Partnership between LF Energy and Sony CLS on an open source Microgrid project


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Hyphane is a small new initiative from LF Energy and Sony Computer Science Laboratories that aims to automate peer-to-peer distribution for renewable energy thus improving performance and achieving zero emissions. By taking a small grid approach, it is possible to modernize the power distribution network and prepare for future challenges, both in supply and mobility. In an interview with the EE Times, LF Energy’s CEO Shuli Goodman, and Kotaro Genouchi, Director of Business Development at Sony CSL, highlighted how their collaboration has directed the industrial market toward the goal of building an interoperable micro-network with AC and DC. Independent, operating off-grid, and capable of connecting to an electrical distribution network with facility supervision. Shuli Goodman, CEO of LF Energy – small-scale generation facilities like rooftop solar arrays that generate energy for use on or near the generation site – are an essential part of the renewable energy future. Genouchi indicated that one of the goals of distributed energy resources, especially with scattered renewable energy such as photovoltaics, is to accelerate decarbonization of the energy sector to alleviate the climate crisis. “We believe the mini-grid will be effective to achieve this goal, especially in an area where the distribution network is weak enough to stabilize variable renewable energy resources,” Ginushi said. Goodman commented that the transition from central fossil fuel generation to renewable and distributed energy resources is the most important reimagining of energy systems in more than 140 years. “Nearly 75% of our planet’s carbon emissions can be mitigated through electrification of energy and transportation,” she said. “There is no backup plan to transform the network; the time is now. By adopting an open source strategy that increases flexibility, agility and interoperability, we can learn to innovate at the speed of technology.” Over the past 20 years, renewables have rapidly strengthened, particularly in the field of power generation, and have gained an increasing share of the market from conventional sources such as coal, oil and nuclear energy. The crisis from Covid-19 has had a major impact on this sector of the energy sector, as the pandemic has disrupted supply chains and employment availability. “I think we learned that it is difficult to reduce carbon emissions to achieve these goals,” Ginushi said. In 2020, due to city closures and restricted economic activities, carbon emissions were estimated to have decreased by 8% compared to the previous year. To achieve a + 1.5 ° scenario in 2030, it is widely said that we need to reduce our carbon emissions by the same degree as in 2020. ”Kotaro Jinushi, Director of Business Development at Sony CSL Microgrid To slow and stop climate change, we must reduce our harmful emissions to zero. To do this, we need to revolutionize our energy system, generating sustainable and renewable energy only.We also need sustainable and more reliable electricity networks; that is, able to combine different renewable energy sources in the best and most flexible way possible. It can support access to energy, no Especially in rural areas, economic development, local business and job creation, health services, education, women’s empowerment, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, food preservation, and access to clean water.Three different strategies contribute to this goal – extending the network. , Micro-grids, and solar home systems – each have a specific field of application.Small grids are electrical systems that make full use of digital metering (smart meters) and smart technologies (electricity). Smart Bakkah, Smart Society, Smart City). The basic elements that must be taken into consideration are: Electricity generation (renewable and distributed energy, as well as conventional) electrical loads (residential, commercial and industrial) storage systems (although not always present) and an electrical network (mainly low voltage) connecting the various elements between them and the large network with Medium Voltage, Jinouchi said, “Small networks are key to controlling dispersed renewable energies.” Currently, most conventional AC micro grids rely on cogeneration that uses oil or gas as a static power source, which means that carbon dioxide emissions will never reach zero. Also, without adequate battery capacity, there are limits to how much renewable energy you can bring in, which in turn is due to the limits of how flexible AC generators can respond to sudden fluctuations of solar and other renewable energy sources (for example, the reverse energy flow problem). These are just some of the practical problems at play. The open power system technology overcomes these issues with small direct current networks. Decentralized power generators that use solar energy and other renewable energy sources and decentralized energy storage equipment are directly connected. “Centralized control is very different from more distributed control in the network. Imagine the difference between a binary switch, on / off, to manage something like the Internet, where we have to keep changing loads and resources to meet demand patterns,” Goodman said. Thanks to new technologies based on artificial intelligence, all of this can be stimulated and made more controllable, thanks to the new technologies based on artificial intelligence, to make the integration between more sustainable small networks and the regular electrical grid more controllable and efficient. “We are living in a fantastically fun time where we must imagine operating power systems that transcend our minds, and perhaps our imaginations, to run.” Fortunately, we are now able to take advantage of ML [machine learning] And artificial intelligence to train computers to improve algorithms that provide the balance we need to design supply and demand. The trick to getting there is first to build software and hardware that can manage a tsunami from data that simulates, for example, the brilliance of a forest, where network operators provide balance to the power system that provides electricity to our homes, businesses, cities, and universities. ”Goodman said the term“ open source ” Indicates a commitment to knowledge sharing, thus encouraging free redistribution and access to design and implementation of solutions. “One of the most important points to take into account is to accelerate changes in the mini-grid technology paradigm to achieve a 100% green energy transition,” Goodman said. Open Renewable Energy Partnership between Sony CSL and LF Energy aims to build an open source platform with the goal of creating flexible and resilient micro-grids. AC grids to stimulate energy transfer in developed countries and bring electricity to the poorest corners of the world. Be able to provide flexible services to the main power system by returning power to the system. “Another is to provide the ability to continue to provide services if the main power system is under stress. There may be a few other use cases. Everyone will need economic evidence to make the design stand.” Jinushi commented that another goal is to provide a unified toolkit and interface for building small grids and accelerating the energy transition to renewable energy. “The challenges that we need to solve will be the lifting of restrictions and support from local communities,” he said. The interoperable, cloud native and configurable micro-grid pathway can provide a new way to manage grid energy, contributing to energy conservation and environmental issues. When developing power systems, interoperability, control, optimization, virtualization of network functions, and digital management of distributed energy resources can all pose development challenges. While small grids are of importance in the data center industry, which is increasingly using renewable energy projects to mitigate the impact of solutions on sustainability, they can also have a significant impact in providing reliable energy in developing countries and improving the resilience of energy supply in all types of situations and markets. “All energy is local;“ We have the knowledge to transfer it through the infrastructure, ”Goodman said.“ But if we rethink the ideal design, I think we will improve proximity and connectivity. This plays on the strengths of the small network. Ultimately, we want to reduce complexity through abstraction (virtualization and automation), reduce costs, and increase reliability. It will likely take the next decade to maintain frequent improvement of each of these things – complexity, cost, and reliability. Open source has a big role to play – just like the Internet – in making sure that interoperability, security, and volume can be accelerated. ”Please see the full article on the EE Times website.


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