One of the biggest challenges related to the widespread use of renewable energy sources is weather dependence and the resulting security of supply. That is why experts see the solution in the medium term in the mixed use of conventional and renewable energy sources. However, this also poses a number of challenges at present, one of the most significant of which is to be able to connect conventional power plants to the electricity grid in a lightning-fast and flexible manner in the event of a “bad weather”. Enerhash, which makes it possible to connect conventional and renewable power plants into one system more efficiently. In Hungary, E-ON Energiatermelő Kft. Is already using their system – read in the joint press release of E-ON Energiatermelő Kft. And Enerhash.
A globally innovative solution has been developed by a Hungarian energy tech company, which enables the efficient integration of renewable energy producers into the electricity grid and its flexible use together with traditional energy sources. This is currently one of the biggest green challenges in the field of energy.
After all many renewables – e.g. solar or wind energy – is highly weather dependent and thus creates uncertainty, which needs to be balanced at the system level. There is currently no cost-effective solution for efficient energy storage, which could ensure an even power supply even in adverse weather conditions.
However, there is a growing need to increase the share of renewable energies within the energy mix in order to reduce emissions and achieve climate protection goals, which experts say will provide flexible capacities in the medium term. After all, in case of unfavorable weather, a continuous power supply cannot be provided only from renewables. In such cases, the system operator turns to conventional power plants, which, in turn, have a loss and lower efficiency due to the sudden expansion of capacity, repeated switching on and off of a gas engine within 1 day, “cold start”.
“In the current domestic environment, it is conceivable that conventional power generators, especially gas-fired power plants, will increase or decrease their sudden capacity in response to the needs of the system operator, depending on how much electricity renewables are able to supply to the grid at the moment. It’s like when we use a car in constantly heavy city traffic, with plenty of deceleration, acceleration, and constantly stopping and then restarting the engine. In terms of fuel consumption and vehicle life, this is the least efficient mode of transport possible, and this is also the case for power plants. Our solution, sticking to this analogy, can provide “sustainable highway use” for power plants, that is, we increase energy efficiency by ensuring efficient, predictable operation, “said Daniel Jogg, co-founder of Energy.
Data center and distributed computing capacity are the key
The Hungarian Enerhash he sought and found a solution to this problem. High-tech computer data centers will be installed directly next to power plants, with which they are able to continuously use the electricity generated by the power plants, thus appearing on the market as a customer who is able to raise the current utilization, which is on average one or two thirds of the capacities, above 90 percent. This provides a stable source of revenue for power plants, which can switch at the touch of a button to supply electricity to the public grid at the touch of a button. This eliminates the need to replace renewable capacity temporarily lost due to adverse weather conditions by switching it off several times a day, which in itself means low efficiency, losses and higher maintenance costs.
“With our data centers, we are able to take over the power generated by power plants in 0-24 hours, and on the other hand, we sell so-called distributed computing capacity to our customers, who can use our services in areas such as artificial intelligence, visualization, modeling or even blockchain. There is a growing demand for this worldwide. Domestic / community use of renewable energy can only be substantially increased at home and globally if the infrastructure develops and becomes sufficiently flexible. We provide this with our solution, instead of costly and less mature energy storage, we offer our data center service to both fossil and renewable power plants, “added Dániel Jogg.
The Enerhash The E-ON Hungária Group was the first in Hungary to apply its solution: a 400 kW unit was operated at a 3,870 kW power plant, which will be developed by the energy company with the same capacity this autumn. For the company, stable consumption has provided predictability with a number of benefits: less start-up, which reduces the risk of failure, and more accurate timing of maintenance due to stable running.
“The energy world of the future is currently taking shape, including the technological solutions that provide the best response to the operational challenges of transformation. Therefore, our colleagues are constantly looking for and researching innovative tools and solutions, their fit into the portfolio. Our main goal is to provide both flexible and fast answers to the challenges of sustainable power generation in the electricity grid and conventional power plants, “said Deme Roland, managing director of E.ON Energiatermelő Kft., The group’s power plant fleet.
The Hungarian tech company is also currently negotiating with several international partners, so it is expected that they will start using their system in other countries by the end of the year.