In the US, researchers have made a breakthrough in smart grid technology by developing a new technique that allows utilities to better schedule energy from distributed sources.
The findings come from North Carolina State University where a team developed technology that takes advantage of distributed computing power to replace the traditional control center with a decentralised approach, reports Physics.org.
Navid Rahbari-Asr, a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State and lead author of the paper, said: "Our approach taps into the computational resources of each energy device.
“By having each device communicate with its immediate neighbours, the device can calculate and schedule how much energy it will need to store, how much to contribute to the network, and how much to draw from the network.
He added: "Collectively, this distributed technique can determine the optimal schedule for the entire grid."
The distributed technique would also help protect the privacy of home-owners and other power generators, because they wouldn't be sharing their energy production, storage, and consumption data with a control center, Physics.org reports.
The technology has been validated in simulations, and the researchers are in the process of implementing it in an experimental smart grid system at the National Science Foundation FREEDM Systems Center on NC State's campus.
The team hopes to have experimental results to report in 2016.
Smart grid win in Europe
In smart grid deal news, Eandis, a large gas and electricity distribution grid operator in Belgium, has appointed SAS to deliver analytics and data management software.
Eandis said in a statement this week that it will deploy SAS Visual Analytics and SAS Data Management to ensure it can meet EU 2020 goals for greater energy efficiency.
Commenting on the need for the new software, Jean-Pierre Hollevoet, director of Network Management at Eandis, said: "The energy landscape is changing at lightning speed, and we know that responding as efficiently as possible requires actively managing the grid.”
"Analytics are essential to managing that change in a way that delivers value for our customers. With SAS Visual Analytics, I can do more than recognize insights on a dashboard; I can share insights quickly and enable others to participate meaningfully in the decision-making process."