What are the power network / grid applications of Software-Defined Electricity?

generation
acdc-conversion

#1

The technology is adaptable and in time will be micro-miniaturized as well as scaled up to high voltage products. Anywhere that electricity is presently used and experiencing losses would benefit from Software-Defined Electricity.

There is a wide spectrum of products that will be developed with SDE that will bring the same level of efficiency and control to power networks, grids and microgrids across the world. Below are overview descriptions of how SDE will affect each segment.

Sectors Related to Grid Connected Power Networks:

Electricity Generation
Implementing SDE during the generation of electricity will eliminate the electrical energy losses and improve the fuel efficiency (25%+), power output (50%+) and stability in everything from small home generators all the way up to industrial turbine power plants.

Electricity Conversion
SDE directly converts back and forth between AC and DC with less than 2% losses. This capability will eventually be embedded in inverters and power supplies for all sized devices for device protection, energy storage and renewables.

Electricity Transformation
SDE directly transforms electricity up or down with less than 2% losses. This capability will lead to the development of efficient solid state transformers that can scale from residential application through secondary distribution.

Electricity Distribution
SDE is the most efficient way to distribute electricity, providing digital accuracy and immediate feedback. This capability will eliminate losses and improve the efficiency of everything from facility electricity distribution panels through secondary substations and power plants.

Electricity Consumption
SDE ensures optimum power quality is delivered to every load in a power network simultaneously. This significantly reduces energy consumption in the power network by dynamically eliminating the electrical energy losses. This capability is scalable from 120V through 26kV.


#2

I’ll offer two thoughts on the wholesale electric grid:

  1. Nuclear generation – what would a reduction in heat loading and fuel savings mean to reducing wear and improving safe operations of the nuclear fleet?
  2. PG&E is taking a $2.5 Billion charge to cover their liability against the wildfires last fall in Northern California. Could less heat loading and predictive analytics on the transmission system have helped to mitigate these losses? For instance, vegetation overgrowth is deemed at least partly responsible. Would VectorQs analytics possibly detect that type of grounding hazard?

#3

1. Nuclear generation – what would a reduction in heat loading and fuel savings mean to reducing wear and improving safe operations of the nuclear fleet?

Incorporating 3DFS Technology into nuclear generation environment will improve the quality of the electrical generation system and reduce losses and negative effects of the losses on the turbines, generators and ancillary infrastructure.

The result of fully balanced phases and automatically matched impedance at all times during generation allows the turbines to achieve grid synchronization orders of magnitude faster and without the devastating vibrations that normally occur in synch process without 3DFS Technology. This wear and tear on startup through grid synchronization is the most harmful to the turbine, generators and ancillary infrastructure. This is universally true with electricity generation by coal, natural gas, etc.

To fully understand the specific effects requires research and testing because the design, process, layout, operating schedule, etc. all come into play. However the reduction of heat and vibration will be widespread throughout the electrical generation system and will result in significantly less wear and tear. The maintenance requirements in the electrical generation infrastructure will be immediately noticeable, but in other areas of the process, improvements will be noticed over time. 3DFS Technology provides stability and consistency to the electricity during generation which is most certainly safer.

Further, the data and analytics accessible with 3DFS Technology will significantly open up the visibility into the nuclear generation process. It allows for the Real-Time Analysis of electricity upon generation which opens up new Real-Time diagnostics and predictive analytics functionality on the electricity generating infrastructure that will be used to develop safer, more efficient protocols and processes.


2. PG&E is taking a $2.5 Billion charge to cover their liability against the wildfires last fall in Northern California. Could less heat loading and predictive analytics on the transmission system have helped to mitigate these losses? For instance, vegetation overgrowth is deemed at least partly responsible. Would VectorQs analytics possibly detect that type of grounding hazard?

Less heat, more stability and real time awareness through data and analytics at the transmission and distribution level is precisely what is required to mitigate these losses.

