This is the last in a series of profiles and updates from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) first Electricity Industry Technology and Practices Innovation Challenge (EITPIC).
The EITPIC was designed to tap into American ingenuity for ideas on how to make the nation’s electric grid stronger and more resilient. Through the challenge, DOE sought ideas from industry, academia, and other innovators for technologies and solutions to address existing or emerging vulnerabilities and threats to the electric sector or mitigate interdependencies between the electricity sector and other sectors.
Siemens Corporation received $35,000 for its proposal to develop a green technologies Digital Companion that combines semantic technologies, machine learning, and augmented reality to provide better visibility into the grid’s status. As the grid incorporates more renewable energy production and consumption sources, the team’s proposed technology provides a framework for decision making support regarding renewable energy supply and usage across the grid.
With the team’s technology, stakeholders will be able to focus on grid stability while counteracting the volatility introduced by a growing number of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles. The Digital Companion could enable predictive capabilities using different data sets to inform grid operators of energy consumption and need. It will harness data sets such as smart meter data, weather updates, event information, and grid infrastructure. Furthermore, the Digital Companion could communicate with a consumer app to inform electric vehicle users of the proper location and times to charge their electric vehicles.
The technology has several additional features that could benefit grid stakeholders. Critical predictions and mitigation plans could be simulated on a virtual map, and different solution scenarios could be tested.