Smart devices to schedule electricity use may prevent blackouts

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May – or may not? Electricity users will need to be re-educated to show ‘responsibility’, it seems, and to submit to ‘demand side control’ in future. So the power provider may decide when, or which, items of plug-in electrical equipment can or cannot be used in your local area at any given time, or vary its charges, as already happens in some contracts. The idea of having adequate resources of electricity generation is no longer put forward as the desired standard. Into this new set-up they want to bring millions of electric vehicles and abolish domestic gas heating systems, straining credibility.
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Power plants generate electricity and send it into power lines that distribute energy to nodes, or sites, where it can be used, says TechXplore.

But if the electricity load is more than the system’s capacity, transmission can fail, leading to a cascade of failures throughout the electric grid.

This domino effect was responsible for the largest blackout in U.S. history in 2003, which left 55 million Americans and Canadians without power at an estimated cost of $6 billion.

An even larger blackout in 2015 affected 57 million people in Italy.

Blackouts cause ripple effects throughout the economies they affect, and they can be dangerous for people depending on electronics in hospitals.

In a paper published in Chaos, the authors show demand side control may be an effective solution to stabilizing the reliability of power grids that use a mix of energy generation sources.

Pere Colet and colleagues factored the effects of demand side management into power grids using a model to simulate the rapid fluctuations involved and tested the system under different demand loads.

The authors extended a model for the complex dynamics of blackouts in power grids to include three important factors: intraday variability (peaks in electricity demand when people wake up or come home from work), power bursts caused by simultaneous switching on of many electric devices (either by chance or by large factories), and the effect of managing demand (using devices that delay switching on until the grid is more clear) on the power grid.

“With a growing fraction of electric energy generated from wind and solar power plants, which are subject to weather changes, fluctuations will increase, and we have to consider different control approaches to balance the system,” Colet said. “Devices that are smart enough to postpone certain tasks can help. This is what is known as demand side management.”

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

November 12, 2020 at 08:36AM

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