ADI Pushes for a “Self-healing” Grid With Gridspertise at Its Side
With data loads higher than ever, manufacturers are looking to adaptable self-healing grids to keep pace with demands.
Today, there are more electrical loads drawing more current than ever. Loads like data centers, electric vehicles, and buildings all draw significant energy from the grid, and each of these is also growing in number by the day. One issue with this increased demand is maintaining grid stability.
2021 was a peak year in global electricity demand. Image used courtesy of EIA
As a corollary to this, the grid must be adaptable to supply and demand. For example, if there is physical damage to the grid due to a storm, the grid must be able to accommodate this change rapidly so that the stability of the grid can be maintained.
The electrical grid must also respond appropriately to the transients in the grid. With more and higher loads entering the grid every day, the magnitude and frequency of transients are expected only to increase. The grid must be well equipped to handle this behavior to ensure reliability.
To address these challenges, engineers are reimaging core technologies underpinning the grid. Last week, Analog Devices announced its partnership with Gridspertise, a smart grid solutions company, to help develop such technologies.
What is a Self-healing Grid?
One technology that may be key to this partnership between ADI and Gridspertise is the “self-healing grid.”
A self-healing grid is electrical infrastructure equipped with sensors, meters, control technology, and connectivity to measure and respond to real-time events of the grid. One key advantage of a self-healing grid is that the network of sensors and meters can anticipate, recognize, and quickly respond to any damages that physically occur to the grid.
Leveraging a series of controls and breakers, a self-healing grid can shut off and isolate a damaged part of the grid from the rest of the infrastructure, effectively preventing the propagation of damage through the whole grid.
A potential smart-grid layout. Image used courtesy of Balduccini et al.
In response to damages, transients, or mismatches in supply and demand, a self-healing grid can strategically increase power production in necessary spatial locations. For example, should a single power generation point be damaged and removed from the grid, a self-healing grid could identify this area and double the power output of a nearby plant to account for the loss.
This is why, in many ways, a smarter, self-healing grid could be an elegant solution to the many challenges facing the future of electrical infrastructure.
ADI and Gridspertise Team Up
Last week, Analog Devices announced its collaboration with Gridspertise to jointly develop the necessary technologies for future smart grids.
Within the collaboration, the two companies aim to develop hardware and software with self-healing and adaptive properties. On Analog Devices’ side of the partnership, the company will provide the measurement and sensing hardware needed for precise and accurate monitoring capabilities. Gridspertise, on the other hand, is bringing its Quantum Edge device (QEd) to the table.
The QEd. Image used courtesy of Gridspertise
According to Gridspertise, QEd works to “digitize and virtualize the physical components of secondary substations.” In doing this, QEd makes grid information accessible through the cloud, where that data can be managed and interacted with more easily. Together, the two companies believe they have the tools and technologies necessary to create a more reliable, flexible, and sustainable electrical infrastructure.