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Community Engagement to Reduce Peak Demand and Improve Grid Reliability

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248654D
Publication Date: 2016-Dec-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 355K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed are a system and method to combine geospatial data from the electricity grid with social networks to improve grid stability and save energy. This is a new application-driven method to reduce energy consumption using smart meter data to offer consumers incentives to reduce overall energy usage, especially at high-risk times.

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Community Engagement to Reduce Peak Demand and Improve Grid Reliability

Management of peak electricity demand is one of the major network challenges around the world. Network infrastructure is sized to handle the expected yearly peak event without failure, reduction in the peak demand leads to a reduction in the required infrastructure, and helps avoid network upgrades. Wholesale energy prices rise rapidly during periods of peak demand, and can account for a significant proportion of overall energy supply costs. In developing countries, high demand is the major cause of rolling and unexpected blackouts.

Weather is a key contributor to peak energy demand, with hot days leading to increases in air conditioner usage, and cold days leading to increased heating system usage. In warm countries, electricity-run air conditioners (where available) are the primary way that residential buildings are cooled, which can result in a significant load on residential electricity demand. The relationship between heat and expected energy demand is well established. Similar relationships can be drawn between heating and cold weather. During heat waves, the ability to cool residential buildings goes beyond a question of comfort, as inadequately cooled residences can lead to significant health complications, and even death. Blackouts resulting from an excessive demand on the electricity network can contribute to health complications and deaths.

There is a clear need for methods to reduce the peak electricity demand during such events; current methods alone are not sufficient to address this problem.

Developing nations in particular are in need of solutions for this problem, due to increasing affluence leading to an increasing number of homes having access to air conditioners/electric heating, and an electricity network that is not keeping up with this demand.

The novel solution is a system and method to combine geospatial data from the electricity grid with social networks to improve grid stability and save energy. This is a new application-driven method to reduce energy consumption using smart meter data to offer consumers incentives to reduce overall energy usage, especially at high-risk times. The method is to reduce the demand of cooling/heating systems by motivating friends to share the use of climate-controlled (e.g., air-conditioned)...