Source: The Power of the Smart Campus
When we talk about the emerging Smart Grid there comes with the topic an array of exciting and new technologies; Micro-Grids, Distributed Generation, Smart Meters, Load Shifting, Demand Response, Electric Vehicles with Battery Storage for Demand Response, and more. Recent development in Renewable Energy sources has been driven by concerns over Climate Change, allowing for unprecedented growth in residential and commercial PV Solar Panel installations.
Figure 1: Redwood High School in Larkspur, CA installed a 705kW SunPower system that’s projected to save $250,000 annually. The carports include EV charging stations for four cars. (1)
Climate Change and burning of fossil fuels are hot topics in the world. Most recently the city of San Francisco has mandated the installation of solar panels on all new buildings constructed under 10 storeys, which will come into effect in 2017 as a measure to reduce carbon emissions. Currently all new buildings in California are required to set aside 15% of roof area for solar. (2)
“Under existing state law, California’s Title 24 Energy Standards require 15% of roof area on new small and mid-sized buildings to be “solar ready,” which means the roof is unshaded by the proposed building itself, and free of obtrusions. This state law applies to all new residential and commercial buildings of 10 floors or less.
Supervisor Wiener’s ordinance builds on this state law by requiring this 15% of “solar ready” roof area to have solar actually installed. This can take the form of either solar photovoltaic or solar water panels, both of which supply 100% renewable energy.” (3)
Weather and Aging Infrastructure:
Despite an increasing abundance of energy-efficient buildings and other measures, electricity demand has risen by around 10% over the last decade, partly driven by the massive growth of digital device usage and the expanding demand for air conditioning, as summers continue to get hotter in many states.
According to 2013 data from the Department of Energy (DOE), US power grid outages have risen by 285% since records on blackouts began in 1984, for the most part driven by the grid’s vulnerability to unusual and extreme weather events – such as the devastating Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that caused extensive power outages across the East Coast – which are becoming less unusual as the years roll on.
“We used to have two to five major weather events per year from the 50s to the 80s,” said University of Minnesota Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Massoud Amin in a 2014 interview with the International Business Times.
“Between 2008 and 2012, major outages caused by weather increased to 70 to 130 outages per year. Weather used to account for about 17% to 21% of all root causes. Now, in the last five years, it’s accounting for 68% to 73% of all major outages.” (4)
How is the Smart Grid so different from the traditional electrical grid?
The established model of providing power to consumers involves the supply of electricity generated from a distant source and transmitted at high voltage to sub-stations local to the consumer, refer to Figure 2. The power plants that generate the electricity are mostly thermo-electric (coal, gas and nuclear power), with some hydro-electric sources (dams and reservoirs) and most recently wind farms and large solar installations.
“The national power grid that keeps America’s lights on is a massive and immensely valuable asset. Built in the decades after the Second World War and valued today at around $876bn, the country’s grid system as a whole connects electricity from thousands of power plants to 150 million customers through more than five million miles of power lines and around 3,300 utility companies.” (4)
Figure 2: Existing Transmission and Distribution Grid Structure within the Power Industry (5)
The (Transmission & Distribution) market supplies equipment, services and production systems for energy markets. The initial stage in the process is converting power from a generation source (coal, nuclear, wind, etc.) into a high voltage electrical format that can be transported using the power grid, either overhead or underground. This “transformation” occurs very close to the source of the power generation.
The second stage occurs when this high-voltage power is “stepped-down” by the use of switching gears and then controlled by using circuit breakers and arresters to protect against surges. This medium voltage electrical power can then be safely distributed to urban or populated areas.
The final stage involves stepping the power down to useable voltage for the commercial or residential customer. In short, while power generation relates to the installed capacity to produce energy from an organic or natural resource, the T&D space involves the follow up “post-power generation production” as systems and grids are put in place to transport this power to end users. (5)
The Smart Grid is an evolution in multiple technologies which in cases is overlaying or emerging from the existing grid. New generating facilities such as wind power or solar installations which may be small or local to a municipal or industrial user are being tied into the existing grid infra-structure. In some cases residential PV Solar systems are being tied into the Grid with some form of agreement to purchase excess energy, in some cases at rates favorable to the installer, depending on the utility and region.
