For many years, a ‘smart’ grid for renewable energy was thought to be impossible due to the problem of matching supply to demand because you can’t suddenly make the sun shine brighter or the wind blow stronger.
In addition, in many locations, it has not been possible to connect more than a certain amount of generation to the grid because of weaknesses in the local network.
This has now changed due to a radical new development from Smart Power Ltd which has managed to develop a new patent-pending method of having a Smart, Synthetic Grid that can also be connected to the National Grid.
This means that all of the power that is created from renewable energy can be stored on site and the power requirements of the smart grid for the site met.
Dr Marc Stanton, Commercial Director for Smart Power, explained: “It is the control of this system that offers a ground-breaking solution to an age-old problem.
“This control has been made possible by the integration of management control algorithms and the use of a new type of Quad directional inverter. This minimises efficiency losses by all functions being performed by one inverter rather than using separate inverters for each function.
“This new system could drastically improve the efficiency and payback return of any site using renewable energy.
“All of the power that is produced can now be used when required rather than any unused power being sent to the Grid. This increase in efficiency improves the rate of return on investment as well as enabling a site to become energy self-sufficient.”
If insufficient power is being produced to meet demand, then the demand is supplemented from the storage system. If more power is being produced than required, then the storage system is recharged. If there is insufficient power in the storage system, then the extra power can be demanded from the Grid.
If too much power has been produced than is required for site use and storage, then the excess can be fed to the Grid in a controlled manner that does not affect any weaknesses in the local network.
An additional benefit of the system is the fact that if the system has excess power, rather than have to turn off generation and lose Feed in Tariffs payments excess power can be fed to the Grid under G83/2 parameters of 16 Amps per phase.
This eliminates any upgrade costs for connection to the Grid and means that renewable generation can now take place at locations that had previously been denied permission to connect to the Grid due to overcapacity or Grid network weaknesses.
Many of Scotland’s islands and some UK mainland sites are constrained to a G83 grid connection, yet there is a large potential for renewable generation above 16A per phase, per site.