Reclosers are an excellent example of where 3DFS Technology can make a significant impact. Present market reclosers lack of the embedded computing and rely on mechanical switches and relays. This lack of “in the moment” awareness results in suboptimal reactions that can produce sparks or flames during operation. In fact, there is a lot of infrastructure along the T&D lines that have the potential for arcing, sparking or flames that are presently not able to be precisely monitored or controlled in Real-Time to prevent that arcing and sparking from occurring in the first place.

Clean electricity will absolutely reduce the heat and arcing, sparking events on the T&D as it is installed, but more importantly it will open up the visibility that is so desperately required.

Data and analytics are critical in the transmission and distribution infrastructure. Grounding issues are one of many problems that must be identified with far more accuracy than presently exists. Understanding when lines, connectors, bolts and other infrastructure are corroding, the effect of aging isolators, and overheating wires are all excellent example of problems that can be detected with precision and accuracy by monitoring and controlling the electricity in Real-Time.

There is no limit to the digitization and mapping possibilities with 3DFS Technology in the T&D and substation environments. A fully 3DFS protected T&D system would be able to track every Watt.


#4

Duke Energy recently issued an RFP for up to 80 MW of grid-scale solar in its service territory. Solar development has become very competitive, and cost pressures are mounting due to factors such as tariffs and expiring tax credits. In general terms, how might a solar developer integrate 3DFS technology into a project to make its bid more competitive (e.g., lower priced)?


#5

3DFS has not yet worked with solar developers to incorporate Software-Defined Electricity within solar projects, so cannot speculate on the costs and prices. SDE will eventually be integrated into products for all DER project developers. There are a number of ways that will likely unfold:

SDE Embedded in DER Power Network
This is likely to be the first implementation of 3DFS Technology in DER projects. The installation of 3DFS products is fast, non-invasive and will instantly improve the power output of the DER. It will also result in a much more stabilized DER power network and eliminate the reactive power and voltage fluctuation problems (caused by the inverters) from affecting the grid.

We have temporarily installed SDE in a few solar networks as described and have so far seen an average increase in the power output of 12-18%

SDE Improving Grid Interconnection
The incorporation of SDE into DER projects will quickly work up to the grid interconnection level. The grid interconnection process of DER projects is highly regulated and quite cumbersome. Ensuring that the connection begins at the exact right time is crucial for the stability of the main grid and the safety of everybody involved as well as the assets being brought online. This requires a lot of coordinated efforts between many different groups of people.

When SDE is incorporated at the interconnection point, commissioning is as simple as flipping the switch on connection. The system is oversampling the entire environment and will seamlessly interconnect with ideal efficiency and safety every single time. This is a clear example of why embedded intelligence in power networks is critical for our grid.

This function will significantly reduce the cost and hazards related to commissioning new DER projects, or any project that is coming online.

SDE for AC/DC Conversion
SDE converts back and forth between AC/DC with less than 2% losses, which is significantly more efficient than the existing inverters which start out at about 40% losses. SDE can be embedded into a new line of ultra efficient inverters, which are 98% efficient and provide flawless power without any reactive power of voltage destabilization challenges. The increase in energy output will be substantial, projected to be 25%+

SDE on Energy Storage
SDE when installed in the power network with third party batteries operating will improve the performance and stability of those batteries, no matter the brand or chemistry. In this context, the batteries are either supplying or demanding power at any given microsecond in the power network, so in the normal course of synchronization of the electricity by SDE, batteries in the network benefit with a minor, but noticeable increase in cycle life, faster rates of charging and discharging and deeper cycle depths.

SDE when directly managing batteries maximizes the performance of each individual battery pack based on its true, manufactured potential. It will nearly double the number of charge cycles as well as the rate and depth of charging and discharging all while increasing the stability of the entire energy storage system.

SDE in combination with the direct renewable connection to SDE energy storage will maximize the energy output of a DER, minimize the losses during generation, conversion, storage and distribution and perfectly control the timing of everything.

Software-Defined Electricity delivers the highest potential output at the highest possible efficiency for the given design and assets, every time.

