renewables

ORIGINS OF DESIGN IN ENGINEERING AND POWER SYSTEMS

STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

A BRIEF HISTORY OF DESIGN IN ENGINEERING AND POWER SYSTEMS LEADING TO THE FARADAY GRID

In every era in the history of humanity, innovation and development has been implemented in all areas to simplify the functioning of operating systems and ultimately, to increase efficiency and boost productivity. The Faraday Exchanger builds on the work of key physicists and mathematicians by going back to fundamental principles.

Innovation in the area of power and energy can be dated back to 600 BC, when Thales of Miletus, a Greek philosopher, first wrote about the concept of static electricity. He observed that if one rubbed fur on various materials, such as amber, they could create an electric spark.

Later in the 16th century, scientists such as William Gilbert, who is described by some as the father of electrical engineering, would carry out extensive research into electricity and magnetism, leading to him correctly and most significantly concluding that the earth behaves like a giant magnet.

With discoveries like these, came further findings such as Coulomb’s Law in the 18th Century. French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb defined the law of electrostatic attraction and repulsion. Later in that century, Italian physicist Alessandro Volta created the first electric battery using chemicals and metals. By doing this, Volta proved that electricity could be generated chemically.

Such initial findings paved the way for Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Oersted who was the first person to ascertain the relationship between electricity and magnetism. He discovered this by proving that electric currents affected compass needles and created magnetic fields.

Following this, French physicist André-Marie Ampère found that current carrying wires produce forces on each other. He stated that two parallel portions of a circuit would attract one another if the currents in them flowed in the same direction and vice versa.

At the same time, Michael Faraday, one of the most influential scientists in history, was credited with inventing the first electric motor. Following Oersted’s discovery of electromagnetism, Faraday constructed two devices to produce an electromagnetic rotation. Faraday’s inventions and discoveries of electromagnetic induction and the laws of electrolysis have paved the way for inventions such as the modern electric motor, electric generators and transformers as we know them today.

By summarizing and amalgamating the findings of Coulomb, Oersted, Ampère and Faraday, a scientist named James Clerk Maxwell produced four equations that are used today as the basis of electromagnetic theory. He showed that electricity flows through many metals due to the movement of electrons amongst the atoms of the metal. The movement of these electrons produces a magnetic field, the strength of which depends on the number of moving electrons.

These studies and findings have made possible the design and manufacture of the systems that underpin modern life. However, despite the accelerated global development of the past century, the technology in use based on these findings has not fundamentally changed since the invention of the transformer by William Stanley in 1885.  

This lack of cardinal development means that today’s power systems would not be able to cope with the increasing global energy requirements without further increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Therefore, based on these fundamentals of physics, theory from several academic streams, and using the principles of Artificial Intelligence and network optimisation, The Faraday Grid was designed to eventually replace existing technology and address the world’s global energy problem.

Introducing the energy system of the future to Washington DC

Introducing the energy system of the future to Washington DC

Our society has great aspirations for the future. As progress accelerates in every area of our lives, so does the energy system – the very underpinning of our economy – transition as well. However, an energy future shaped by evolving innovation cannot be not be realized while relying on a grid that is fundamentally no longer fit-for-purpose. On March 28 we introduced our vision for the energy system of the future to the American people. Watch our videos of the event here.

If not nuclear then what? Time to reimagine the grid.

If not nuclear then what? Time to reimagine the grid.

Until recently, the UK government’s future energy plans relied heavily on expensive new nuclear power plants to provide baseload capacity as old fossil fuel plants shut down. This was also going to ensure grid stability to support increased intermittent and volatile renewable generation. However, the energy system is fundamentally changing. We don’t need expensive nuclear power to keep the lights on – a more flexible energy system will enable renewables to flourish.

Encouraging innovation in regulated utilities: consultation - response from Faraday Grid

Encouraging innovation in regulated utilities: consultation - response from Faraday Grid

The HM Treasury’s and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) initiated a consultation focusing on innovation in utilities, with the aim to “ensure our system of utilities regulation is fit for the future.” As an innovator of technology that will radically transform the market and with a growing global presence, Faraday Grid is keen to engage in the conversation and submitted a response to BEIS, which can be accessed here.

Blockchain and energy – a solution looking for a problem to solve?

Blockchain and energy – a solution looking for a problem to solve?

Blockchain has been a buzzword in many industries over the last couple of years, including the energy sector. However, despite best intentions, blockchain for energy continues to struggle to get beyond the hype and provide any real benefit. Instead, it adds complexity to the electricity system rather than solving the critical systemic challenge to provide people with clean, reliable and low cost power – the energy ‘trilemma’. Ready Founder & Chief Technology Officer Matthew Williams’s article that originally appeared on Current+.