Another characteristic of the evolving Smart Grid is in communication technology and scalability. Use of wifi protocols for communication between parts of the system allow for new processes and access to resources which were previously unavailable. Ability to control systems to defer demand to non-peak hours within a building as one example.
Microgrids, smaller autonomous systems servicing a campus of buildings or larger industry, may plug into a larger City-wide Smart Grid in a modular manner. In the event of a catastrophic event such as a hurricane or earthquake the Smart Grid offers users resiliency through multiple sources of energy supply.
Distributed Generation includes a number of different and smaller scale energy sources into the mix. The newer, small scale Renewable Energy projects which are being tied to the electrical grid as well as other technologies such as Co-Generation, Waste To Energy facilities, Landfill Gas Systems, Geothermal and the like. As growth continues there needs to be ways to control and manage these multiple energy sources into the grid. Also increased needs to maintain privacy, isolate and control systems, and prevent unauthorized access and control. This is leading to growth in Energy Management and Security Systems.
Figure 3: An artist’s rendering of the massive rail used in the ARES power storage project to store renewable energy as gravitational potential energy. Source: ARES North America (6)
Energy Storage is emerging as necessary in the Smart Grid due to fluctuations in source supply of energy, especially Solar and Wind Power, and the intermittent and cyclical nature of user demand. The existing grid does not have the need for energy storage systems as energy sources were traditionally large power stations which generally responded to anticipated need during the course of the day.
As more Renewable Energy systems go online the need for storage will grow. Energy Storage in its various forms will also enable Load Shifting or Peak Shaving strategies for economic gains in user operations. These strategies are already becoming commercially available for buildings to save the facility operators rate charges by limiting demand during peak periods at higher utility rates.
Figure 4: Effect of Peak Shaving using Energy Storage (6)
Peak-load shifting is the process of mitigating the effects of large energy load blocks during a period of time by advancing or delaying their effects until the power supply system can readily accept additional load. The traditional intent behind this process is to minimize generation capacity requirements by regulating load flow. If the loads themselves cannot be regulated, this must be accomplished by implementing energy storage systems (ESSs) to shift the load profile as seen by the generators (see Figure 4).
Depending on the application, peak-load shifting can be referred to as “peak shaving” or “peak smoothing.” The ESS is charged while the electrical supply system is powering minimal load and the cost of electric usage is reduced, such as at night. It is then discharged to provide additional power during periods of increased loading, while costs for using electricity are increased. This technique can be employed to mitigate utility bills. It also effectively shifts the impact of the load on the system, minimizing the generation capacity required. (6)
Challenges with chemical storage systems such as batteries are scale and cost. Currently pumped hydro is the predominant method of storing energy from intermittent sources providing 99% of global energy storage. (7)
Figure 5: Actual Savings accrued due to Demand Response Program (8)
Demand Response (DR) is another technology getting traction in the Smart Grid economy. As previously mentioned Energy Management and Security Systems are “…converging with Energy Storage technology to make DR a hot topic. First, the tools necessary to determine where energy is being stored, where it is needed and when to deliver it is have developed over decades in the telecommunications sector. Secondly, the more recent rush of advanced battery research is making it possible to store energy and provide the flexibility necessary for demand response to really work. Mix that with the growing ability to generate energy on premises through solar, wind and other methods (Distributed Generation) and a potent new distributed structure is created.” (9)
Demand response programs provide financial incentives to reduce energy consumption during peak periods of energy demand. As utilities and independent system operators (ISOs) are pressured to keep costs down and find ways to get as many miles as they can out of every kilowatt, demand response programs have gained popularity. (8)
Figure 6: The Demonstration Project 2’s Virtual Power Plant (10)
Virtual Power Plant: When an increasing share of energy is produced by renewable sources such as solar and wind, electricity production can fluctuate significantly. In the future there will be a need for services which can help balance power systems in excess of what conventional assets will be able to provide. Virtual power plants (VPPs) are one of the most promising new technologies that can deliver the necessary stabilising services. (11)
In the VPP model an energy aggregator gathers a portfolio of smaller generators and operates them as a unified and flexible resource on the energy market or sells their power as system reserve.
