Smart Grids

The energy transition from fossil fuel based to a low carbon energy supply introduces several big challenges for the actual society: intermittency of renewable sources (particularly Variable Renewable Electricity Sources – VRES), stability of the energy grid, safety and security of the energy supply on demand. A more complex and adaptable energy grid can secure our communities at all levels of individuals, communities, cities and territories, while supporting the environment, the climate and the transition to a sustainable society.

Electrical energy Grids must be properly managed in case of wide penetration of VRES. There are several parameters and characteristics of an electrical energy GRID that must be addressed:

  • Power quality: the high penetration of VRES can introduce a series of problems respect the power quality on the grid. VRES can reduce the grid stability and the transmission capability introducing variations in voltage and frequency. 
  • Regulation: at the regulation timescale, microscale variation of VRES creates additional variability and unpredictability in the dynamic balance between generation and load. The seconds to minute timescales involves relatively rapid response to changing load and VRES generation conditions. 
  • Load following: it follows timescales in the range of minutes-to-hours. Indeed it must be properly managed to avoid mismatch in between generation and consumption profiles. When VRES have a penetration higher than 20%, in between 6 to 10% of overall energy daily consumed should be stored to balance the grid and make VRES dispatchable.
  • Unit commitment: in timescale from hours to days, generation units must be committed to meet forecasted load. Predictive models, ICT technologies, proper energy plants and units, integrated storage systems are all necessary elements to maintain a balance between generation capacity and unpredicted consumption profiles.

The SMART GRID is a sum of technologies able to support a change in the energy system, from generation, to transmission, to distribution and consumption of energy. It is designed primarily to integrate:

  • a massive amount of intermittent and variable renewable sources (e.g. sun, wind);
  • ICT technologies to improve the intelligence of the grid, including sensing and control, management of energy from generation to consumption levels;
  • a innovative hardware infrastructure able to limit transmission and distribution losses, granting at the same time stability and safety in supply;
  • bi-directionality in energy transmission and distribution;
  • storage technologies able to balance generation and consumption profiles.

EDEN technology can support the future smart grids with high penetration of VRES contributing to the balance of energy generation and consumption profiles, stimulating self-energy consumption at the local level generated by renewable sources. EDEN technology can configure as a power-to-power system, able to convert intermittent sources into hydrogen, stored on a high-density solid-state material, able to generate back electricity on-demand