News Article | January 22, 2016
At MIT's Tata Center for Technology and Design, researchers are exploring ways to extend electricity access to such communities using microgrids—independent electricity generation and distribution systems that service one village or even just a few houses. In addition to being flexible in size, microgrids can run on whatever power sources are available, including wind, hydropower, and the source accessible at all sites: solar power. "A large number of people, particularly in rural India, won't be electrified for decades, and the situation is similar in other parts of southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The statistics say that 1.5 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity, but many more don't have reliable access," says Robert Stoner, deputy director for science and technology at the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and director of the Tata Center. "We're looking for ways to make electricity available to everyone without necessarily having to go through the costly and time-consuming process of extending the [national] electric grid. With policy support in the form of regulation and financing … it's conceivable that microgrids could proliferate very quickly. They might not supply a level of access equivalent to that offered by a well-managed grid but would provide an affordable and significant step forward in quality of life." Microgrids can be powered by diesel generators or by renewable technologies, among them solar power, which is becoming more attractive as the cost of solar technology falls. "If you use solar, [the fuel is] essentially free," says Rajeev Ram, MIT professor of electrical engineering and a Tata Center researcher. In addition, he says, "microgrids are attractive because they let you pool resources." Nevertheless, the widespread adoption of microgrids has been stymied by several challenges, including the high cost of setting up private generation and distribution systems and the business risk of investing in a system that's susceptible to being undercut by an extension of the electric grid. At the Tata Center, researchers are addressing such concerns from multiple angles—from mapping out national electrification networks, to providing planning assistance to rural entrepreneurs, to developing technology that can make it easier to build microgrids organically, from the grassroots up. Indeed, the researchers say that properly designed microgrids can be grid-compatible, reducing the risk to investors and providing an intermediate stage to grid connection where this is technically and economically viable. "Everyone agrees we have to scale microgrids" to address the rural electrification gap, says Brian Spatocco, a Tata Fellow who worked on microgrids as a PhD candidate in materials science and engineering at MIT. The problem, he says, is that "not one size fits all." To address the microgrid challenge at the macro level, Tata researchers led by Stoner and Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga, a visiting professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management from IIT-Comillas University in Madrid, Spain, have been developing and implementing a sophisticated computer program that can help government planners determine the best way to provide electricity to all potential consumers. The Reference Electrification Model (REM) pulls information from a range of data sets—which in India include satellite imagery, the Census of India, and India's National Sample Survey, which gathers statistics for planning purposes. REM then uses the data to determine where extending the grid will be most cost-effective and where other solutions, such as a microgrid or even an isolated home solar system, would be more practical. "We are approaching the problem of rural electrification from the perspective of planners and regulators," Stoner says. Satellite imagery is used to map the buildings in a given location, and demand is estimated based on the types and profiles of the buildings. REM then uses pricing and technical data on such equipment as solar panels, batteries, and wiring to estimate the costs of electrification on or off the grid and to make preliminary engineering designs for the recommended systems. The model essentially produces a snapshot of a lowest-cost electrification plan as if one could be built up overnight. "This is a technology tool that [officials] can use to inform policy decisions," says Claudio Vergara, a MITEI postdoc working on the REM project. "We're not trying to tell them what the plan should be, but we're helping them compare different options. After a decision has been made and detailed information about the sites is gathered, REM can be used to produce more detailed designs to support the implementation of each of the three electrification modes." Currently, Tata researchers are using REM to model an electrification plan for Vaishali, a district of 3.5 million people in the state of Bihar in India. "We're designing the system down to every house," Stoner says. In the project, results from REM were used to identify the best locations in Vaishali for microgrids (see Figure 1 in the slideshow above). In July 2015, the team visited two candidate sites, each with between 70 and 250 houses, and REM will now be used to produce a detailed technical design showing all the equipment and wiring needed to electrify them. Then, Vergara says, a local Tata partner will put REM to the test by actually building the microgrids. "The pilot will help us improve the model," Vergara says. "We're making many modeling assumptions now, so we need real-world validation." Once the software has been perfected, Stoner says, the researchers plan to make it openly available. Another project under way at the Tata Center addresses the barriers to entry for potential microgrid entrepreneurs. Such businesses face several hurdles, including the high cost of determining the most cost-effective sites for