Embedded databases help make grids smarter
By N Rozier, Raima Inc
Electricity+Control, July 2014 (pages 44-45)
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The company that the author represents has worked with a number of partner companies to develop a complete microgrid control solution with embedded databases. Coupled with increasing urbanisation is the energy demand in developed and developing countries. Power supplies need to be reliable, affordable and they need to incorporate renewable energy sources. Some electricity grids are 75 or even 100 years old; others have been poorly maintained over many years, so find it difficult to meet the ever-increasing demand. It is therefore essential to improve the capability of electrical grids to meet demand, which is predicted to continue growing for many years.
Options for a large-scale rebuilding of the power delivery infrastructure are limited; instead, innovative new technologies that convert existing grids into smart flexible solutions that can be implemented over time seem to be the way forward.
The partner companies are addressing this requirement by creating a complete microgrid control solution, based on NI CompactRIO hardware. The software runs on embedded controllers deployed in key points in the grid, distributing intelligence and decentralised decision-making out to the remote devices and distributed energy resources.
- Incorporation of renewable energy sources into the grid poses challenges.
- The requirements of electricity grids of today are different from those of the past.
- Modern systems can be built up on the existing grid.