Through a grant issued by the National Science Foundation, Hansen will analyse how end-user distribution could assist balance the demand for electricity and ease pressure on aging transmission lines. He will associate with Colorado State University scientists, who obtained a separate NSF award. Total funding for the three – year project is approximately $425,000.
“Such a project is a formal method for trying to balance consumption with less intrusiveness based on customer interest to diminish electricity demand during peak times,” explains Hansen. That could imply, for example, altering the day and time they do laundry.
Utilities entities spend less for non – peak energy as more effective generators, comprising renewables, like solar and wind are in use. Hansen pointed out. Ultimately, utilities can pass such savings on to consumers through discounted prices for those who agree to alter their energy usage habits. “Diminishing usage at peak times can help keeping our rates low,” he says.
Hansen describes three facets of power – distribution, generation and transmission. “What most of the people witnessed is the distribution side,” he says, directing to the outlets on the wall. The distribution grid has lesser voltage and power, while the transfer grid uses higher voltage and power, explains Hansen. However, most of the nation’s transfer lines were structured in the 70s and have exceeded their estimated life span of closely 30 years.
Constructing a novel power line can take more than a decade from planning to approval and then installation, he directed. In the meantime, novel gadgets and devices enhance the demand for power, but transmission lines cannot handle the augmented load. The research study takes a simulation – based approach. “We know how the power market works and energy prices are assigned,” he says. That is then coupled with how consumers normally utilize energy.
Using algorithms, the scientists will identify when and how much amount of energy must be shifted to balance the energy draw and diminish the pressure on transmission grid. Two doctoral students will function on the project. “We will analyse if this is a feasible option for operators to look into,” says Hansen. The scientists are also functioning with the University of Technology of Belfort – Montbeliard in France, the National Renewable Energy lab, Siemens Corporation and a Fort Collins, Colorado, utilities Company.
Hansen and his project associates SiddharthSuryanarayan of Colorado State and Robin Roche of the University of Technology of Belfort – Montbeliard even published a book – named as “Cyber Physical Social Systems and structures in Electric Power Engineering,” this year.
“We are searching for not just the market, but also at the environmental impact,” noted Hansen. Carbon release will also be estimated for energy production to identify reduction in greenhouse gases as a whole.
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