A changing regulatory environment and increased security concerns have energized the electric power industry at home and abroad. Electric utility companies realize that improved productivity is essential to their long-term survival. As the electric power industry quickly evolves into an interconnected network of distributed resources, new technology is needed to facilitate electronic commerce within the utility industry.
AESC energy industry technology development efforts progress on several fronts to keep clients competitive in this increasingly complex market environment. Strategies include:
- Intelligent Agent Technology
- Web Enabled DERs
- Energy Use Analytics
- Normalized Baselines
Intelligent Agent Technology
The staff at AESC believes that intelligent software agent technology plays a key role in a competitive market. Intelligent software agents communicate with their users and each other, helping to expedite transactions on a variety of platforms. To this end, AESC has advanced agent technology in three areas. First, AESC developed its Smart*DER intelligent agent software. Smart*DER agent-based software monitors site and equipment operation and schedules operation of distributed energy resources in response to external market signals. Second, AESC developed the “Power Neighborhood” concept under a DOE-funded SBIR project that demonstrated how intelligent agents, operating in an open auction environment, can quickly and efficiently aggregate site loads and facilitate site responses to system disturbances. And third, AESC has developed and demonstrated an agent-based approach for coordinating renewable generation, storage and subtransmission system assets. Additional information on AESC agent technology can be found at our dedicated website www.smartder.com.
Smart and Connected Distributed Energy Resources
AESC is leading a $4Million applied research project with the CEC to explore flattening the “Duck” curve through assessment of a new distributed intelligence technology that optimizes interactions of DERs (battery storage and PV solar) in concert with intelligent loads (smart EV chargers, pool pumps, thermostats, and appliances). A real-world laboratory consisting of 100 homes in various climate zones will assess the effects of new technology.
In the residential market, the proliferation of PV solar roofs and electric vehicles in California adds to the challenge, and intelligent controls, serving as the missing link between smart homes and the smart grid, is one especially promising solution.
At the heart of the system is a smart DER technology which consists of a web-connected hub device and custom software that communicates with – and controls – end devices to automate residential energy management without compromising comfort. Using specialized algorithms, the DER technology optimizes loads, reducing peak loads and lowering costs for consumers and the grid.