What do you get when you combine electric vehicles, household appliances, homes and cold storage refrigerator warehouses? (Here’s a hint, it will help keep the lights on.)
The answer: a more stable and predictable electric utility grid.
In 2009 the EDISON consortium was formed to develop an intelligent infrastructure that will make possible the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles powered by sustainable energy. The consortium partners include Dansk Energi, Dong Energy, Denmark Technical University, Eurisco, IBM, Ostkraft and Siemens.
The small Danish island of Bornholm was selected for the project due to its unique location and its ability to completely sever itself from the mainland grid. In fact, only one power cable goes to the island. Perhaps most importantly, the Danes living there are incredibly supportive of renewable energy technologies.
The concept behind EDISON is based on smart algorithms which synchronize the charging of electric vehicles on the island based on the availability of wind energy on the grid. Therefore, when the wind is gusting the vehicles plug in and charge. When it’s not, the vehicles remain plugged in - but instead of charging they give energy back to the grid, creating a more sustainable balance.
Dieter Gantenbeln, an IBM scientist on the EDISON project says, “There is no point in using electric vehicles if you are burning fossil fuels or nuclear energy to charge it, so we thought about adding some intelligent analytics that would use the vehicles as a buffer for the irregular production of electricity from future renewable sources.”
EDISON was a successful demonstration, but electric vehicles - while making great strides - are still a niche product. This got the scientists thinking. What else could be used as a buffer for the irregular production of wind and solar energy? The answer was two different projects designed to create a buffer for Smart grid - the first one looking at household appliances – the second focusing on industrial cooling warehouses.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc