Smart Grid: Intelligent Networks or Energy under Control

Smart Grid: Intelligent Networks or Energy under Control

04. 09. 2012

Saving electric power and more generally reducing the costs of producing and distributing all kinds of energy is an important and often mentioned topic at present. The application of intelligence and a more economic approach to managing the regulation of the production and consumption of electricity in real time, on both the local and global scale, is the subject of so-called smart grids.

The principle of a smart grid is the interactive two-way communication between production sources and appliances or consumers about the actual possibilities of energy production and consumption. However, building intelligent networks is still in its infancy. Mostly these networks involve localized pilot projects which will expand in time to cover cities/countries.

This issue has been studied by BUT researchers, who have developed a method of ensuring the even distribution of immediate electric power consumption throughout a single day or multiple days as part of a complete transmission system, i.e. in the direction from electricity producer (power plant) – distribution network – end user, and vice versa.

Underpinning this invention is a method for the continuous collection of information about electric power consumption in time intervals which are considerably shorter than intervals for collecting information using the current method, i.e. in the range of years/months/days. Thanks to shortening the time interval down to 15 minutes, a significantly more precise overview is provided of the actual situation in the energy network and the amount of electricity being taken from the grid. By applying predictive methods, a more precise short-term estimate can be made of the amount of future electric power required. Moreover, prediction accuracy can be increased by using information from intelligent appliances and other systems measuring physical parameters of the environment.

The proposed method for ensuring an even distribution of immediate electric power consumption consists of two parts. The first part of the system enables short-term prediction of energy produced from renewable resources and thus reacts to fluctuating states in the atmospheric environment which have strong influence on the actual amount of electric power being produced. The second part is a component that provides a comparison of the produced and consumed energy, along with short-term estimates for the predicted amount of electric power required in future. Based on the overall evaluation, the method enables the conditions for the withdrawal of power to be set more advantageously and improves the regulation of the real amount of energy.

The invention is in the early phase of development; researchers are intensively continuing further research and development, and are planning cooperation with the Seikei University in Tokyo. A Czech patent application has been filed.

These technological solutions are mostly of interest to energy companies engaged in the production and distribution of electric power. Also interested are those companies producing electronic devices for measuring electric power consumption, where such devices are innovated to digitally collect data and communicate with the control and supervision centres of energy companies, and, last but not least, those companies focused on manufacturing intelligent appliances.

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