A Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) exquisitely manages the rather mystifying and seemingly chaotic electricity grid like choreographers, and stage managers manage a Cirque Du Soleil performance.
In the 1980s, Cirque Du Soleil started with typical circus acts like jugglers, dancers, and fire breathers, that would generally perform one act at a time. Over time, the performances evolved to enhance audience entertainment and today they are incredibly complex. There is intricate choreography, different types of performers, like trapeze artists and acrobats that use various props while all on the same stage simultaneously.
This is just like today’s complex electricity grid. Power used to flow from the power plant to transmission and distribution lines and then to homes or businesses. But now, to enhance grid stability and combat climate change, there are many more renewable energy plants and intelligent devices popping up all over the grid. The grid is more complex and has many different performers with different choreography all on the same stage.
In our Cirque Du Soleil analogy, the Cirque Executive Team is the DERMS software and control system. The Executive team consists of the Choreographers planning future performances and the stage manager or ring master who must react to real time changes in the performance.
Each performer has flawless choreography that they intend to perform, but what happens when a performer falls, or misses their cue? The stage manager must react and get the next act on stage, so the show continues smoothly.
With DERMS there are algorithms (choreography) that are configured in the software to plan for proper control of renewable energy plants and grid devices. This works very well but the grid can be unpredictable. The control system (stage manager) must react in real time if there is for example, too much power on the grid, or if a tree falls on distribution wires and knocks out grid power. The obvious difference is that the impact of a grid failure versus a performance failure is drastically more severe.
Like Cirque Du Soleil has many shows and themes, DERM systems (like SGS’ Strata Grid), have numerous configurations that provide the grid flexibility necessary to safely control our extensive, ever changing electricity grid and protect our communities that rely on it.