Jump to content
Science Forums

“Virtual Batteries” Could Lead To Cheaper, Cleaner Power


Recommended Posts

Coordinating smart appliances and electric cars may help balance supply and demand in the power grid.
In the power grid, supply and demand need to match exactly. If consumers demand more power than producers can supply, or if producers provide more power than consumers need, the result can be rolling blackouts.

Power producers usually keep turbines spinning at a few offline plants, so they can ramp up production if demand spikes. Or they maintain coal-fueled backup generators that can be fired up quickly. But these approaches are either costly, polluting, or both.

In theory, the grid could employ a battery to keep supply and demand in balance, but existing battery technologies offer no cost savings over power production. In a new paper, however, MIT researchers argue that “smart appliances” in homes and offices, such as thermostats that can be adjusted remotely and electric cars that plug into the grid, could, collectively, act as a massive battery, offering a lower-cost, lower-emission alternative to backup power generation in the grid.

Getting power producers to trust that virtual battery, however, requires rigorously quantifying its capacity and charge and discharge rates. In the paper, the researchers take some initial steps in that direction.

 

Refer: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1610.01973v1.pdf

 

Watch more Technology videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK2ccNIJVPpB_XqWWq_oaZGIDzmKiSkYc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coordinating smart appliances and electric cars may help balance supply and demand in the power grid.

In the power grid, supply and demand need to match exactly. If consumers demand more power than producers can supply, or if producers provide more power than consumers need, the result can be rolling blackouts.

 

Power producers usually keep turbines spinning at a few offline plants, so they can ramp up production if demand spikes. Or they maintain coal-fueled backup generators that can be fired up quickly. But these approaches are either costly, polluting, or both.

 

In theory, the grid could employ a battery to keep supply and demand in balance, but existing battery technologies offer no cost savings over power production. In a new paper, however, MIT researchers argue that “smart appliances” in homes and offices, such as thermostats that can be adjusted remotely and electric cars that plug into the grid, could, collectively, act as a massive battery, offering a lower-cost, lower-emission alternative to backup power generation in the grid.

Great idea!  But also one that has been worked on for ~20 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...