SDE on Transactive Energy
The level of control and efficiency offered by 3DFS Technology significantly widens the spectrum of possibilities related to transactive energy. The embedded computing provides a layer of reporting data that is ideal for categorizing everything from power generated to power used to power lost, and can be easily incorporated into blockchain applications with a simple API.


#6

Recently NREL embarked on the study of electrifying most US energy use, incorporating this technology in the plan could greatly reduce the required power.

I wrote to one of the researchers, Trieu.Mai@nrel.gov but he hadn’t heard of your work. Would you consider a collaboration with their effort?


#7

We are always open to collaborations and are certain that we can greatly reduce their required power as well as provide the most accurate and reliable data that they require. They can directly call us or email at power@3dfs.com to begin the conversation.

One stipulation on collaborating with research laboratories is that we can develop products and tools for them but are not interested in sharing intellectual property or explanations of our methodologies outside of the general description that we provide everybody.


#8

Thinking about wholesale grid transmission, would you expect synchronized electricity to degrade in quality as the current moves through the wire?


#9

The quality of synchronized electricity is defined in the moment as it is demanded. For this reason, there is no degradation through the wire.

If the wire is not of the highest quality (increasing the resistance for example), that is instantly considered in the Real-Time measurement and correction models.


#10

The Trump Administration EPA has proposed a rule to encourage thermal power plants to implement heat rate improvement projects. Heat rate improvements are one means of reducing GHG emissions per MWh of output. EPA believes 4% improvement in efficiency can be realized in some cases. If VectorQ could be scaled up, it might be a cost-effective solution to improving heat rates at coal and gas power plants. Maybe North Carolina can take the lead in implementing a VectorQ project at thermal power plants within its borders?


#11

We would be delighted if North Carolina took the lead in implementing the VectorQ power controllers as a method for reducing the heat rate at thermal power plants. The most important point here is that with Software-Defined Electricity, the reduction of the heat rate directly translates to the improvement of electrical energy output.

What EPRI and other laboratories do not account for, cannot account for because they lack the tools necessary, is the extent to which the lack of true Real-Time (and verifiably Real-Time as dictated by the speed of electricity) synchronization will reduce the heat related BTU output in the generator and engine.

The expected percentages of improvement in efficiency with Software-Defined Electricity installed will dwarf that present (and hopeful) 4%.


#12

Thinking about energy storage, it seems like SDE could benefit electric vehicle batteries. Benefits could include:

Greater storage capability;
Greater acceleration/range;
Longer battery life;
Monitoring of battery status (degradation/failure);
Faster charging times.

Have any EV manufacturers approached 3DFS to discuss prototypes?


#13

Absolutely. Every single one of those is true. The improvement in battery capacity and performance in nothing short of transformative for the EV industry. The power of Task Oriented Optimal Computing as the methodology to control the batteries in conjunction with the digital control of electricity is a powerful combination.

The most frequent discussion around digital measurement of electricity centers around non-intrusive load monitoring and identifying patterns in the physical/electrical world. The chemical/electrical world is equally as disruptive.

The SineSync Battery Management System uses the digital measurement of electricity to detect patterns in the chemistry of the batteries in Real-Time. Mapping this knowledge to the predefined chemistry characterization model allows the SineSync system to have Real-Time feedback for the chemistry unfolding inside the battery, in the moment.

This ability of Real-Time Chemistry Modeling universally optimizes the battery based on its true in time characteristics. This includes maximum power delivery, charge rates, depth of discharge etc. and all based solely on its design rather than the power quality.

The benefit of eliminating power quality as a variable in battery management is a no brainer. It makes no sense to manage a battery any other way.

This capability is hardware and chemistry agnostic and makes perfectly clean power availability in any form with maximum efficiency and minimal power consumption a guarantee. This radically changes how EVs can now be designed.

It makes little sense to put a premium battery management system in what will instantly be an electromechanical dinosaur so the caveat is we want to work with some true EV visionaries.

We are completely open to working with EV and AV companies on incorporating both Software-Defined Electricity and Task Oriented Optimal Computing within their designs.