Saturday, April 15, 2006

 

The Electranet

I have been working on a thesis that says the fastest past to green is through reducing fossil fuel consumption by using a network approach to energy use. Every point of energy consumption, no matter how small, is a node, and then linked to distributed, small-scale energy storage, conversion and supply. The distributed supply will typically be renewable, or very clean, highly-efficient conventional, such as combined heat and power applications. The nodes will be connected by dual networks, information and energy, and then optimized on the clearing price of the different grids connected by this network...electricity, natural gas, unleaded gas, etc.

I call it the Electranet.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

National Town Hall Meeting on DR

I'm going to steal a line from Cheers..."Would rather comb my hair with a cheese grater and chew on tin foil" than attend another National Town Hall Demand Response meeting. So many studies...so little time. Once again, the the utes and regulators are trying to convince everyone that the end consumer cannot make decisions about value in the age of EBay. What a joke. Instead of letting buyers and sellers establish value, we have to entertain all types of esoteric valuation metrics for DR that will just kill innovation. I am trying my best to stick around for the FERC tech conference, but not sure if I can…


Saturday, January 14, 2006

 

Still Working

I am still working on my series of posts on "Filling the Gap" but do not want to publish until I have finished my research. I will be attending National Town Meeting on Demand Response II in DC on January 24th and will incorporate into the posts as well. In the meantime, interesting developments:

I do think one of the more interesting smart grid efforts is underway in the Pacific NW.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

 

Filling the Gap - Intro

In the next series of posts, I will attempt to show that the technology, market structure, demand and long-term trends are in place to transform the stationary energy grid from a centralized, polluting, brittle system to a robust, redundant, decentralized, efficient, automated and reliable “smart” network. I will also outline why a smart grid is a "green" grid because it:


Friday, December 23, 2005

 

The Gap

I find the MIT article {found on Rob Day’s blog} on sensor networks very interesting. Repeating my reply to his post:

On one hand, you have a technology looking for a market. It appears that the technology is viable and the costs are quickly declining. On the other, you have a problem looking for a solution: the lack of storage in the electricity market, which necessity the use of dirty, inefficient power plants to answer what appears to be inelastic demand at the daily peaks (late afternoon summer and morning winter). It is almost as if the technology side is speaking a different language than the electricity market. I think “comfortstat” sounds cool…but the real killer app for sensor and control wireless mesh networks is finely tuned response of electrical demand to grid price signals {at these peaks} and/or ambient conditions, me thinks…

I think this is one of many gaps between technology looking for markets and the energy markets looking for solutions.



Monday, December 19, 2005

 

Is the TXU 'smart grid' really smart?

I think Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is doing some interesting work w/smart appliances. I believe that this is where we make the grid smart, more so than upstream Transmission and Distribution, as in the TXU approach. By definition, a smart grid needs to be decentralized, and the TXU approach appears to assume centralized 'command and control'; this becomes more and more difficult as the grid becomes more complex.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

 

Converging Trends

The convergence of the following long-term trends will power the Enchanted Rock Themes forward:


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

 

Guiding Themes

The Enchanted Rock Blog is about:

  1. Making the Electric Grid “Smart:” Transforming the stationary energy grid from a centralized, polluting, brittle system to a robust, redundant, decentralized, efficient, automated and reliable “smart” network.
    • A smart grid = a 'green' grid
  2. Electrifying Vehicle Transportation: Transforming the transportation infrastructure from petroleum to electricity, thus:
    1. Reducing US dependence on foreign sources of crude oil.
    2. Dramatically cutting greenhouse and other harmful emissions.
    3. Increasing the electrical grid efficiency and reliability by utilizing hybrid propulsion systems for electrical storage.
  3. Doing much more with a lot less: Dramatically increasing baseline energy efficiency in mobile, residential, commercial and industrial facilities.
  4. Optimisim. Most people, given the right information and tools, will make the right decision about their energy consumption. Technology will enable this liberating transformation!

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