As smart electric grid evolves, engineers show how to include solar technologies

Aug 17, 2012

An economically feasible way to store solar energy in existing residential power networks is the subject of an award winning paper written by two Virginia Tech electrical engineers and presented at an international conference.

Reza Arghandeh of Blacksburg, Va., a doctoral candidate in the Bradley Department of Electrical and at Virginia Tech, won the best student paper award at the 20th International Conference on , held in with the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Power 2012 Conference at Anaheim, Calif.. His advisor is Robert Broadwater, professor of electrical and computer engineering, who specializes in electric power system analysis and design.

In their paper, they acknowledge that solar resources are “intermittent, seasonal, and non-dispatchable.” However, the current national climate with its deregulation policies, electricity tariffs, control strategies and demand management are “significant tools for flexible and resilient operation of power systems with photovoltaic adoption levels,” Arghandeh argued.

“Selling the household generated electricity into the electric energy market and the storage of electricity in storage systems and demand control systems provide a variety of economic opportunities for customers and utility companies to use more renewable resources,” he added.

Some residential houses are already doing just this – selling power back to an electrical distribution industry. But Arghandeh and Broadwater’s work provides an optimization algorithm for a Distributed (DES) system on a broad scale. The system they developed presents a fleet of batteries connected to distribution transformers. The storage system can then be used for withholding distributed photovoltaic power before it is bid to market, Arghandeh explained.

“Withholding distributed photovoltaic power, probably gained from rooftop panels, represents a gaming method to realize higher revenues due to the time varying cost of electricity,” he said.

Arghandeh is referring to the peak usage of energy systems such as the early evening hours when families return home from school and from work versus the low usage times that occur in the early morning hours when most households are asleep. “The distributed photovoltaic power adoption can be controlled with the help of real-time electricity price and load profile,” he confirmed.

Today’s power systems are moving towards a smart grid concept to improve their efficiencies, reliability, economics, and sustainability. Arhhandeh and Broadwater want to make sure that solar technologies are integrated with the existing technologies like energy storage and control systems.

Specifically, the distributed energy storage system computation they devised is called a discrete ascent optimal programming approach. It insures convergence of the various systems after a finite number of computational iterations. A solution determined by using their approach depends upon the day ahead forecast of load variation, market prices, and photovoltaic generation.

The output of their optimization algorithm is a distributed energy storage charging and discharging schedule with maximized operation benefits.

Explore further: Website shines light on renewable energy resources

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sharp develops intelligent power conditioner

Feb 22, 2011

Sharp Corporation has developed the Intelligent Power Conditioner that enables batteries in electric vehicles to be used as storage batteries for the home. Sharp will be conducting exhaustive tests to confirm ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Website shines light on renewable energy resources

9 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

9 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 : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

86daily
1 / 5 (5) Aug 18, 2012
Why don't we let Dr. Deagal show you how energy can be provided at the lowest cost. A unit the size of 4 large water heater can provide 1/2 the energy the Hoover Dam does. Yes, it runs on fussion and you don't have to worry about heat. One the size of 10 large water heaters and you have 2 times the power of the Hoover Dam. That of course is another to secret covered up by the CIA. Wake up 6,000 secret patents. My, our world could be so different. No need for oil, coal, or firewood. See also KesheFoundation.com for more surprises and learn what you don't know. I finally did, it took me forever to unlearn all those falsehoods.
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 18, 2012
Fussion? Really?

dey's liars.
Jeweller
not rated yet Aug 18, 2012
CONfussion maybe
dacarls
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2012
Consumers Power are pumping up water into the stored water facility at Ludington MI. with their 22 new windtowers: I saw 6 were working today. These were NOT installed in Lake Michigan, as originally proposed, but on shore.
I do not know the company, or how this was proposed and changed from the original - but there will certainly be wind-pumped water available for release 100 ft above Lake Michigan.

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.