Industry 4.0 is dawning, and digitalization, decarbonization, and decentralization (aka D3) are fueling the electric grid (r)evolution. D3, in turn, creates opportunities for immense value creation, but invokes new technologies and design concepts, and change brings risk.
As the industrial revolution 4.0 is dawning on us, the digitalization of the utility grid and more broadly digitalization of our complete energy system is inevitable. While digitalization brings massive opportunities for value creation, it also brings significant challenges.
Considering the cyber-physical nature of the future grid, where massive amounts of sensors, communications, embedded computing, embedded controllers, and cloud software will dominate the operation and performance, industry leaders are embracing new design, test, deployment and life cycle maintenance processes based on model based engineering and more specifically model based testing.
Frequency regulation is currently provided by large individual resources, such as coal plants and gas turbines. There is growing interest for utilizing power flexibility of DERs in microgrids for providing frequency regulation. Researchers, funded by ARPA-E, from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have developed a control framework for a microgrid that coordinates DERs for frequency regulation.
Using a Controller Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation platform, EPC Power was able to integrate their control software with new hardware in just two days.
Based in San Diego, CA, EPC Power designs and manufactures grid forming bi-directional inverters and DCDC converters for solar, wind, energy storage, automotive and microgrid applications.
Ryan Smith, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and chief controls architect, talks about his experience using Controller Hardware in the Loop (C-HIL) from the early conceptual stage, to final product certification and lifecycle maintenance.
Sandia National Laboratories is the largest U.S. Department of Energy national lab with over 12,000 employees. It has a major role in supporting inverter development and testing protocols for standards organizations and distributed energy research (DER) vendors.
Jay Johnson, a principal member of technical Staff at Sandia, leads several renewable energy research projects in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He talks about his research paper, “Design and Evaluation of SunSpec-Compliant Smart Grid Controller,” and why Controller Hardware-in-the-Loop (CHIL) is a novel approach.
Resilience is a new way of dealing with the unknown. Modern society has come to believe that we can rise above risk by using historical data and design analyses to quantify probabilities and consequences, and calculating an acceptable gamble on targeted risk mitigation measures. Resilience basically is our capacity to survive and thrive in the face of change and uncertainty – accepting the fact that we cannot always predict the future. Resilience thinking challenges us to overcome limitations of traditional risk management methods by focusing on the outcomes that are important to us, such as health and welfare. An important difference is that we must come up with ways to enable our systems, communities, and businesses to deal with changing conditions or things that we might not have known in advance without falling apart - not only by protecting them from change, but by cultivating flexibility and a propensity to learn and adapt to changing conditions.