The smartgrid is an essential element in achieving our goal of power self sufficiency.
It has long been recognised that simply producing enough electricity from PV panels is not enough. Energy demands rarely match energy supply. The diagram below demonstrate that power generation is highest during the day but peak demands for energy are generally early in the morning and late afternoon and evening. The planned battery system will allow us to store power during the day in order to meet the needs of residents at these times.
The smartgrid technology provides the tools to manage this balancing of power loads across the day by :
- Using historic grid performance and anticipated next day weather patterns to predict future power production and demand
- Coordinating the use of power for infrastructure management such as water pumping to take advantage of excess power
- Encouraging Residents to give NEV Power the capacity to remotely switch on or off certain nominated powered devices such as air conditioners and hot water systems within their own homes. This allows NEV Power to better balance the energy load across the entire network.
- The smartgrid technology will provide residents with online real time visibility of their energy consumption. This visibility, combined with time of use tariff charges, will encourage residents to use power responsibly and sustainably.
Our aim is to be totally self sufficient for our energy needs. NEV Power will continue to be connected to the wider energy grid providing the opportunity to earn revenue by exporting unused surplus energy from our PV panels. We are also working towards the ability to continue to energise our grid during power outages in the wider energy grid. This will, we hope, ensure that our residents are never without power in their homes.
See the ARENA website for more information: https://arena.gov.au/projects/narara-ecovillage-smart-grid