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Community Energy Management and Billing System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237498D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 83K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

We present an energy management system for a community in which the some residents may have in-house electricity generation capabilities. The main advantages of this idea are (i) cost reduction for community residents in certain utility pricing schemes, (ii) reduction in the peak time load on (i.e., stabilization of) the main electric grid, (iii) reduced carbon footprint, (iv) reduced conversion losses and (v) green and efficient way to handle power cuts in developing nations with power shortages.

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Community Energy Management and Billing System


Background
Meeting growing energy demand, while causing minimal impact on the environment, will be a big challenge for the next few decades. To manage electricity demand, smart grid solutions are sought all over the world for reduced dependence on conventional power sources (fossil fuels) and efficient utilization of cleaner electricity. In developed nations, "smart grids" are aimed towards cutting carbon emissions by reducing the load on the main electricity grid through renewable sources (e.g. solar, wind) and in the developing nations, smart grids could provide a way to tackle rising energy demand.

Problem


World energy demand is expected to grow more than a third by 2035 (IEA World Energy Outlook). Emerging economies, e.g. China and India, are expected to contribute about 60% of this rise in demand. In addition to contributing to increase in energy demand, these developing nations are also undergoing rapid urbanization. The urban population is expected to increase by 400 million in China and by 215 million in India by 2025. See http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/urbanization/comparing_urbanization_in_china_and_india. To accommodate such an influx of immigrants to cities, numerous urban residential communities are planned, and these communities look for smarter technological solutions for efficient management of their resources, e.g. water, electricity, etc. (https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/36054.wss). At the same time, even though the energy demand of developed nations is expected to remain relatively stable during this period, there is pressure on them to shift more towards renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions. So, there is a need for a community energy management system that provides a better solution for the problems faced in communities, in both developed and developing nations.

Inverters & diesel generators: In power deficient countries, electrical suppliers tackle power shortages by introducing power cuts each day. However, such timed power cuts motivate people to buy inverters or diesel generators, leading to very inefficient solutions to the power shortage problems. In such timed power cuts, households simply shift their usage pattern and store up enough power from the grid in their inverter for using during the power cut period. Combined with storage and conversion losses associated with the inverter, such households end up consuming more power than usual, thereby nullifying the effect of power cuts. A detailed study of the issues associated with power cuts and battery back ups can be found in D. P. Seetharaman et al., Hidden Costs of Power Cuts and Battery Backups, ACM e-Energy 2013. Larger consumers such as industrial complexes and apartment communities use diesel generators to supply power during power outages. Since a diesel generator has limited operating range in terms of load for efficient performance, it leads to inefficiencies in its operatio...