Nicholas Etherden, PhD at Luleå University of Technology has developed methods so that existing grids can receive more green electricity. Photo Thomas Wiklund

More green energy with smart grid

Published: 26 March 2014

By creating smart grids new methods to increase the amount of production from renewable energy sources can be developed. Thus, the availability of green energy from wind and sun can increase. That appears from a new doctoral thesis at Luleå University of Technology about how existing grids can receive more green energy.

Nicholas Etherden, PhD at LTU
Nicholas Etherden, PhD at Luleå University of Technology.

- I have developed a methodology to objectively quantify the amount of new production that can be received by a network, says Nicholas Etherden PhD at Luleå University of Technology.

In several case studies on real networks, he has evaluated the potential benefits of energy storage, what is an electricity network transmission capacity in real time and how control of small-scale energy resources can be coordinated. His proposed solutions for storage and communication has been tested and verified in a research-, development- and demonstration facility in Ludvika.

There is a limit to the amount of energy that can be connected to a conventional power grid, but with the help of eg modern communication technology the limit can be increased. Utilizing simply existing infrastructure more efficiently. Another piece of the puzzle to make the extension is that you invest in large-scale energy storage. It is one of several options in the tool box of techniques that is called smart grids.

The mains ability to integrate new consumption or production can be determined by an objective measure, called the acceptance limit. In his thesis Nicholas Etherden developed the concept further.

- My research shows how the variability of different renewable sources of energy consumption interacts with and affects the network's acceptance limit, he says.