The Energy Trilemma is far from being resolved - Response to Greg Clark

The Energy Trilemma is far from being resolved - Response to Greg Clark

In this response to Greg Clark MP, Founder & Chief Technology Officer Matthew Williams and Chief Economist & Head of Government Affairs Richard Dowling together challenge the idea that the Energy Trilemma is “over” and examine how greater amounts of renewables will affect energy security and energy equity, should there be no change to the current grid.

Energy storage, variable renewables, and the path towards limiting global temperature rise

Energy storage, variable renewables, and the path towards limiting global temperature rise

Variable renewable energy (VRE) is forecast to reach 50% of total generation by 2050. To balance the inherent variability, a surge in storage technology with respect to grid power and quality is expected. The most popular technology, lithium ion battery storage does not come without its constraints. Read Peter Lo’s writing on the trends surrounding storage and variable renewable energy.

New Energy Outlook - A techno-economic review

New Energy Outlook - A techno-economic review

Rapid acceleration of changes in the energy sphere renders preparations for their implicit challenges difficult. Bloomberg’s recently published 2018 New Energy Outlook (NEO) highlights key market drivers and integrates insight from a variety of experts to evaluate how the energy market will evolve in the coming decades.

From a pragmatic perspective, the electricity system will have to technologically adapt to enable these trends without inflating costs or dangerously destabilising the system. Electrical Engineer, Alex Kleidaras reviews some of the claims of NEO, with regards to their implications and requirements for their feasibility.

Faraday Grid Benefits - a New York State Viewpoint

Faraday Grid Benefits - a New York State Viewpoint

The New York State electricity grid’s challenges – similarly to other grids worldwide - derive from the fact that the current network architecture restraints the system’s ability to accommodate shifting electricity uses and generation types.

Reactive problem solving is not sufficient to sustainably provide the system flexibility such rapid changes require. It is a resilient systemic solution that is required to relieve the system from its pressures and provide an opportunity for further innovation.

Faraday Grid Ltd. (Faraday) has developed a completely new technology that provides a systemic, cost-effective solution. Read Jagadeesh Guda’s white paper that documents the techno-economic implications of the Faraday Grid technology in specific to the New York state electricity grid.

Reinventing electricity grids and Creating a Platform to Integrate New Technologies

Reinventing electricity grids and Creating a Platform to Integrate New Technologies

CEO, Andrew Scobie joined industry leaders at the Energy Storage and Connected Systems 2018 conference to present at a panel discussion focusing on the systemic evolution of grid operation and its relation to new technologies. The presentation analysed the current energy challenge, mitigating technologies, and the Faraday Grid's solution. 

Faraday Grid Benefits - High Voltage Network Simulation

Faraday Grid Benefits - High Voltage Network Simulation

WHITE PAPER ATTACHED

The secure operation of modern electricity networks is becoming an increasingly difficult task as grids continuously employ complex interconnections, intermittent non-dispatchable renewable generation, and nonlinear loads. While these actions aim to improve power system reliability and meet sustainable energy requirements, they significantly reduce the system’s fault tolerance, inertia, and damping levels. The Faraday Exchanger (FE) technology delivers key technical and economic benefits, as demonstrated through results obtained from detailed simulations on numerous electrical networks from various countries.

Review of the Faraday Grid Launch Event

Review of the Faraday Grid Launch Event

The Launch Event of the Faraday Grid, including a live demonstration of the Faraday Exchanger device attracted over 150 guests from academia, science, and business. This truly unique technology is able to dramatically increase the amount of renewable energy in the grid, reduce carbon emissions and reduce the cost of energy to consumers. In this review, Richard Dowling, Chief Economist reflects on night and the implications of this groundbreaking technology. 

BEIS/OFGEM Call For Evidence - A SMART, FLEXIBLE ENERGY SYSTEM

BEIS/OFGEM Call For Evidence - A SMART, FLEXIBLE ENERGY SYSTEM

We believe energy system regulation must have an essential and explicit philosophy of minimising restriction to the adoption of technology, seen or unseen, in order to reduce the cost of energy, system fragility, as well as greenhouse emissions.

Media Release: Faraday Grid finalist in EPIC 2016

Australian innovator Faraday Grid announced today in Paris as finalist in global Energy Productivity Innovation Challenge (EPIC) 2016. The COP21 meeting in 2015 in Paris marked a significant commitment to set global goals for energy efficiency targets. It was also the venue for the launch of the EPIC program. CEO Andrew Scobie, Director of R&D Matthew Williams, and CMO Jacqui Porch were in Paris at the IEA Conference for the awards announcement on the 13th of October. 

Energy & Policy: The Story of Incentives

Energy & Policy: The Story of Incentives

The intention of policy makers to reduce greenhouse emissions is a story of incentives. It’s always a story of incentives - the question is, incentives for whom and at what cost? Incentives and waste; cost and benefits, can be seen as determining the productivity of public choice. As in all human endeavors means need to be fit to ends. So the institutions and infrastructure of the energy sector need to be enabled to deliver a low carbon future.