their projects. India's government and public utilities often provide no information about where the electric grid is likely to be extended next, and calculating the likely demand for electricity in a village typically requires costly, on-the-ground research—all of which makes it tough for any potential microgrid entrepreneur to make the case for profitability and to secure financing. Three MIT graduate students and a postdoc are working to develop GridForm, a planning framework that rapidly identifies, digitizes, and models rural development sites, with the goal of automating some of the work required to design a microgrid for a small village. "Doing a custom system for every village creates so much work for companies—in time and in the human resources burden—that it can't scale," Spatocco says. "We're trying to expedite the planning piece so [entrepreneurs] can serve more people and reduce costs." Like REM, GridForm begins with satellite data, but GridForm goes on to use advanced machine learning to model individual villages with a high level of detail. "We'll say this is a house and this is a house, hit run, and the machine learns the properties of a house, such as size and shape," Spatocco says. The goal is to produce a hardware and cost model of a target village that is 90 percent accurate before anyone even visits the site. GridForm also develops load estimates, based on factors such as demographics and the proximity of buildings, and provides entrepreneurs with potential microgrid designs and even lists of necessary equipment. The program incorporates data sets on solar radiance and uses an algorithm to determine the best configuration of solar panels, battery packs, and distribution wires to power the greatest number of houses at the lowest cost. "We're providing everything from siting to planning to implementation—the whole process," says Kendall Nowocin, a PhD student in electrical engineering and computer science working on GridForm. The other two researchers working on the project are George Chen PhD '15, anMITx postdoctoral teaching fellow, and Ling Xu, a PhD student in health sciences and technology. The main difference from REM, the researchers say, is that GridForm envisions electrification being built from the ground up rather than from the top down. "We think rural entrepreneurs will electrify themselves," Spatocco says. "We want to create insights that are immediately useful to practitioners on the ground—what to buy, what it will cost, where to put it." Already GridForm has been used to develop detailed microgrid plans for four villages in the state of Bihar, and the team is working with Indian social enterprise SELCO Solar to do the installations, providing service to 2,000 to 3,000 people. A third Tata Center project focuses on fostering the organic growth of microgrids by enabling residents to share extra power-generating capacity with their neighbors via an inexpensive piece of hardware, the uLink power management unit (PMU). A "demand response" system that meters and controls the flow of electricity, uLink can adjust the demands it serves based on the supply of electricity that's available. The system reflects an innovative approach to electrification, Ram says—one that acknowledges that the standards for electrification common in the developed world are unrealistically high for poor, remote areas. Building in the system redundancies necessary to ensure 99.9 percent availability is simply too expensive—and particularly unrealistic in India, where even the areas served by the grid are plagued by power outages. "Here we can guarantee a basic level of service, but we don't guarantee 99.9 percent," Ram says. "This is a very powerful way to manage the cost of electricity infrastructure. Demand response allows you to size the system for average demand, versus peak demand." What that means is that when the sun is shining and batteries are fully charged, microgrid customers can run all of their appliances, but when it's been cloudy for a few days and the system is low on power, uLink can signal users to shut off loads; as a last resort, it can even shut off loads automatically. Automating this function eases the social difficulty of sharing electricity, the researchers say. Once users have pooled their resources, there's no need to argue over who can use which appliances; uLink allots electricity based on which loads have been predetermined as "critical" and therefore not subject to shutoff when system demand peaks. Everything else can be shut off by uLink as needs arise. Users themselves determine which few loads are "critical," providing an element of choice not typically seen in home solar systems, which hardwire their loads. uLink features several outlets, enabling users to plug in a variety of appliances. At maximum capacity, the initial prototype low-voltage, DC system provides about 25 watts per household, enough to run a fan, a cellphone charger, and a couple of lights. "The hardest part is making a box with all these functions at a cost people can afford," Ram says, noting that the uLink consumer unit is designed to cost about as much as a cellphone, making it affordable for most Indian villagers. uLink was field-tested in June 2015—five houses were wired together for two weeks—and the delivery, metering, and networking systems worked well. The next milestone for the developers is to test the algorithm designed to estimate how much electricity is available from the system's batteries and solar panels and optimally shed loads. "This is definitely a work in progress," Ram says. Indeed, all three Tata Center projects are still being refined, but together they offer a rich portfolio of potential solutions to the problem of rural electrification, the effects of which many of the researchers have seen firsthand. "Electricity is not just empowering. It's an enabling force. Electricity goes right into livelihood activities," Spatocco says, noting that just a few lights make it possible for residents to work in the evenings, for example, or to improve their efficiency with simple machinery, such as sewing machines. "People can double or triple their economic output." There are also benefits few in the West might imagine, as Ram discovered by interviewing residents of one non-electrified Indian village: "They conveyed how frightening it can be to have a snake in the village if no one has a light." Explore further: The powerful potential of microgrids for livable cities More information: Architecture and system analysis of microgrids with peer-to-peer electricity sharing to create a marketplace which enables energy access, DOI: 10.1109/ICPE.2015.7167826 Kush R. Varshney et al. Targeting Villages for Rural Development Using Satellite Image Analysis, Big Data (2015). DOI: 10.1089/big.2014.0061
