Once in a while, there is need for companies to overhaul their grid. This is because of an increase in demand for electricity given the rising demand for power for business purposes, industrial and commercial use. Now and again, the amount of energy produced by power stations may be deficient, hence need for additional power from multiple sources. This is frequently unreasonable in light of the fact that it involves the set-up of new power stations and the interest in power given the cost factors due to the need for other options of power especially in Auckland. There is likewise the cost element that comes with building new transmission lines, which additionally require a considerable amount of resources to build, run, and maintain.
In as much as such lines may supply enough electrical power to establishments, there are risks of thermal constraints within the supply system. This may lead to quite a considerable loss within the network as a result of the potential reactive losses issues of stability during electricity transmission that would arise time by time. All these requirements require substantial investment, and hence in light of this, this research paper discusses other non-transmission alternatives put in place to ensure that the areas of Auckland and Northland have constant amount of electricity.
Case study: Trans power electricity system in New Zealand and Auckland
The research present highlights of the Trans power grid system based in Auckland and New Zealand. It develops the main theme of the paper in regard to the supply of electricity and demand in relation to the increasing population in these regions. The research gives the need to increase the electricity supply through the use of non-transmission techniques in order to bridge the gap affecting the areas during certain times of the year. The system’s concept is new with relatively many challenges given also the different jurisdictions together with the differentiated value of credits. However, apart from the challenges, the paper recommends non transmission alternative of generating power, which are easier to implement and less costly in comparison with designing a complete new electricity grid system.
Energy efficiency is an important element in developed countries, which also needs to maintenance so as to sustain the ever-growing population. This is to reduce constraints as a result of demand, which may lead to inefficiencies within the transmission network. In understanding the concept above, there is a need to ensure that sources of power are efficient during the actual generation to transmission. In addition to this, it is important that the available energy sources are efficient in order to reduce over use.
To address this concern, there is need to shed light other matters within residential, industrial and commercial establishments in order to minimize the amount of unseen energy being used wastefully in such establishments. This is because they constitute the main electricity consuming entities and as such checking and regulating the above areas would result to enormous savings. Apart from reducing energy consumption by such entities, there are other measures that can be implemented without compromising the quality and supply of electricity.
These measures consists of retro-commissioning, network and operational changes and changes in the technology being used. These measures are less costly and would result to a great gain towards achieving efficiency and use efficiency in various households in different societies. In addition, this would call for total replacement of energy transmitting equipment and appliances using energy with more efficient ones so as to achieve the long-term goal of reducing consumption of electricity in such areas, with much emphasis on industrial, residential, and commercial areas. Given that, they consume more electricity, then utilizing energy efficient appliances such as air conditioners during hot weather should be put in place.
In the use of air conditioners, it has been established that these appliances use substantial energy during summer, and therefore, to achieve reduced energy use, there would be the need to change certain appliances with new ones designed to efficiently conserve energy in order to minimize consumption. This would hence, result to cost savings in terms of energy consumption from electricity producing areas or power stations, in order to feed municipal areas and states relying on electricity, and would also encourage commercial and industrial setups to use more energy efficient appliances. It has proven to work, after a research conducted by the Independent System Operators for New England proved that temperature increasing to up to 35 degrees during summer corresponding to an increase in demand for electricity, therefore reaching 29,160 megawatts.
Load management is another non-transmission technique that can be implemented to guarantee electricity supply in Auckland. Load management aims to lessen the demand for electricity during peak hours by using load management techniques to ensure that electricity supplied fits the demand by reducing over use of energy in certain areas. In using such a technology, the increase in electricity consumption especially during hot weather by air conditioners would reduce, as compared to times when such appliances are working at their fullest. Therefore, the load management technique is appropriate as an alternative for non-transmission as it would help reduce the need for more electricity during peak times. In addition to this, the areas of Auckland would need additional energy from other areas in order to meet the rising demand during summer.
This indicates why it is expensive during summer periods due to the rising demand of electricity during this time. This is generally so due to the interference of the water cycle during the summer period that affects the water levels in reservoirs feeding hydroelectric power areas. This is because summer periods are the times that majority of energy management companies experience high loads as a result of an increase in the demand in the use of electricity, mainly as a result of the high temperatures calling for more use certain appliances such as air conditioners.
This is as a result of the population increase as witnessed in Auckland would definitely increase the amount of energy consumption in summer periods, which would therefore increase the amount of energy consumed by such appliances especially when atmospheric temperatures are high in the afternoons. In the use of the load management technique, it has been established that the technology works, especially as noted in the City of Columbia that uses sets of radio controlled switches to implement the technique. This method works in an interesting manner to minimize electricity use during peak periods of summer. In their operations, the radio controlled switches are integrated with the air conditioners and heat pumps which help turn off critical components that consume much electricity during peak times, hence controlling and minimizing the use of electricity in such areas. In line with this, the load management method would become more effective in communities with installed air conditioners and heavily rely on them to cool their houses. This would therefore reduce the amount of electricity needed to power such heavy appliances, which would also reduce the demand for electricity by various households during peak times, a cost cutting measure that would be of advantage.
