Homeostaticity of energy systems: How to engineer grid flexibility and why should electric utilities care
Kumar Sahoo, Sarat
Sustainable energy systems
Reactive and predictive homeostasis
Today’s power generation and distribution industry is being faced with a number of issues, from violent weather phenomena to earthquakes, fires and landslides; including acts of arson, terrorism and vandalism, all of which pose serious concerns for the sustainability of the distribution and supply of electricity. Electric utilities like ENEL are cognizant of this fact and know they must take action. Moreover, they are required by law to be prepared and act proactively to prevent service disruption, by responding to such challenges rapidly and effectively so as to preserve stability and continuity of operation. Homeostaticity of energy systems seeks just that: to bring about a rapid, effective and efficient state of equilibrium between energy supply and expenditure at all times, whatever the circumstances, to preserve stability of systems operation. The paper presents a prescriptive energy homeostaticity model being considered by ENEL as a means to further the incorporation of renewables in the electricity generation and distribution industry. The aim is to enhance control and energy management systems in distributed generation installations tied to the grid for urban and rural communities, in order to complement and diversify their electric power distribution services. The theoretical groundwork underlying the subject as well as other relevant contextual factors are also discussed and simulation results are presented under different tariff scenarios, and energy storage alternatives, in order to compare the proposed model with the actual case. Energy storage (ES) is found to be of paramount importance in the overall analysis of the results as it enhances and reinforces thriftiness on energy consumption.