Installing smart microgrids can help big power consumers use energy generated locally, particularly those generated by renewable sources.
According to South Dakota State University assistant professors of electrical engineering and computer science department Wei Sun and Reinaldo Tonkoski, smart power management technologies will make it possible for communities and business to use locally produced wind and solar power, while still maintaining a consistent, reliable power system.
The key is to integrate renewable power sources with an intelligent power restoration system called a self-healing smart grid that can help prevent power outages.
The two researchers are developing a microgrid that allows data centres to use locally generated renewable energy. To ensure the reliability of power to data centres from varying output from renewables such as wind and solar, the researchers solved problems such as maintaining power system balance, and looked at new battery technologies.
In addition to allowing data centres to tap into renewable energy sources, smart microgrids can also be effective in supporting power to data centre sites without a reliable power grid, the researchers said.