Solar and smart – that’s the future of modern energy supply. Decentralized photovoltaics installations as well as battery storage systems and heat pumps for domestic power and heat supply are being combined in intelligent networks to provide balancing power to the public grid as needed to ensure stability. Known as smart grids, these networks control and monitor the generation, storage, distribution and consumption of electricity. The power grid of the future will also include electric vehicles, both as consumers of energy and as storage devices.
In the German village of Schönau, for example, the local utility company is trying out a local energy management system. Using data from smart metering, the system connects decentralized energy producers with local users and regulates supply and demand. Photovoltaic systems, battery storage devices and controllable loads such as electric vehicles are all taken into account in order to optimize the on-site consumption of self-generated power. In the future, the power companies also want to integrate electric heat generation via heat pumps and heating elements into the smart grid.
Grid congestion is increasingly forcing photovoltaic power plants and wind farms to throttle production. Smart grids minimize the need to down-regulate power by balancing renewable power generation forecasts with load forecasts and operating conditions on the grid in real time. Artificial intelligence (AI) such as self-learning algorithms and machine learning support the automated processing and analysis of vast amounts of data.
Power grid operators expect that e-mobility in particular will lead to increased power consumption. Digital local grids can help to avert grid overload and thus ensure the stability of public power supply, for example by limiting the power supplied to home charging stations during times of peak demand.
At the EM-Power Conference, you can find out more about smart grids and intelligent networked solutions for a reliable future energy supply. It takes place from 20–21 July 2021 at the Messe München exhibition center in Munich, Germany.