News Article | November 15, 2016
INTERXION HOLDING NV (NYSE: INXN), l'un des principaux fournisseurs de services de data centers de colocation neutres vis-à-vis des opérateurs Télécom et des fournisseurs de cloud en Europe, annonce avoir obtenu le 27 octobre 2016 le renouvellement de l'autorisation d'exploiter son data center PAR7 de La Courneuve, selon les nomenclatures des Installations Classées pour la Protection de l'Environnement (ICPE). Cet arrêté préfectoral fait suite à des autorisations d'exploitation déjà obtenues par le passé concernant le data center PAR7. Un respect absolu des normes environnementales et sécuritaires Sur la base d'un nouveau dossier qui prend en compte les évolutions de la réglementation depuis 2012, Interxion procède désormais chaque année à des mesures de niveau sonore. Depuis l'installation du data center PAR7 à La Courneuve, son inauguration en 2012, et le début de sa pleine exploitation en 2013, Interxion veille au respect absolu des normes environnementales et sécuritaires que nécessite le projet. Fabrice Coquio, président d'Interxion France, souligne que « Le renouvellement de cette autorisation ICPE est un élément très positif pour le site de La Courneuve et confirme que les activités d'Interxion sont en totale conformité avec la règlementation ». Interxion (NYSE: INXN) est l'un des principaux fournisseurs de services de data centers de colocation neutres vis-à-vis des opérateurs Télécom et des fournisseurs de cloud en Europe, comptant un vaste ensemble de clients dans 42 data centers répartis sur 11 pays européens. Les data centers d'Interxion, conçus de façon uniforme et efficients sur le plan énergétique, proposent aux clients une sécurité et une disponibilité étendues pour leurs applications critiques. Avec plus de 600 fournisseurs de connectivité, 21 points d'interconnexion Internet européens et la plupart des principales plates-formes cloud et de médias numériques présents sur l'ensemble de sa couverture géographique, Interxion a créé des hubs financiers, de contenu, de cloud et de connectivité qui facilitent l'activité de communautés d'intérêt de clients en plein essor. Pour de plus amples informations, merci de consulter http://www.interxion.fr.
Nicolae B.,University of Galati |
George-Vlad B.,ICPE SA
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2015
This paper presents the energy savings in refurbishment of the buildings using Life Cycle Assessment at material level by comparing three insulation materials that offer higher thermal performance and greater environmental sustainability. The comparison is made on products having the same insulation performance (U-value). After the enumeration of intervention practices for energy saving in buildings, the Life Cycle Assessment methodology in refurbishment of the buildings is applied at material level using Life Cycle Inventory to transform material volume input into impact on the environment as output. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was carried out according to the requirements of the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). After assessing the building performance before and after isolation, the "embodied energy", which comes from the materials manufacturing as phases of the refurbishment of the buildings, was determinate and compared with the operational energy of the building. This LCA methodology in refurbishment of the buildings at material level was evaluated for Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) and Rigid polyurethane (PUR) insulation products. This methodology has been used on a building in Galati, Romania (School No. 9). A spider diagram was used to represent the criteria in a consistent, graphical way in relative units. The extreme values for a given criteria indicate the poor performance of the insulation material. Finally, the assessment of the building performance before and after using the insulation and the determination of the "embodied energy" compared to the operational energy of the building resulted in a 55% energy saving in the use stage of the building after refurbishment. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fodorean D.,Technical University of Cluj Napoca |
Irimia C.,Siemens AG |
Minciunescu P.,ICPE SA
Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium | Year: 2015
The paper presents a study of a magnetic gear (MG) used for high speed applications (26000 r/min); its performances are numerically evaluated. Against common mechanical gears, for which the high trasmission ratio at high power is obtained only by linking several gears, the MG offers a better power density since just one unit can be used (even for high powers), and with acceptable levels of ripples in the torque wave. The paper investigates also the use of different magnet materials, other than the very expesive rear-earth ones, to evaluate the MG's performances. It is clear that the main loss source on a MG is the iron loss component, which is affecting directly its efficiency. Thus, the use a different core meterials will be considered for a final evaluation of the MG's operation to decide on the obtained performances: power density and efficiency.