VPPs are designed to maximize asset owners’ profits while also balancing the grid. They can match load fluctuations through forecasting, advance metering and computerized control, and can perform real-time optimization of energy resources.
“Virtual power plants essentially represent an ‘Internet of Energy,’ tapping existing grid networks to tailor electricity supply and demand services for a customer,” said Navigant senior analyst Peter Asmus in a market report. The VPP market will grow from less than US $1 billion per year in 2013 to $3.6 billion per year by 2020, according to Navigant’s research — and one reason is that with more variable renewables on the grid flexibility and demand response are becoming more crucial. (12)
Figure 7: Example of a Microgrid System With Loads, Generation, Storage and Coupling to a Utility Grid (13)
Microgrids: Microgrids are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously and help mitigate grid disturbances to strengthen grid resilience (14). The structure of a microgrid is a smaller version of the smart grid formed in a recursive hierarchy where multiple local microgrids may interconnect to form the larger smart grid which services a region or community.
The convergence of aging existing infrastructure, continued growth in populations and electrical demand and concerns over climate change have lead to the emerging smart grid and it’s array of new technologies. This trend is expected to continue as new growth and replacement will be necessary for an aging electrical grid system, from the larger scope transmission systems and utilities, to smaller scale microgrids. These systems will become integrated and modular, almost plug-and-play, with inter-connectivity and control through wireless internet protocols.
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With 88 projects from coast to coast, it might be the biggest grid edge R&D effort ever. Here’s how the money is going to be spent.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.greentechmedia.com
“[…] The Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan will bring a consortium of 14 national laboratories together with more than 100 companies, utilities, research organizations, state regulators and regional grid operators. The scope of this work includes integrating renewable energy, energy storage and smart building technologies at the edges of the grid network, at a much greater scale than is done today.
That will require a complicated mix of customer-owned and utility-controlled technology, all of which must be secured against cyberattacks and extreme weather events. And at some point, all of this new technology will need to become part of how utilities, grid operators, regulators, ratepayers and new energy services providers manage the economics of the grid.
DOE has already started releasing funds to 10 “pioneer regional partnerships,” or “early-stage, public-private collaborative projects […] The projects range from remote microgrids in Alaska and grid resiliency in New Orleans, to renewable energy integration in Vermont and Hawaii, and scaling up to statewide energy regulatory overhauls in California and New York. Others are providing software simulation capabilities to utilities and grid operators around the country, or looking at ways to tie the country’s massive eastern and western grids into a more secure and efficient whole.
Another six “core” projects are working on more central issues, like creating the “fundamental knowledge, metrics and tools we’re going to need to establish the foundation of this effort,” he said (David Danielson). Those include technology architecture and interoperability, device testing and validation, setting values for different grid services that integrated distributed energy resources (DERs) can provide, and coming up with the right sensor and control strategy to balance costs and complexity.
Finally, the DOE has identified six “cross-cutting” technology areas that it wants to support, Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary of DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, noted in last week’s conference call. Those include device and integrated system testing, sensing and measurement, system operations and controls, design and planning tools, security and resilience, and institutional support for the utilities, state regulators and regional grid operators that will be the entities that end up deploying this technology at scale.
Much of the work is being driven by the power grid modernization needs laid out in DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review, which called for $3.5 billion in new spending to modernize and strengthen the country’s power grid, while the Quadrennial Technology Review brought cybersecurity and interoperability concerns to bear.[…]
DOE will hold six regional workshops over the coming months to provide more details, Danielson said. We’ve already seen one come out this week — the $18 million in SunShot grants for six projects testing out ways to bring storage-backed solar power to the grid at a cost of less than 14 cents per kilowatt-hour.
