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Question

Is our grid system prepared to adapt digital twin as a enabling and optimizing solution?

Samir Trivedi's picture
Passionate people person | Believer in sustainability solutions | Smart energy and solutions, Simplify technology complexity = Business equations for growth

15+ year of experience with the Grid Modernization and deep understanding of connected of things and Industry 4.0. Provided thought leadership to organizations and key contributor to drive energy...

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  • Aug 5, 2022
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Can Digital Twin be applied to the following to improve operational efficiency? 

  • Demand response
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Substations

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Let me rephrase the headline: 'Are Grid Operator Managements Ready to Adapt Digital Twins for Handling the Challenges Imposed by the Net Zero Goals'.

Digital twins of the grid exist and have been in operation for long in the Scandinavian countries.

And currently we are seeing an increased awareness on digital twins based on the right platform as absolutely crucial in meeting the challenges imposed on utility grid operators. Allow me to link to a recent post in my LinkedIn profile on this topic:

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jensdalsgaard_esriuc2022-utilitynetwork-e...

Challenges like the aging workforce and the extensive implementation of new loads (consumption as well as decentralized production) to the existing grid.

The digital twin is not in itself the objective / goal. But it is an unavoidable prerequisite on the path to proactively operating our grid as outlined in this previous post here on energy central:

https://energycentral.com/c/gr/heading-proactive-grid-operations

 

Substations yes. It has been done. Not by NYPA but I believe others have.

DERs maybe. I would refine DERs maybe. I don’t know the value of creating a digital twin for a single DER. You would have to mimic the grid.

Demand Response is not an asset. You can do analytics but I not familiar with the term digital twin applied to that.

Jens Dalsgaard's picture
Jens Dalsgaard on Sep 9, 2022

The challenges imposed on electric utilities among which is electric vehicles and DER's points towards digital twin as the way to avoid drastically increased CAPEX and OPEX combined with more outages.

With a digital twin, the foundation exists for 24/7/365 calculating grid loading and forecasting congestion issues. Which in turn will allow the utility to identify the exact EV's and DER's to include in a demand response scheme.

This in turn will allow negotiating with specific EV's in heavily loaded parts of the grid feeding to feed into the grid rather than charging or simply stop charging. The EV battery becomes an asset - a flexibility provider. The EV owner will make money helping utilities cope with congestion issues and minimizing grid losses. And the grid owner will have yet a way of keeping CAPEX and OPEX as low as possible.

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