Let’s wind down this week with a look at the growing complexity in electrical power generation and distribution networks. Advancing technology plays an important role in managing this complexity for grid resiliency and reliability.
This 3-minute YouTube video, Emerson Sustainable Grid Solutions shares ways that grids with unpredictable renewable energy can be transformed into predictable, reliable power through real-time demand forecasting, operational visibility and analytics, maximizing efficiency from generation to delivery.
The video opens highlighting the three core segments in electrical power chain—generation, transmission and distribution. Traditionally these parts have been very distinct from one another, but the growing complexity requires greater integration. Power generation has historically been largely centralized with the power transmission done over high voltages and long distances. Electrical substations reduced the voltages for distribution to industrial and residential consumers.
In this historic model, these power networks were highly regulated, passive, and had little instrumentation and no real-time control. While this model has work well over time, the introduction of variable renewable energy sources including wind, solar, biopower and hydrogen puts constraints on scheduling and loading of the transmission system. Substations have been also changing into much smarter entities that supports remote control, protection, automation and continuous diagnostics to ensure uninterrupted service.
The distribution system is undergoing an even larger digital transformation to accommodate more decentralized power generation and quickly adapt to the intermittency of renewable energy sources and an increasing number of microgrids used to ensure a resilient supply of electrical power. This increasingly complex grid requires sophisticated real-time control and monitoring solutions to maintain optimal power flows and uninterrupted service.
Watch the video and visit the Sustainable Grid Solutions section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies and solutions to overcome the increased complexity and maintain reliable and resilient performance.