Self-Healing Smart Grid

1) Sustainability Problem: Electrical Grid Reliability

Renewable energy is being increasingly integrated into the electric grid but this intermittent energy source can put pressure on the grid. Maintaining reliability while transitioning to a renewable based grid is the biggest challenge facing this advance.

2) Technology:

  • In order to address this problem Dutch energy expert Alfen has developed the Cellular Smart Grid Platform(CSGriP), which divides the central grid into smaller cells that can operate autonomously and even self-heal.
  • If a power outage occurs in the grid each local cell will take over and automatically start restoring all local sources of energy supply, such as solar and wind, and redistribute the energy to local customers. Once the balance is restored it reconnects to the central grid and quickly rebuilds the larger grid. This reduces duration and size of outages.
  • “Unique about this solution is that the local cells are intrinsically stable through self-adjustment of supply and demand based on the frequency of the electricity grid. This makes the grid truly self-healing in cases of central grid outages. The self-healing mechanism based on frequencies sets it apart from many IT-related smart grids that require relatively vulnerable data and ICT connections for balancing local grids,” explained Evert Raaijen, Energy Storage Specialist at Alfen.
  • This technology can be used in the developed world to decentralize grid systems and can also be used in the developing world to serve under-served areas quickly by creating local micro-grids instead of building large petroleum based centralized grids.

3) Stakeholders:

  • electricity consumers
  • electric companies
  • renewable energy suppliers
  • grid operators

4) Deployment/Implementation

  • Expand pilot test from the Netherlands
  • Deploy local micro-grids in developing countries
  • Create partnership with utility companies

Resources:

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/cleantech/sustainable_brands/alfen_launches_first-ever_smart_grid_self-healing_power

https://alfen.com/en/projects/cellular-smart-grid-platform-0

 

Comment on Dynamic Buildings for a Sustainable Future

 

This seems like a great technology, it reduces building time, number of workers, is more earthquake resistant and generates energy but how do the costs compare? I couldn’t find any information on the costs.

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