Smart chargers or how to prevent electric grid overloading or destabilisation

zigor production plant in Vitoria Spain

Find out how the ZGR smart chargers resolve power supply problems at peak consumption times

Eight in the evening. Winter. Very cold. A highly populated city. All the heating switched on. Energy consumption peak time. Demand rises sharply. What would happen if all the urban electric heaters were connected at maximum capacity at the same time? If grid infrastructures were managed by means of a standard flow, households would have serious problems in obtaining the required power at peak times.

Smart grids and Smart Chargers

If we choose new infrastructures, using Smart Grids, where both power and data are transmitted, it is possible, by using smart chargers (e.g., the TPS for Low Voltage and MIT for Medium and High Voltage manufactured by ZGR), to obtain information relating to the equipment or electrical substations that require more power. This makes it possible to take actions, supplying additional power at those times when it is needed. 

Using cell grids connected to smart chargers, it is possible to obtain information regarding the status of the equipment and each substation. It is also possible to send orders to supply energy stored in other substations, batteries or hybrid systems, whenever necessary.

And if any transformers or other equipment is faulty or damaged, it will be possible to supply the system with the alternative energy not being generated by them.

Working Towards Smart Charging

Accordingly, smarty charging prevents any energy supply problems, as well as any items that could impede the proper operation of the electrical infrastructure. 

Smart chargers are, if we can use the metaphor, like the network nodes that information flows across so that the entire energy ecosystem operates adequately, in line with the established parameters. These smart chargers offer data connection so that all the equipment connected to the network can “communicate” with each other. Accordingly, efficient electrical management is possible, preventing any overloads or destabilisations.

It is possible to control energy efficiency and the quality of the energy

Smart chargers essentially serve to provide an energy response to the transition towards Industry 4.0, electric cars or the analysis of significant volumes of data.

Can you imagine if a pacemaker failed? Do you realise just how important a smart system is today that provides a warning if it is not working properly? The person with the pacemaker’s life depends on it.

This smart system alerts both the wearer and the doctors of any possible pacemaker problems. Likewise, smart chargers provide the electricity system with information relating to the status of transformers and other equipment at a substation. This way, they provide the details of how must electrical energy is available and how much will be needed. Accordingly, it is possible to control energy efficiency and the quality of the energy running through the network.

ZGR smart chargers

We have been working on developing new innovative solutions in the energy transport and distribution market that ZGR operates in. We design smart chargers for various uses, which make it possible to move forward towards distributed energy systems.

For example, for NATURGY we developed TPS low power smart chargers (of 12W, 45W and 125W). These result in Smart Grids operating properly as well as ensuring reliable power quality on the grid. They also prevent supply problems.

For example, for IBERDROLA, the medium-power MIT charger-rectifiers developed for the distribution system are built using thyristor technology. These are characterised by their high efficiency and robustness. But above all, measures have been implemented to boost flexibility. This is vital with regards to storage on smart electricity distribution grids.

Certifications and acknowledgements of the chargers designed and manufactured by ZGR, by the major energy distributors and traders, provide an equipment reliability guarantee.

“Challenges relating to communication, remote control and cybersecurity for equipment entail emerging opportunities for power transmission and distribution lines,” says Íñigo Segura, CEO of ZGR.

In short, smart chargers are one of ZGR’s solutions designed to make progress in how the energy model is changed to respond to one of the key issues: information and communication traffic on new smart power grids.

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