Energy Internet and eVehicles Overview

Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to prepare society for inevitable climate change. To date most people have been focused on how to reduce Green House Gas emissions, but now there is growing recognition that regardless of what we do to mitigate against climate change the planet is going to be significantly warmer in the coming years with all the attendant problems of more frequent droughts, flooding, sever storms, etc. As such we need to invest in solutions that provide a more robust and resilient infrastructure to withstand this environmental onslaught especially for our electrical and telecommunications systems.

Linking renewable energy with high speed Internet using fiber to the home combined with eVehicles and dynamic charging where vehicle's batteries are charged as it travels along the road, may provide for a whole new "energy Internet" infrastructure for linking small distributed renewable energy sources to users that is far more robust and resilient to survive climate change than today's centralized command and control infrastructure. For more details please see:

Using eVehicles for Renewable Energy Transportation and Distribution: http://goo.gl/bXO6x and http://goo.gl/UDz37

Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top: http://goo.gl/wGjVG

High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change: http://goo.gl/juWdH

Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet http://goo.gl/niWy1g


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Architectural Details and Routing Protocols for Energy Internet

The Energy Internet is based on the same principles as that of the classic Internet except that energy rather data packets are routed between sources and destinations.
It sometimes also referred to as mico-grids or nano-grids, but generally these terms are a misnomer as they really refer to a smaller version of the traditional electrical grid.

Traditional power systems are passive, hierarchical and for the most part have no intelligence or management.  Although there is a lot of talk of Smart Grids, it is largely a retrofit technology to add some semblance of intelligence and control to traditional power systems and usually goes no further than the meter base at your home or business.

The Energy Internet is not intended to displace the traditional electrical grid but help manage the electrical distribution of power from the plethora of small solar panels  that are popping up on roofs of  campuses and homes.  The traditional electrical grid has difficult challenges handling the very spiky and intermittent loads offered by local rooftop solar panels and windmills.

The Energy Internet can significantly save on power costs, especially from always on, low power electronic network devices and computers. These devices now consume up to 40% of the electricity in a typical home and even larger percentages in business and universities.  The Energy Internet is an ideal match for delivering power from local solar panels to these devices.

The Energy Internet is also useful infrastructure for powering critical network functions and other services during major power outages of the traditional electrical grid. It is expected that the number of outages on the traditional grid will increase significantly due to severe weather as a result of climate change.

The basic construct of the Energy Internet assumes there are multiple loosely coupled energy sources such as solar panel arrays, plugged in electric vehicles, battery storage, wind mills etc. The main electrical grid with appropriate routing interface, may also be one of the loosely interconnected devices, but it is not the hierarchical main connection that we see in today’s electrical systems. These energy sources, as well as their sinks are interconnected by a variety of generally low power links such as Power over Ethernet (PoE), USB, 400/60 HZ multiplex power, and pulse power over Cat5/6 cable. As well these sources and sinks may be interconnected with more traditional powers buses such as 110/220 and 48v DC interconnects, again assuming they have the appropriate power routing interface.

Many companies are already making routing and switching products for the Energy Internet such as Solatron and GridOn, but as yet there has been no standardization of Energy Internet routing and signaling protocols.
With Energy Internet it is assumed that many energy consuming devices power also have their own local power storage or generation independent of the electrical grid. Some examples include:
      WiFi node with its own solar panel
      Backup battery power on computer
      Electric vehicle with its own battery bank
      Street lamps with their own solar panels
      Smart phone/tablet solar powered charging station
      UPS  power packs etc

Each energy consuming or producing device has an energy router (typically chip based) to signal availability of excess power or conversely to signal the need for additional power to continue operating.  An Energy Internet assumes a peer to peer architecture between routing nodes.  The enterprise LAN or Internet network is used for out of band signaling and routing between the various nodes.
Neighboring devices pass on routing information and power is routed from a device with surplus power, on a hop by hop basis, to a destination using a number of power channels as mentioned previously such as PoE or pulse power over Cat 5/6 wiring.

In general the power loads for an Energy Internet tend to be small, typically less than 1 KW.  It is therefore ideal for providing redundant distributed power to existing intelligent networked devices such as computers, routers, servers, WiFi  nodes, eVehicle charging stations etc. Most of these devices usually have their own on board battery storage which allows for techniques such as round robin charging or store and forward power distribution.

Suggested signaling and routing protocols for the Energy Internet Open Shortest Power Function (OSPF) for routing of power within a single management domain and Border Gateway Power Routing  (BGPB) between management domains.  BGPB for example would be used by household neighbors to share power between themselves independent of the electrical grid using old copper or coax cables for interconnection.  With pulse power these cables can carry up to 5Kw of power.

OSPF and BGPB are loosely based on the Internet routing protocols OSPF and BGP, but carry extra parameters necessary for the routing of power as opposed to packets.

See also High Level Architecture for Zero Carbon Internet