“We can’t look at one attribute of the grid at a time,” he said. “We’re not just looking for a secure grid — we’re looking for an affordable grid, a sustainable grid, a resilient grid.” And one that can foster renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction at the state-by-state and national levels. […]
Demand response (DR) energy distribution appears to be gaining momentum in the United States and elsewhere. In the U.S., however, the DR sector is awaiting a Supreme Court decision that will have great impact on the evolution of the technology, administrative and business models.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.energymanagertoday.com
“[…] A lot is going on besides the Supreme Court case, however. Technology evolutions in two discreet areas are converging to make DR a hot topic. The tools necessary to determine where energy is being stored, where it is needed and when to deliver it is have developed over decades in the telecommunications sector. Secondly, the more recent rush of advanced battery research is making it possible to store energy and provide the flexibility necessary for demand response to really work. Mix that with the growing ability to generate energy on premises through solar, wind and other methods and a potent new distributed structure is created.
In October, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released a report entitled “Peak Demand Reduction Strategy,” which was prepared for it by Navigant Research. The research found that the upside is high. For instance, for every $1 spent on reducing peak demand, savings of $2.62 and $3.26 or more can be expected in Illinois and Massachusetts, respectively. The most progress has been made in the United States, the report found. Last year, the U.S. accounted for $1.25 billion of the total worldwide $2 billion demand response market, according to JR Tolbert, the AEE’s Senior Director of State Policy. The U.S. market, he wrote in response to questions emailed by Energy Manager Today, grew 14 percent last year compared to 2013.
The report painted a bright picture for the future of demand response. “The key takeaway from this report is that by passing peak demand reduction mandates into law, or creating peak demand reduction programs, policy makers and utilities could significantly reduce costs for ratepayers, strengthen reliability of the electricity system, and facilitate compliance with the Clean Power Plan,” Tolbert wrote. “As states plan for their energy future, demand response should be a go-to option for legislators and regulators.” […]”
Where’s the middle ground between having a small solar charger for your gadgets, and having a rooftop solar array capable of powering your entire house? The UNplug might know.
>” […] The UNplug solar controller was invented by Markus Löffler in response to his own power blackout experience, where several days without electricity meant a lot of spoiled food. Löffler, an entrepreneur and software engineer living in Altadena, California, developed the UNplug device to serve as a simple and inexpensive way to begin going solar, because it serves as the brain of a micro-solar system, starting as small as a single solar panel and a small battery bank. […]
During the day, UNplug feeds electricity from the solar panel into the appliances connected to it, and charges the battery bank, and then when the sun goes down, it seamlessly switches over those devices to using grid power. In the event of a blackout, UNplug then powers those same appliances from the battery bank, allowing certain crucial electricity needs to continue to be met during an outage.
The UNplug could allow homes to take at least some of their daily electrical loads off the grid, such as the fridge or other household devices, while also serving as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in the event of a power outage. The device doesn’t function all by itself, of course, and requires solar panels, batteries, an inverter, and other accessories, but according to Löffler’s campaign page, a small system could be set up for an additional $570 or so, on top of the cost of the UNplug, so the entire investment could be under $1000. (His shopping list is here.) […]”<
“With this unprecedented access to information, Smart Cities will deliver new levels of efficiency, effectiveness, safety, reliability, and higher levels of service. This access enables a city to anticipate and prevent problems in areas like reducing accidents by rerouting traffic, and reducing crime by identifying hot spots. New insight also enables the provision of services like finding a parking spot, monitoring air pollution, intelligent lighting, and others. A sense and respond model (a key future enabler) allows for the delivery of many of these services without human intervention.
A next generation of efficiency is also enabled, as asset tracking will streamline operations and insight will deliver unprecedented levels of efficiency. For example, a recent survey of water utilities found a saving potential between $7.1 and $12.5 billion each year through smart water solutions. The chief globalization officer of Cisco has said that smart cities drive energy consumption savings of 30% and water consumption savings of 50%. These environmental benefits include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving waste management. Boston University Installed self-powered trash receptacles which wirelessly alerted collection vehicles when they were full, resulting in on-campus trash collection being reduced from 14 times per week to an average of 1.6 times per week.