Relative economics of renewable energy integration

Relative economics of renewable energy integration

A successful transition to a low carbon economy requires that electricity generated to be dependably available to consumers. This requires low emission energy to either be compatible with distribution grids or distribution grids to be enabled to successfully integrate variable renewable energy.

Renewable energy is necessary but insufficient

Renewable energy is necessary but insufficient

Today, even the most ardent supporter of sustainable living probably recognizes that the problem in achieving that isn’t just the nihilistic short-term self-interest of big oil and big coal. We just don’t know how to get there.

Choosing to save the planet

Choosing to save the planet

My plan to save the planet keeps bumping into the seen and the unseen. Almost no one would argue with the great lesson of the stoic philosopher Epictetus. The world divides into that which depends on me, and that which does not. For the stoics, the lesson was that I shouldn’t worry about that which I can’t control. Instead I should focus on making good choices over those things and events I can control. Right there is where the trouble begins.

Repost: The Economist - Sunshine and clouds

Image reposted from original article

Image reposted from original article

http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21662650-solar-power-growth-renewable-energy-requires-new-ways-manage

Sep 5th 2015 | From the print edition

EARLIER this year, after months of planning, the managers of Europe’s electricity grid were ready for the biggest test so far of an energy system that increasingly relies on renewable power. That event was a partial solar eclipse on March 20th—and the “worst case scenario” was that it would take place on a sunny day, causing a sudden disruption of solar power, creating fluctuations that could damage the grid and anything connected to it.

At the centre of concern was Germany, with some of the world’s biggest solar installations. In 2014, almost 7% of Germany’s electricity was generated by solar panels, although on sunny weekdays the proportion can reach 35% and even 50% at weekends. The passing of the Moon between the Earth and the sun could have been equivalent to the loss of 80 medium-sized European power stations.

As it turned out, although the sun shone in southern Germany and northern Italy, cloudy skies elsewhere limited the eclipse’s impact. Even so, the European grid operators had to greatly increase the backup supplies normally on hand and turn off some energy-intensive processes, such as aluminium smelting. And then it had to cope with the surge in solar generation as the eclipse passed.

An eclipse is an extreme event, but as more homes, offices and factories fit solar panels and become, in effect, mini power plants feeding surplus electricity into the grid, engineers are having to perform a similar balancing act every day. Without careful monitoring, the intermittent nature of solar power—even with the sun passing briefly in and out of clouds—can lead to voltage surges and drops, causing brownouts and power cuts.

Moreover, maintaining a consistent level of power is now vital as modern digital devices, such as computers, televisions and equipment in factories, hospitals and offices, demand a steady voltage and frequency, unlike the clunky electronics of a few decades back.

To protect power quality some countries have placed restrictions on new solar installations. In Hawaii, for instance, sudden swings in electrical output have led to a slowdown in the issuing of solar permits. Australia has also placed constraints on new installations. Even some utilities in all-too-often overcast Britain have limited the amount of solar electricity which can be fed into the grid.

Companies are coming up with ways to maintain power quality. Some of the gear is based on inverters, which are used to convert the variable direct current produced by a solar panel into the alternating current on the grid. Renewable Energy Solutions Australia, for instance, makes a system called VoltLogic which can limit the amount of power exported to the grid from solar panels. This, the company says, allows new solar installations to be automatically approved by a number of Australian utilities.

Some utilities want such solar export-limiting equipment to respond to demand changes on the grid in less than one second, says Fraser Durham, commercial director of Argand Solutions, a British company. His firm produces a control system called GridGEM for companies using solar panels. This constantly analyses an organisation’s power use to determine when to buy electricity or to export any surplus according to a utility’s constraints. The system can also switch equipment on or off, channel any surplus renewable power into batteries and operate “private lines”, which are independent distribution networks which might be set up by a group of neighbouring companies to share locally produced solar power.

Saving some for later

Surplus renewable power could also be stored on the grid with beefier battery systems. Various technologies, from giant lead-acid batteries to pumping compressed air into caverns and letting it out to drive turbines, are being developed (see Technology Quarterly December 6th 2014).

Better batteries will also let businesses and homes store more of the power they generate instead of having to export it. Some of the advanced lithium-ion batteries Tesla will make for its electric cars at a giant factory in Nevada will also be sold as 10kWh and 7kWh storage units for domestic solar installations. Delivery of the first batteries, which will be contained in a unit called Powerwall, are scheduled to begin next year. Multiple Powerwalls can be connected together for sites with greater energy needs.

Instead of being a one-way line to deliver electricity, grids of the future will need to be smarter and more flexible to handle the distributed power systems being created by renewable energy.