A Special Issue on Rebuilding Power Systems After Extreme Weather Events - The Case of Puerto Rico
Can the smart grid be the answer to electrification before, during, and after extreme weather phenomena? Can it be a resilient and rebuilding force? Our contributors for this special issue think so, and we are delighted to host their in-depth thoughts and knowledgeable remarks. Experts from both industry and academia have contributed to this issue, proving that these questions are of current and considerable interest for the years to come.
By Johnny Price, Jeremy McVey, and Aaron Anaya
Extreme events call for extreme measures. In the aftermath of recent natural disasters, smart grids have either been unavailable or contributed little to restoration and resiliency. Like in the past, the coordination and experience of engineers and technicians have played center roles. The New York State Utility Contingent’s (NYSUC) first members were Con Edison, Orange & Rockland and the New York Power Authority. The line workers and engineers of NYSUC responded to Puerto Rico as soon as help was requested, and witnessed the fact that an unsupervised, self-healing smart grid is not yet a reality.
By Mark Feasel
During the summer of 2017, Puerto Rico was hit with a series of storms that challenged the infrastructure, power grid, and mettle of its inhabitants. As of March 7, over 10 percent of electric customers are still without power, according to the US Department of Energy. Mobilization of the first responders and energy providers have helped the Puerto Rican community begin to recover, while also identifying creative solutions to ensure Puerto Rico is better prepared for future weather events.
By Dan Bishop
DC power distribution in a microgrid is significantly more efficient than AC power in communities with inputs from renewable power-generating sources (i.e. solar, wind power). DC power alleviates losses associated with design concerns on AC systems. When combined with recyclable and environmentally-sustainable DC energy storage, such as sodium-ion batteries and super capacitors, a reliable basis for long term energy independence and transition to renewable energy is possible. Through a hierarchy of immediate source storage to localized grid storage, surplus energy would become available to the primary (AC) grid in a controlled and productive manner. Conversely, microgrid energy storage would provide a controlled load when receiving power from the primary grid. By managing multiple energy inputs and outputs through an effective communication backbone, we can significantly reduce efficiency loss in the primary grid and have more options for supply and balance
By Arif Ahmed, Daniel Burmester, Fiona Stevens Mcfadden and Ramesh Rayudu
As renewable power generation solidifies its position in the future power grid, the conventional approach to power distribution needs to adapt. A scenario, such as that of Puerto Rico, where the power system must be rebuilt, offers an opportunity for innovation and advanced technological applications in the premises of the smart grid.
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