How PowerCap® Contributes to Grid Stabilisation
The perceived intermittency of renewable energy has often been pointed to as the driving argument against adopting a sustainable energy model. Now, however, with surprise blackouts, peak tariffs, and grid load-shedding, people are looking to leave the once ‘dependable grid’ for good. Unfortunately, this is not yet a viable option as the existing pole and wire infrastructure is too great of an asset to entirely abandon. As it turns out, renewable energy is the answer after all. As more energy storage (and particularly VPN networks) come online, pressure will be taken off the grid to create a sustainable equilibrium. PowerCap®’s graphene-based energy storage technology is perfect for the task due to its grid monitoring capabilities. The PowerCap® system actively recognizes when to shed vs store energy to best suit the owner’s energy preference and is recyclable at the end of its 25-year lifespan.
The Need for Power Plant Energy Storage
On any regular day, utility companies must plan how much energy to generate and distribute onto the grid. Grid operators will often predict energy consumption based on historical trends and data, primarily by referencing usage on the same day of the previous year. They then use this data to modify those estimates relative to the current weather forecast for the following day using complex formulas that create demand profiles for a given city or region.
With these predictive models being the norm for operations, utility companies cannot respond to live consumer demands thus often resulting in a surplus or shortage of energy. Some energy production technologies can be turned on and off quickly – for example, disconnecting a solar panel from the grid. But other power production methods, like fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, take a long time to power up and down, at a considerable cost. Making sure the right amount of energy is being distributed to end-users is critical to maintaining a stable grid infrastructure – too much energy can wreak havoc on electronics, too little results in brownouts and disruptions to service.
As long as there has been an electrical grid, companies have sought ways to safely and efficiently store energy so that it can be consumed on-demand, the output can be meticulously controlled, and the exact frequency of the energy distribution can be tightly regulated.
Energy storage, however, is resource neutral and allows for the efficient use of electricity from any power source. Whether the energy produced comes from a coal power plant or a field of wind turbines, energy storage technologies capture that energy to be used on-demand when it is needed most.