Dutch research set to make electricity grids future-proof

Jul 09, 2012

The rise of renewable energy calls for smart electricity networks (smart grids) that can align energy supply and demand. Researchers at the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT) at the University of Twente have developed an ICT-based management and control methodology that is able to do exactly this. Research carried out by mathematician Maurice Bosman shows that this method is effective and capable of making existing electricity grids future-proof. Bosman defended his thesis on 5 July at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Today’s energy network delivers energy from different power plants to end users. This process makes it relatively easy to align electricity supply and demand. With the emergence of decentralized energy generated by wind turbines, cogeneration and solar panels, this task becomes much more complex.

Solar panels generate less energy on a cloudy day and wind turbines are dependent on how strong the wind is. Smart grids, that is to say, smart electricity networks, are the solution to matching supply and demand – especially when combined with smart devices and energy absorption. A smart grid must be capable of aligning decentralized power generation and temporary storage and consumption of energy in real time, in such a way that there is no inconvenience to the user.

Management and control methodology

Researchers from the University of Twente’s CTIT Institute have developed TRIANA, a management and control that matches supply to demand. This method makes use of forecasting, planning and continuous control. The system creates a schedule based on a forecast of energy demand, in which deviations from the forecast are taken into account using continuous control. At district or city level, this represents a formidable planning problem. With the aid of a virtual network, PhD candidate Maurice Bosman explored the possibility of solving this planning problem mathematically. The answer was yes. His research shows that TRIANA is indeed a suitable method for aligning the supply and demand of energy. “Using TRIANA we can make the electricity network future-proof.” Doing this has many advantages, the researcher explains. “Network operators and energy supplies currently have to invest billions of euros to ensure that capacity is always up to standard. With clever planning and by aligning supply and demand more effectively, the need to build ‘superfluous capacity’ decreases.”

Explore further: Website shines light on renewable energy resources

More information: Bosman carried out his PhD research within the Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Programming (DMMP) and Computer Architecture for Embedded Systems (CAES) groups, and the CTIT research institute.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smart software for self-regulating smart grid

May 24, 2011

Siemens and the utility company Allgauer Uberlandwerk (AUW) in the city of Kempten, Germany, are testing the smart grids of the future. The tests focus on optimized power distribution and the use of a self-organizing ...

Virtual power plants for renewable energies

Apr 27, 2012

Siemens recently put two virtual power plants into operation. Virtual power plants are networks of several small power stations that are run like a single system. One of the new virtual power plants enables ...

'Smart' fridges stay cool by talking to each other

Jan 13, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- 'Smart' fridges that run on renewable electricity and are capable of negotiating the most energy efficient way to keep food cold have been developed by researchers from CSIRO’s Energy Transformed ...

Electricity grid could become a type of Internet

Oct 24, 2007

In the future everyone who is connected to the electricity grid will be able to upload and download packages of electricity to and from this network. At least, that is one of the transformations the electricity grid could ...

Recommended for you

Website shines light on renewable energy resources

13 hours ago

A team from the University of Arizona and eight southwestern electric utility companies have built a pioneering web portal that provides insight into renewable energy sources and how they contribute to the ...

Better software cuts computer energy use

14 hours ago

An EU research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart ...

Cook farm waste into energy

Dec 17, 2014

It takes some cooking, but turning farm waste into biofuels is now possible and makes economic sense, according to preliminary research from the University of Guelph.

Developing a reliable wind 'super grid' for Europe

Dec 17, 2014

EU researchers are involved in the development of a pan-European 'super grid' capable of dispersing wind power across Member States. This will bring more renewable energy into homes and businesses, help reduce ...

Boeing 737 factory to move to clean energy

Dec 16, 2014

Boeing said Tuesday it plans to buy renewable energy credits to replace fossil-fuel power at the factory in Washington state where it assembles its 737 commercial airplanes.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.