Minciunescu P.,ICPE SA |
Balaban R.,ICPE SA |
Minciunescu C.,ICPE SA |
Chefneux M.,ICPE SA
2011 7th International Symposium on Advanced Topics in Electrical Engineering, ATEE 2011 | Year: 2011
The paper presents the design and analyze of a permanent magnet brushless machine for a hybrid electric scooter. Different combinations of slots number, magnetic poles, and concentrated windings are tested based on the speed-cycle and power-cycle of the scooter. A machine prototype has been build. The experimental data are used to validate the simulation model. A method of increasing the torque density of outer rotor machine is proposed and tested. © 2011 Univ Politehnica of Buchare.
Vrticeanu B.D.,ICPE SA |
Minciunescu P.,ICPE SA
Revue Roumaine des Sciences Techniques Serie Electrotechnique et Energetique | Year: 2015
Accurate knowledge of magnetic field distribution, back-electromotive force and thrusting electromagnetic force in dual-sided coreless linear synchronous motor are essential for analyze and optimization of the motor. Further design is regarding the mechanical analysis of the stator yoke who should sustain the mechanical stress produced by the magnetically attraction force between the permanent magnets. Finite element analysis is used to determine the motor electromagnetic and mechanical parameters.
Chirila A.-I.,Polytechnic University of Bucharest |
Minciunescu P.,ICPE S.A. |
Deaconu A.-S.,Polytechnic University of Bucharest |
Deaconu I.-D.,Polytechnic University of Bucharest
Revue Roumaine des Sciences Techniques Serie Electrotechnique et Energetique | Year: 2016
In the article are presented studies regarding the cooling efficiency of a finned housing that is common to servomachines. The studies are performed considering three-dimensional model of the housing. Under the hood of an electric vehicle the motor can be mounted in various positions. Moreover, the electric vehicle travels at various velocities. Therefore, the study considers two parameters: the mounting position of the electric motor and the velocity of fluid surrounding the electric motor. Based on the results, a dependence between the two parameters and the housing cooling efficiency is derived. A comparison with analytical expressions for usual cylinder cross-sections is also provided. © 2016, Editura Academiei Romane. All rights reserved.
Badea G.V.,ICPE SA
Green Energy and Technology | Year: 2015
This introductory chapter will blend both legal and technical aspects of microgeneration systems in order to acquaint the readers with the concept and roles of microgeneration systems, the perception of the European Union and the ways of promotion and development through policies and legal instruments. These notions are fundamental for readers and practitioners in the field of microgeneration systems since a variety of factors work in close connection and have a profound influence on the development of microgeneration systems. This chapter will make short explanatory remarks about the evolution (1) of the European Union and the energy sector in Europe in the transition to decentralised energy production and extensive use of microgeneration systems. Afterwards, the challenges (2) confronting the European energy sector are presented in order to understand the way problems are tackled by the European Union through policies (3) and legal instruments (4) to comprehend the use, promotion and trend for development of microgeneration systems (5). © Springer-Verlag London 2015.
Onose B.-A.,Icpe SA
2016 11th International Conference on Ecological Vehicles and Renewable Energies, EVER 2016 | Year: 2016
This paper presents the objective of the Energy IN TIME (EiT) project of developing more advanced control method for existing non-residential buildings. This approach will be based on advanced building simulation models to reduce the energy consumption and energy bill. The project methodology will cover the most accurate and up to date international standards for energy efficiency. A simulation reference models will be developed with both forecasted and real time data type: external (climate, energy tariffs), internal data (status, equipment, occupancy) and user behavior data. A continuous commissioning strategy will be develop to better cope with the deviations between operational plans and real operation of the building, together with a fault detection and diagnostic system, designed for overall system robustness and evaluating faulty operation scenarios. The project goes beyond existing building control techniques by implementing a prediction system for indoor comfort conditions and used behavior performance to further improve energy efficiency and equipment lifetime. This approach will allow the reduction of system inefficiencies and therefore will contribute significantly to improve building end-user comfort. EiT will centralize the remote control of different buildings in an automatic process and validate the solution in four different locations in Europe, with different climate typologies. © 2016 IEEE.
Cochior D.,Titu Maiorescu University |
Pencioiu P.,ICPE SA
2014 International Symposium on Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering, ISFEE 2014 | Year: 2015
The simulations quality is strongly related to the image quality as well as the degree of realism of the simulation. Increased quality requires increased resolution, increased representation speed but more important, a larger amount of mathematical equations. A virtual reality simulator executes one of the most complex sets of calculations each time it detects a contact between the virtual objects, therefore optimization of collision detection is fatal for the work-speed of a simulator and hence in its quality. © 2014 IEEE.