The Smart City
The Smart City is Defined as a developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and a high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government. Excelling in these key areas requires strong human capital, social capital, and information and communications technology. We are in the early days of an evolution towards Smart Cities, and IDC Government Insights finds that most cities are deploying these projects department by department. In a recent IDC White paper, they provide a maturity model to describe this Smart City evolution…”
Next up in this ongoing look at disruptive scenarios is the Smart City. For the first time in history, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities, and that percentage moves to 70% by 2050. This visual effectively captures the dramatic move towards urbanization:
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Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, California, is a luxury establishment with an energy storage system and fast DC electric vehicle (EV) charging — reportedly, the first one in the US to have this setup. It is expected that the lithium-ion energy storage system will help it reduce electricity demand charges by 50%. Over time, that savings
>” […] So what is the connection between energy storage and EV charging? When an EV is plugged into a charger, electricity demand increases, so the hotel could be on the hook for a high rate for the electricity, depending on the time of day. Demand charges are based on the highest rate for 15 minutes in a billing cycle. So, obviously, a business would want to avoid spikes in electricity usage so it would not have to pay that rate.
That’s where the energy storage comes in. When there is a spike, electricity can be used from the energy storage system, instead of from a utility’s electricity. Avoiding demand charges in this way, as noted above, can thus help businesses save money. […]”<
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released its first installment of its Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) – a comprehensive report examining how the United States can modernize energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility. This installment…
>” […] Electric grid reform is timely due to a confluence of factors. First, our grid infrastructure is old and in dire need of upgrade. We could just patch up the existing system by replacing old poles and wires with new ones and call it a day. But given evolving customer preferences for more control over energy usage and newly available efficiency-enabling technologies, doing that would be like replacing an old rotary phone with a newer one instead of upgrading to a smart phone. Grid reform should also consider the changing environment, as grid reliability is increasingly threatened by severe weather. The continuing shift in the energy generation mix to include the benefits of more roof-top solar and remote wind generation will also require changes to our transmission grid.
QER electric grid modernization findings and recommendations
Here are some QER highlights relevant to FERC and what it can do to support a clean electricity grid. (Our Sustainable FERC Project coalition submitted comments to DOE on some of these items before the QER was finalized.)
The necessary transmission build-out for a low-carbon future is likely consistent with historic investment
To access wind and solar renewable resources far from populated cities, we need long-distance transmission infrastructure. But how much is enough? The QER studied a variety of clean energy future cases, including scenarios with high penetrations of wind and solar power, a cap on climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions to achieve a 40 percent reduction in 2030, and increased natural gas prices. The scenarios produced a range of new transmission requirements, all consistent with our historic investment in transmission infrastructure. In other words, the needed transmission infrastructure build-out to get to a low-carbon future is reasonable. So it boils down to this: the nation will continue to invest billions of dollars in grid infrastructure updates whether we build for a clean energy future or ignore the potential for it – which will it be? We’d argue for the clean pathway to clean our air and stave off the worst effects of climate change
We can more efficiently use existing infrastructure to avoid unnecessary and costly transmission construction
Just as the highways clog at rush hour, the electric grid gets congested when customer power demand is at its peak. The QER emphasizes that there are a number of ways to alleviate congestion on transmission wires without building costly new infrastructure. These include managing energy use through energy efficiency (smarter use of energy) and demand response (customer reduction in electricity use during high congestion times in exchange for compensation), locally supplying energy through distributed generation (such as rooftop solar), or using stored energy when the transmission lines are constrained. These alternatives not only reduce new transmission construction requirements, but come with the added bonus of improving electric service reliability and reducing pollution from electricity generation. Indeed, three important DOE-funded planning studies show that scenarios combining high levels of these resources can reduce the expected costs of new transmission investment (see a description of the Eastern Interconnection study here).
