Virtual Power Plants

Miquel Canal

Thursday 20, October 2016
  • Energy
  • Internet Of Things

The GPEX Event.

A few months ago, I received an invitation to attend the GPEX event. It took place in Barcelona on the 18th and 19th of September 2018. The Global Power & Energy Exhibition (GPEX) aim to give an overview on new technologies related to power generation and renewable energies.

With a programme of conferences and open discussions, experts from different sectors presented their projects to an audience in a petit committee.

My interest on the energy transition increased after those two sessions as I was able to understand, in general terms, the current situation of the energy industry.

As a software engineer, I was interested on how web technologies are being implemented during the energy transition process. The concept of Virtual Power Plants was one of the key ideas I took from those sessions.

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What are Virtual Power Plants?

A Virtual Power Plants is a network that consists of a centralised IT system allowing the control of multiple units generating energy. It is also known as distributed energy resources which can be in different locations but controlled remotely from a central place.

The idea behind a Virtual Power Plant is to set a Cloud based communication layer between all generators and the central operating stations. That allows to control and manage an energy farm from a centralised administration panel.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is directly implied on any Virtual Power Plant as all devices need to be connected to allow a real time visualization of the assets. A large number of countries are implementing and experimenting under VPP architectures.

The increase on the popularity of distributed renewables and the energy transition moving the market forward are some of the key players on the future of the energy sector.

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Dashboard Monitoring

A web based or a desktop application helps to keep track of all data generated from the production sources in real time. This information is crucial as it offers live-time data about the plants’ production and identify any problems that arise almost instantaneously.

One of the key solutions that a Power Plant dashboard should allow is to be able to collect information from different type of widgets: solar panels, wind turbines or power heat.

Another feature that is highly covered is the performance of investment return analysis. Those analyses allow plant managers to determine how is the plant’s performance doing in terms of efficiency.

The future of the energy industry is tied to the software industry. New technological tools allow better monitoring capabilities and therefore leads to an increase of efficiency.


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