Microgrids in India to Avert Electricity Loss…Princeton Power Scores…Veolia in Ithaca

Almost 20 percent of the electricity generated in India gets lost somewhere along the line.

We hear a lot about the need for microgrids in India where remote villages lack access to the central grid. But it appears that microgrids could help out India’s central grid as well.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last week that India has among the world’s highest electricity line losses – the disappearance of electricity somewhere between where it’s generated and where it’s used.

In fact, almost 20 percent of the electricity generated in India gets lost somewhere along the line, which is more than twice the world average and nearly three times US line losses, according to EIA.

Electricity gets lost two ways: technical inefficiency and theft. Technical losses occur because of friction in the transmission and distribution wires. Theft usually involves tampering with lines and meters – even bribing meter readers.

Microgrids may not help with the theft problem, but they can avert the technical inefficiency. Microgrids are built close to the customer, often even on their premises, so electricity does not travel long distances and therefore does not get lost in transit. A microgrid’s ability to avert line losses positions it as an energy efficient technology.

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Princeton Power Systems has scored some bragging rights.

The company reports that its products and technology were used in both of the winning projects under Distributed Storage and Mobility at the Energy Storage North America 2015 conference.

Of the six projects nominated under the Distributed Storage and Mobility categories, four of the nominees and both of the winners were built on Princeton Power Systems power converters and control system products.

The winning project in Distributed Storage was the Walmart + Solar City Demand Logic Portfolio, based on the Princeton Power Systems’ GTIB-100 hybrid power converter and Tesla batteries, used to reduce Walmart’s peak load at eight California locations. In addition, the energy storage system is programmed to isolate from the grid in the event of a power outage.

The winning project in Mobility was the BMW Internet of Energy located at the BMW Group Technology Office in Mountain View, sponsored by GELI. The project uses Princeton Power Systems’ 100-kW hybrid converters and was originally installed several years ago. It has since been revitalized with the addition of 2nd-use batteries from EV Grid and Geli’s Energy Operating System that networks energy storage, solar, and EV Chargers to provide behind-the-meter and grid support services.

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SourceOne, Veolia’s energy consulting business, will lead a community microgrid feasibility study for Ithaca, New York.  Ithaca won $100,000 for the study through the $40 million NY Prize.

Ithaca is exploring new independent sources of energy to support critical facilities during power outages and also potentially during non-emergency times.

Ithaca is looking at two possible energy districts, which would supply heat and electricity from distributed resources. The study is scheduled to be completed in early 2016.

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The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) will hold a live demonstration of OpenFMB demonstrating machine-to-machine interoperability for microgrids at its annual conference in New Orleans Nov. 3-5.

An educational animation describing the OpenFMB concept can be found on the SGIP website.

“It’s amazing, really. The OpenFMB project proves IoT technology is a good fit for our industry and projects can move rapidly from business case, to use case and design, to actual deployments. It opens up opportunities for utilities and vendors to innovate and build truly interoperable systems for fielded devices,” said Stuart McCafferty, vice president of operations at SGIP.

OpenFMBTM will reduce latency and creates distributed intelligence opportunities to manage local grids in the most efficient way based on local resources and conditions, according to SGIP.  OpenFMBTM, additionally, enables grid devices to speak to each other, communicating effectively and efficiently.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

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