We can also avoid costly transmission construction by using existing transmission more efficiently through improved operations. Without getting into the wonky details, this means grid operators can adopt smart network technologies and better network management practices to minimize electricity transmission bottlenecks.
We need to appropriately value and compensate energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, and other resources providing cleaner, cheaper grid services
Unlike traditional power plants, energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage and other resources can nimbly respond to unanticipated grid events or meet energy demand without requiring extra transmission capacity at peak times. But these resources often offer more to the grid than they receive in compensation. Accurately valuing the services these resources provide would allow regulators and utilities to incent their participation in grid markets. The QER therefore recommends that DOE help develop frameworks to value and compensate grid services that promote a reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable grid. […]”<
According to a new IDC Energy Insights report, “Business Strategy: Global Smart Building Technology Spending 2015–2019 Forecast,”* smart building technology spending will grow from $6.3 billion in 2014 to $17.4 billion in 2019, registering a compound annual growth rate of 22.6 percent. The most aggressive adoption will be in Asia/Pacific, North America, and Western Europe. …Continue Reading
After several years of slower-than-expected growth, the smart building technology market is expected to grow rapidly as there is increasingly broad market awareness of the business value. Smart buildings enable facility optimization through the convergence of information technology and building automation.
In developing this forecast, several trends were identified. One trend is that vertical industries have a large impact on the rate of adoption of smart building technologies. Buildings managed in the government or healthcare verticals, for example, tend to be more mature in their appreciation of the benefits of smart buildings and more advanced in their deployment. Secondly, investments over the past several years have focused on HVAC systems. Customers are now beginning to expand their evaluation to lighting, plug load, equipment maintenance and other issues.
From a geographic perspective, North America will continue to implement smart building technology driven largely by corporate objectives of controlling and reducing energy costs. Many European nations will continue to expand their investments in smart building technology, driven by continued EU and local governmental regulations. And within Asia/Pacific, China’s rapid building boom continues apace, resulting in new construction with many smart building capabilities designed in from the beginning.”<
Sharp Electronics Corporation’s […] 30 kW storage system is coupled with Baker’s existing 90 kW solar PV system. Baker Electric, a key channel ally of Sharp, has selected theSmartStorage® solution to help cap expensive utility demand charges for its commercial building customers.
Peak demand charges are the fastest growing part of utility bills for commercial and industrial customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly utility bill. The SmartStorage® energy storage solution is a unique battery-based demand management system designed to reduce commercial and industrial buildings’ peak electricity use. It combines Sharp’s intelligent energy management system with cutting-edge hardware, operating seamlessly as a stand-alone solution or when deployed along with a solar system.
“Baker Electric brings decades of experience offering innovative technologies to its customers, including solar solutions in recent years. Their PV solutions coupled with our SmartStorage® energy storage solution provide a powerful duo for building owners wanting to lower peak demand usage without disrupting their day-to-day operations,” commented Carl Mansfield, General Manager of Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group.
The SmartStorage® system employs sophisticated, predictive analytics and controls to manage the release of energy from the battery, resulting in high performance, high system efficiency and world-class reliability. The SmartStorage® system can also make existing solar installations economically viable where they otherwise would not be.
Baker Electric’s SmartStorage® system installation is backed by Sharp’s innovative 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement which provides all routine and unscheduled maintenance coupled with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee.
“Our customers have come to expect the highest quality, highest performing products available on the market. After an exhaustive search in identifying the best solution to help lower demand charges for our customers and our own facility, we chose Sharp’s SmartStorage® system, not only because it exceeds the quality standards we are known for, but because we also have confidence in Sharp standing behind its product by offering its unique 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement and performance guarantee,” said Ted Baker, CEO of Baker Electric.
The SmartStorage® energy storage solution has undergone more than 18 months of field testing benefitting from Sharp’s world-class attention to quality and safety. The energy storage component of Sharp’s SmartStorage® system consists of state-of-the art lithium-ion batteries, which have been tested, listed and labeled as compliant with UL safety standards.