In a previous article, I discussed ways in which the smart grid and smart home technology could impact a customer’s electric service and utility bill. At the end of that article I promised to “do the math” and provide a few examples, so here it is. I examine several possible scenarios, including different rate plans, load shifting via smart appliances, and the addition of solar panels and on-site energy storage. Yeah, my spreadsheet has been busy this week!
Two years ago, the U.S. reached a quiet tipping point in the modernization of its power grid: The number of electric meters with two-way communications surpassed the number of older models on the grid.It’s not the sexiest statistic, but the long-term implications for efficiency and demand management are enormous. New advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) that can measure customer load with increased granularity has created opportunities for variable rate structures, effective demand response and increased customer control over their energy use. And now, with the ability to compare real-time usage to historical baselines, the industry can begin to more accurately value “efficiency as energy.”
Energy storage has become an increasing focal point for solar companies, which is not surprising given solar’s intermittency issues. While solar PV costs have declined tremendously over the past few decades, this energy technology cannot offer base load supply. Without a cost-effective energy storage device, solar PV will forever be dependent upon other energy sources like natural gas to provide for base load energy. The panacea to this issue has always been energy storage, which is great news as energy storage innovations are starting to gain significant momentum.
The Smart Grid Research Consortium (SGRC) today announced new SGRC Utility Solar Photovoltaic Forecasting Models and Forecasting Service. The SGRC Solar Models and Service provide the first commercially available annual forecasts of residential solar PV system installations, energy and hourly load impacts, costs and benefits over a 10-year forecast horizon.Forecasts are provided for distribution feeders, substations, ZIP areas, and the entire utility service areas. Low, medium and high forecasts are provided to reflect the range of likely PV installation and load impacts.
Here’s a scenario for you: It’s been a while since you’ve done your laundry; the stuff is piling up and threatening to take over. So, reluctantly, you decide to take the bull by the horns—you load the machine.
However, despite knowing that you shouldn’t, you stuff the thing as full as you can get it. Just an extra towel won’t be a problem, right?
This is a very interesting article by Sean Meyn from the University of Florida for South Africans because we are interested in alternative energy solutions and because SA-born entrepreneur Elon Musk’s new battery system seems to have the answer to our power problems. But there are other simpler solutions, for example, in plugging something as prosaic (and energy guzzling) as pool pumps into a smart grid and harnessing them as massive batteries. Pools are, of course, just one example of a hungry but flexible load, Meyn points out. This piece was published first by The Conversation. – Gill Moodie
Major changes in the energy market, such as revolutionary technology and changing demographics, have profound implications for power utilities, according to a report from the advisory firm PwC and its consulting arm Strategy&.The report was issued on Wednesday and comes at a time when Eskom has been load shedding for several consecutive days.
SolarCity recently announced a new microgrid project, introducing their microgrid as an emergency management tool. The technology is already being used by companies, universities and even residents as a complement to their main energy source in areas all across the world — but emergency management is becoming an important reason for organizations to consider their own microgrid.
SolarCity’s microgrid project uses solar, batteries and controllable load to give customers an emergency backup power system.
Today’s busy homeowners are reaching for their smartphones to stay on top of daily household tasks, whether it’s unlocking the front door for unexpected house guests, closing the garage door after a delivery or checking to see if that last load of laundry has completed its cycle.
via Raise your home’s IQ.
Smartenit, Inc. announces the addition of an energy metering in-wall smart electrical outlet to their lineup of home automation devices. The elegantly designed tamper-resistant socket offers consumers another option for monitoring, controlling and managing energy of lights and appliances.
The ZBMSKT1 socket is a duplex receptacle that offers an always-on top outlet, and a bottom outlet that is fully manageable via ZigBee controllers. The controllable bottom outlet measures energy consumption and other load parameters, allowing users pinpoint control over their energy usage.