Originally published: April 27, 2010
Last updated: April 27, 2010 - 8:48pm
Here's ten stimulus-funded Smart Grid projects that are just plain interesting - and in some cases just plain exciting:
1) Liquid Metal Grid-Scale Batteries: This all-liquid metal battery developed by an MIT scientist is based on low cost, domestically available liquid metals. If it works this technology could enable round-the-clock power from America's wind and solar power resources.
2) The Pecan Street Project: This initiative builds on Austin Energy's existing Smart Grid programs by creating a microgrid that will initially link 1,000 residential smart meters, 75 commercial meters, and plug-in electric vehicle charging sites.
3) AEP Ohio gridSMART Demonstration Project: Improved distribution line efficiencies to reduce power losses; reliable, local back-up power for customers in case of outages; integration of community renewable power resources, and support for plug-in electric car deployment, which reduces peak power demands on the grid due to charging and offers a "green" alternative by reusing increasingly popular electric car batteries.
4) Arizona Public Service solar demonstration project: The utility plans to integrate 1.5 megawatts of solar power on a single "feeder" (or energy distribution area).
5) Midwest ISO synchrophasor implementation: This three-year program will place 150 synchrophasors (or PMUs) that will measure voltage and current within the Eastern Interconnection. The devices can monitor the state of the grid 30 times every second, increasing the efficiency and reliability of power delivery.
6) GE Smart Grid pilot on Maui: GE and Hawaii Electric are testing wall-mounted meters that will monitor power consumption of household appliances and let customers know when peak demand periods occur.
7) R&D to improve IT and Communications energy efficiency: The strategy here is that finding ways to improve energy efficiency in these sectors can result in huge energy and cost savings. The awards fall into three areas: equipment and software, power supply chain and cooling.
8) Energy East Advanced CAES Demonstration Plant: Uses an existing salt storage cavern to demonstrate an advanced, less costly 150 MW Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) technology plant. It will include a Smart Grid control system to improve grid reliability and enable the integration of wind and other intermittent renewable energy resources.
9) 1366 Technologies solar cells from silicon: Developing a shorter, waste-free silicon solar cell making process that it says could cut production costs by 80%.
10) Optimizing Regional Transmission System Operation: This demonstration project utilizes an advanced Smart Grid software technology from Boeing with military-grade cybersecurity for improving regional transmission system planning and operation.
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