PowerCap® Voltage & Frequency Stabilization
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. Ensuring that 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.
For 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.
There are many benefits to choosing energy storage, depending on the application and the type of technology selected to meet that application’s requirement. As an integral part of the electrical supply, transmission and distribution, energy storage is receiving increasing attention by a wide range of stakeholders including utilities, end-users, grid system operators and regulators. By absorbing excess energy that may put strain on the grid, energy storage is an incredibly effective and useful grid stabilisation technology. The spectrum of storage benefits can be grouped into six broad application/use categories:
- Electric supply
- Renewable integration
- Electrical grid operations
- Electrical grid infrastructure
- Incidental (and other)