Smart-grid technology is taking another step forward as IBM is joining with Danish research consortium EDISON and seeking to optimize wind turbine energy for use with electric cars.
The goal of the project will be to correspond wind turbine energy from the island of Bornholm, Denmark, with the power consumption of electric cars.
The goal of the project is two-fold: increase the number of electric cars in Denmark to 10 percent of the vehicles on the road while shifting an even greater emphasis to wind power in the country.
Denmark already receives 20 percent of its power from renewable energy sources like wind turbines.
IBM’s Global Energy and Utilities is currently involved in approximately 50 different projects like this that relate to smart-grid technology. Allan Schurr, vice president of strategy and development recently explained their emphasis on smart-grid tech saying that it can help utilities better integrate renewable energy sources and run the transmission grid more efficiently.
“Smart-grid technologies are not required to make larger use of wind and solar power but they can make them less expensive,” Schurr said. “Getting a handle on power supply and demand in real time helps address the variable nature of wind and solar power,” he said.
He went on to explain that many forms of renewable energy, particularly wind power, cause problems for power grid operators since power supply is unpredictable. Smart-grid technology can help modulate the loads so that if the wind is blowing, cars should be charging.
The Danish Edison project will try to use simulations and historical data to predict how best to correspond wind turbines power output with the charging of electric car batteries. An example of how this might function would be for a drop in wind speeds to be matched with a slow down in how fast electric car batteries are charged.
Smart grid technology can help balance electricity supply from wind power or solar energy with demand. This would mean eliminating the need for fossil fuel backup generators that are typically used as stand-by power suppliers.