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, April 9, 2014

NRENs, electric cars, Internet of Things, SDN-P and new funding

It has been a very exciting week with the announcements from Internet 2 on a research program of donating Electric Vehicles For “Internet of Things” Projects and the EU FABRIC program to demonstrate dynamic charging of eVehicles.


As anyone who follows my blog will know, I have long argued that electric vehicles can play a critical role in the future Internet of Things (IoT) and also the design of the next generation of Internet.

One of the big challenges for the IoT is to power all the various sensors and devices that will make up this future network fabric.  Most will be too small, too remote or too mobile to be connected to the electrical grid.  Some will be powered by small solar panels, others through PPoE, PoDL or USB connections.  Indeed some very small sensors may power themselves by scavenging radio and TV signals.   Powering these devices, where there is no electrical grid, will be major challenge in the deployment of IoT.

The issue of power not only applies to the Internet of Things, but also to future Internet devices, especially WiFi and cellphone nano cells.  Again there is no reason why these devices need to be powered off the electrical grid.  Local solar panels or PoE (or PoDL) may be more than sufficient to power most of these devices.  And recent studies have shown that by the addition of a small  number of overlapping cells they will provide enough redundancy to provide 24 hr coverage for systems that are totally dependent on renewable energy.

It is now even conceivable to power bigger devices such as routers and switches with renewable power, especially from solar panels and micro grids with techniques such as distributed forwarding tables and SDN as demonstrated recently by Inocbye.

With recent dramatic drop in price of solar panels, in many jurisdictions, power from solar panels is cheaper than power from the electrical grid.  This is why you hear of many homes and institutions talking about “cutting the cord” from the electrical grid, which is terrifying the large electrical utilities.  It is estimated that within a few years up to 40% of our power will come from what are called Variable Renewable Electricity (VRE) such as local solar panels.  ICT equipment and networks is ideally suited for this type of power.  Most low power ICT equipment has on-board batteries and have copper connections to other devices, other than through the electrical grid via Ethernet Cat 5/6 cables and as such they can tolerate variable power conditions.

But where does the electrical vehicle play in all of this?  Not only is the eVehicle an important mobile IoT platform (i.e. Smart Car) its also a powerful mobile energy source.  Inevitably with the Internet of Things there will be times when certain devices or nodes will run out of power, and so an electric vehicle can be mobilized quickly to a site to provide emergency backup power to these facilities.  Dynamic charging of eVehicles means that the vehicle’s batteries are charged as it moves along rather than when it reaches its destination.  Integrating the design of eVehicles into the future IoT or future Internet allows network operators to take advantage of VRE power sources and build a more reliable network.

But probably the most important aspect of this combination of NRENs and electric car is the potential cost savings that it represents.  Already “cutting the cord” is saving NRENs and institutions millions of dollars per year. UCSD for example claims to save $850,000 per month by deploying their own microgrids made up of various renewable energy sources.

As well these new architectures may be eligible for funding from new a host of new sources as opposed to the traditional funding councils.  Green bond funds and Green energy programs are on example of huge new funding programs that are now accessible by deploying these architectures.

I will be providing further details on these opportunities at our Terena Networking BOF in Dublin May 19  https://tnc2014.terena.org/

For further information:

Internet 2 electric car Internet of Things program
https://www.internet2.edu/news/detail/5973/

EU FABRIC program
 http://www.fabric-project.eu/

The disruptive potential of solar power for networks
http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/energy_resources_materials/the_disruptive_potential_of_solar_power

Researchers show that follow the wind/sun wireless networks viable with addition of only a small number of cells
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525646/how-advanced-mobile-networks-could-power-themselves/


Economist: Green bond funds are booming. Great opportunity to fund innovative zero carbon IT and networks
http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21599400-bonds-tied-green-investments-are-booming-spring-air

500,000 euro funding for new innovative Energy Internet projects & micro grids for networks
http://www.greenchallenge.info/index.php/news/137-challenge-starts-now

New York City  and NYU deploy dynamic wireless charging for electric cars using manhole covers
http://goo.gl/TYO69q


Microgrids for ICT could be generating 1 GW by 2020. Network nodes will be major application. See also PoDL & SDN-P
http://bit.ly/LULaHQ

ICT ideal for adapting to variable renewable power (VRE) on or of the grid. New IEA reports VRE could reach 40%
http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/03/variable-renewable-power-can-reach-40-percent-capacity-very-cheaply/

The Economist. Cutting the cord from the utilities can allow Californians to reduce power costs by half
http://www.economist.com/news/business/21598668-big-batteries-threaten-big-power-stationsand-utilities-profits-devolving-power

New IEEE standard PoDL power over data lines. Exciting new field for SDN-P networking for integrating power and data
https://standards.ieee.org/news/2013/ieee_podl_sg.html

Inocybe Technologies Launches Sustainable SDN Controller Powered by OpenDaylight
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11551609.htm

Using SDN, UCLP and OpenNaaS to integrate micro grids with data networks on campus and NRENs
http://goo.gl/SFaW6p


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R&E Network and Green Internet Consultant.

email:     Bill.St.Arnaud@gmail.com
twitter:  BillStArnaud
blog:       http://green-broadband.blogspot.ca/