About the book
A little over a century since inception of interconnected networks, little has changed in the way they are operated. Demand-supply balance methods, protection schemes, business models for electric power companies and future development considerations have been the same until very recently. Distributed generators, storage devices and elecric vehicles became widespread and disrupted century-old bulk generation – bulk transmission operation. Distribution networks are no longer passive networks and contribute to generation. Old billing and energy trading schemes cannot accommodate this change and need revision. Furthermore, bidirectional power flow is an unprecedented phenemenon in distribution networks and traditional protection schemes require a thorough fix for proper operation. Most of distributed generators are based on intermittent resources and may not be able supply energy all the time. This requires deterministic demand-supply balance methods to be amended and consider probabilistic generation contribution. Also, most of the distributed generators are inverter-interfaced, in contrast to bulky rotating machines used in power networks. Inverters are based on power electronics and have very different behavior under disturbances such as voltage swings and frequency variations. Operational rules such as droop control have to be updated to include these new generation generators.
In addition to these technical changes, business models and development considerations have changed drastically. Solar Home Systems, rural stand-alone microgrids, DC Microgrids have proliferated around the world as new business models. Power companies are looking at ways to include consumers in their operation decisions through schemes such as demand side management and vehicle to grid support.
All of these mean only one thing. It is a very exciting time for researchers working in energy field. There are lots of new ideas that are proposed for all these differnet aspects. More intelligent devices are developed, new algorithms are implemented for better optimization while new start-up companies appear every day with ground-breaking business models. Traditional power systems are analog, unilateral and mostly passive. New age power networks are smart, digital, incorporates communication for better operation, and involve collaborative decision-making. This book is intended to cover new technologies, methods and/or approaches developed to meet needs of this changing field.