Smart Grid Integration

What is a smart grid and how does it work?

A smart grid enables a power system to intelligently integrate the actions of all its connected users.

CONSUMERS,  PROVIDERS  and PROSUMERS (prosumers both provide and consume electricity)

It combines a range of technologies to monitor live energy usage, by:

  • Gathering Data
  • Sensing input and output variations
  • Communicating between systems which provide or store electricity
  • Controlling grid frequency to keep it balanced close to 50 Hz

(Definition adapted from the European Technology Platform Smart Grid (ETPSG))

Why do we need a smart grid?

To truly decarbonise, we need the smart grid

As our energy supply gradually becomes decarbonised, and we depend more on renewable sources, we need to be able to effectively match variable energy supply and demand.  

This is a crucial element of the expansion of RE away from using fossil fuel energy for mainstream commodities including heating systems and electric vehicles.  As high levels of variable RE  become increasingly common across power systems, attention to grid operations and planning becomes more important.  Technology is not the only important factor: innovative policy making, regulation, and business models are all needed to support smart solutions, and this depends on cooperation between many different agencies.

Explanation of terms:

Renewable Energy (RE)

This is energy converted from continuously available natural sources such as the sun, wind, waves, tides and plant material (which is created by photosynthetic conversion of sunlight.) It can be considered as “clean” energy derived from mainly above ground, rather than concentrated “dirty” energy sources from below ground such as fossil fuels and radioactive/nuclear material.

Demand Side Response

This means that on instruction, consumers of electricity reduce or increase their consumption in order to balance the supply and demand of electricity on the grid.

Distributed Generation

This describes a situation where, instead of electricity being generated by a small number of very large power stations (e.g. fossil fuel burning, nuclear and hydroelectric dams) and then distributed to consumers, electricity is generated by a large number of smaller, mainly renewable energy systems such as solar PV roofs, wind turbines and anaerobic digestion units, which are distributed at locations all over the grid.

Immersa can help your organisation store energy and join a smart grid.

Contact Us to Find Out How