Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

PNNL Unveils GridWiseTM Initiative to Test New Electric Grid Technologies

13.01.2006


’Smart’ Energy Devices and Real-time Pricing Information Enable Increased Options for Consumers, Bringing Power to the People



SEATTLE – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced today the launch of the Pacific Northwest GridWiseTM Demonstration projects, a regional initiative to test and speed adoption of new smart grid technologies that can make the power grid more resilient and efficient.

Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., representatives from the Department of Energy, as well as demonstration project partners and participants kicked-off the program at an event in Seattle today. Through the GridWise Demonstration projects, PNNL researchers will gain insight into energy consumers’ behavior while testing new technologies designed to bring the electric transmission system into the information age.


About 300 volunteers on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, in Yakima and in Gresham, Ore., will test equipment that is expected to make the grid more reliable, while offsetting huge investments in new transmission and distribution equipment.

A new combination of devices, software and advanced analytical tools will give homeowners more information about their energy use and cost, and researchers want to know if this will modify their behavior.

Approximately 200 homes will receive real-time price information through a broadband Internet connection and automated equipment that will adjust energy use based on price. In addition, some customers will have computer chips embedded in their dryers and water heaters that can sense when the power transmission system is under stress and automatically turn off certain functions briefly until the grid can be stabilized by power operators.

"The technologies we’re testing will turn today’s appliances, which are as dumb as stones with regard to the power grid, into full partners in grid operations." said Rob Pratt, GridWise program manager at PNNL in Richland, Wash.

The year-long study is part of the Pacific Northwest GridWise Demonstration, a project funded primarily by DOE. Northwest utilities, appliance manufacturers and technology companies also are supporting this effort to demonstrate the devices and assess the resulting consumer response.

In the pricing study, automated controls will adjust appliances and thermostats based on predetermined instructions from homeowners. The volunteers can choose to curtail or reduce energy use when prices are higher. At any point, homeowners have the ability to override even their preprogrammed preferences to achieve maximum comfort and convenience.

"We believe this project is the first to provide pricing data on a very short time scale – approximately every five minutes – and the first to include the true costs of transmission and distribution within that price," said Pratt.

Currently, most utilities charge a flat rate per kilowatt hour to homeowners, regardless of the wholesale cost of power or the cost of transmission and distribution. Pratt and other researchers will analyze how customers react to the real cost of delivering energy to their homes through the use of simulated electric bills and pretend money in a mock account that eventually will be converted into cash they get to keep.

If homeowners choose to reduce electric consumption at times of higher prices, the pretend money they save becomes real as they are issued a check from the GridWise program each quarter. Price conscious participants are expected to earn about $150 during the year and nobody will lose money during the experiment.

The communications, computer and control technologies provided by IBM, Invensys Controls and others can help customers become an integral part of power grid operations on a daily basis – and especially in times of extreme stress on the electrical distribution system.

In the portion of the demonstration focused on the smart appliance technology, a computer chip developed by PNNL is being installed in 150 Sears Kenmore dryers produced by Whirlpool Corporation.

The Grid FriendlyTM Appliance Controller chip could help prevent widespread power outages by turning off certain parts of an appliance when it senses instability in the grid – something that happens about once a day on average. Shutting down the heating element for a few minutes, while the drum continues to tumble, would likely go unnoticed by the homeowner but drastically reduces power demand within the home. Multiplied on a large scale, this instant reduction in energy load could serve as a shock absorber for the grid. It would give grid operators time to bring new power generation resources on-line to stabilize the grid – a process that usually takes several minutes.

At the end of the study, researchers will evaluate customers’ reactions to the chip and their responses to the real-time pricing information to determine their acceptance. This will help government and industry to determine whether and how to best make the technologies more widely available to consumers in the future.

An earlier PNNL study shows that creating a smarter grid through information technology could save $80 billion over 20 years nationally by offsetting costs of building new electric infrastructure – the generators, transmission lines and substations that will be required to meet estimated load growth.

Susan Bauer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pnl.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>