permitted data is shared with third parties.

The electrification of transportation is another factor influencing the changing role of DSOs. EVs require charging when owners arrive at work or home. To keep up with demand, energy companies will need to build charging infrastructure.

In order to provide the most effective and efficient service, DSOs must be capable of handling the information coming from the grid. This includes smart meter data management software. This technology will help DSOs to actively manage the smart grid.

Impact on the electricity power industry

The impact of smart grid and solar energy on the electricity power industry is a topic of increasing concern. Smart grid technology can make power infrastructure more interactive, resilient, and adaptive. It may also minimise transmission losses. But how should policymakers and industry executives address these issues?

As the electrical power industry evolves, it’s vital that government bodies and public and private actors work together to achieve societal goals. The use of smart grid technologies may support a new business model, but it is important to recognize that the smart grid’s impact on the electricity power industry is not limited to the technical advancements.

In the United States, the electrical grid links thousands of generating plants to homes and businesses. Capital expenditure on the electric networks reached USD 100 billion in 2015, with the investment forecast to rise to USD 600 billion by 2030.

Smart grid technology and renewable energy integration are key areas of focus for many developed and emerging nations. However, there are other factors to consider, including infrastructure and consumer acceptance.

Developing countries need to upgrade their energy networks and decrease transmission losses. The electrical sector also needs incentives to promote advanced technology, such as the use of smart grids. The use of advanced metering, wireless communications systems, and databases are examples of how technology can be applied to reduce transmission losses.

Smart grid technology can help consumers to save on their power bills. But, consumer knowledge is important to its success. If consumers don’t know how to best interact with the grid, they might not receive the benefits that come with it.