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Tech Wiz on Transactive Energy and building your Micro-Grid!

There are two things; I’ve thrown out in recent days that I thought should be explained further. The first is the home energy production concept of the Micro-Grid. A micro-grid is a contained system that has a producer (your home) and a consumer (you) of power. It isn’t complex, but it does require a production system. Now, there are some types of production systems that exist.

  1. Solar
  2. Water
  3. Geothermal
  4. Wind

Each of them has benefits, and each has drawbacks. A cabin in the woods by a babbling brook is not a great fit for wind power, but water generated power is a good fit. A house in the forest isn’t a great fit for solar (shade) but may be a great fit for geothermal. The reality of this is you need to get the right type of production system for your specific area. Live in a rainy place? Solar is still possible but may be less effective. No wind? Wind turbines may still work, just again not as efficiently. Pick the right generation system for your area and you specifically. What you are doing, in the long run, is making the world a better place for future generations. Climate change is a growing problem globally. Everything we do has benefit for everyone!

The other side of this, however, is the reality of a home Micro-Grid. There are production periods you produce more power than you can consume. Sometimes by a lot.  Fill your roof with solar panels, and you may find product 25kw or more per hour of electricity. Assuming you have a battery, you can save some of that power, but the rest is lost. Batteries only charge so fully, and the only charge so fast. That extra energy is where Transactive Energy appears. When you produce enough power that the power company could use the power you produce that is the legal state known as Transactive Energy. Now, the problem is that today there is no legal requirement for that company to pay you for that extra power, nor do the systems truly support the required two-way conversation.

Power doesn’t transport well. If you start at one end of the power grid and send 100000 kW through the system, roughly ½ arrives at the end needing the power. That means that transactive energy helps the power company. They can take the overage from your home system and give you credit for ½ the power (they lose ½ in transport). They can provide power to your neighbors from your system. That is the reality of TE, in a Micro-Grid economy. Today there are no specific laws that require the company to use or pay you for the overage. Some companies do today, but not many. As we head into the future of green energy, we are going to have to do something legally, about the issue of Transactive Energy. Imagine a world where power failures, are something used as a cautionary tale. Because you generate your power and sell the extra to your power company!

  • Do you have solar power today?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you thought about adding solar or wind power to your home?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you thought about adding solar, wind or Geothermal to your house?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you think it should be a law that the power companies have to use the extra power produced by home systems?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

5 points
Legend

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

11 Comments

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  1. I am not big about forcing people to much. I have solar and wind power at home by my choice. Those are typically back up not primary at this time. The power company where I am will purchase power if I agree to their terms. I don’t love their terms. I love choices.

    • You are lucky in that you are in an area where the power company will buy your excess power. But you have hit the reality of Transactive Energy on the head. Legally it has to be fair on both sides.

      As far as forcing, that is another problem, I suspect personally that I could see many instances where forcing action might do some long-term good.

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