Energy production, a common non-transmission alternative can also be implemented in Auckland to meet the increased demand for electricity. However, other than using the most common methods of generating power such as generator and power station, an alternative and efficient method of production would be to use solar power and wind power, which are methods of producing clean energy, as well relying on renewable sources of energy. In as much as this would be cost intensive, especially in acquiring equipment to be used, they are energy saving methods that when implemented would help communities in the long term. This would lessen consumption on an already over consumed power system by using alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power, which also would directly affect the cost of running the systems, bills of every household, consequently saving a lot in terms of the electricity needed to power the population. The use of solar power is illustrated in various nations like the United States, which has implemented such as system making it to be self sufficient in terms of meeting the growing demand of electricity. The country achieves a lot in terms energy saving hence creating room for growth without over depending on the existing source of electricity that its citizens use.
In analyzing the above alternatives using certain metrics, wind energy seems to be quite cost effective, given the cost of implementing the technology and installing wind turbines having reduced tremendously over the last years (“The cost of wind energy in the U.S, n.d.”). This is due to various improvements and enhancements in the technology, with statistics showing that a large number of wind turbines have been installed in the United States alone, with the nation soon reaching their target. This has led the United States in being the model where turbine technology has successfully been implemented. This however, can be replicated in Auckland where there is an increase in demand for electricity and hence such massive investments would help the City be more reliable and also sustain the ever-growing needs of the population.
New power stations
Apart from the discussions concerning the implementation of other alternative sources of energy, new power stations can also be established to help supply the deficits occurring during peak times. In this strategy, power stations can be used to meet the shortages by using readily available sources of energy to generate power while using less costly materials. This is because power production is not only concerned with producing power, but also minimizing the available resources to produce the power. Apart from this, electricity generated through such power stations should also be transmitted using short distant power lines in order to reduce thermal interference as much as possible that may cause voltage instability. However, if the strategy is hard to achieve, dispatch generators can be used to maintain the stability along the transmission lines in order to minimize reactive losses (Warkentin-Glenn, 2006).
In addition to these strategies which can be implemented to counter the power shortages frequently affecting the populations. Innovation in the area of power generation can also be used by developing alternative sources of power from other reliable sources of energy. Commonly known as non-energy transmission systems, they can be used to bridge the deficits that always face the population. These innovative methods of power generation may include the use of standby distribution generators, wind generators and photovoltaic system which in addition to this are very effective within the power transmission system as these would eliminate the need to use expensive cabling and other transmission equipment such as infrastructure for transmitting power to consumer areas.
In this strategy, distributed generation would fit well in New Zealand where the system would be connected directly to the local electricity networks rather that the common method of connecting power to the national grid. This would substantially reduce costs associated with designing and implementing new power systems. This would hence additional power into the system that would support the existing energy capacity hence bridge the gap as a result of the increased demand during summer periods.
Distribution generators would therefore prove to be a viable alternative in supplying power. This is because they have the potential of producing considerable amounts of electricity, hence would meet the growing demand for electricity in areas of Auckland and Northland. This will help resolve electricity shortages since they would bridge the deficit of power being experienced in such areas, while also would be less costly to implement in a shorter duration.
Wind power systems
This is a cost efficient method of generating power through a method of harnessing free flowing wind. In this configuration, wind turbines would be used to generate electricity by implementing a wind electrical system that would tap and produce power from the tapped wind. Wind generators mostly require stable wind and are usually implemented in good height to enable it tap wind currents effectively. Apart from a stable wind supply, an appropriate height is also an essential element given that wind availability directly influences generator speed, which brings forth electricity. This is because when speed of wind doubles, there is a probability that power being generated would increase but subject to the height of the wind tower, whereby the higher the tower the greater the energy given the higher chances that the turbine would rotate at greater speeds. The height of the tower is therefore an important element if constant electrical power is to be generated by wind turbines placed in specific locations. The configuration of a wind turbine as shown below illustrates the concept as discussed. In this, a battery is used to store excess energy generated by the electrical system, whereby the inverter sitting between converts the DC power from the batteries to AC in order to supply power.
Figure A: A configured wind system with small wind turbines in a windy area illustrating how the system is connected to various appliance and equipment.
Economic estimates for small wind turbine system, installation costs in ($KW)
Hence, by using such a small wind power system, there would be enough electricity for most populations in Auckland and Northland in order to eliminate the need for future construction of electrical power stations. However, despite the promising state of such a technology, it would not be productive compared to the PV technology that would eliminate electricity supply.
The solar voltaic system
This remains the form of distributed energy that has grown the fastest. This method uses solar power as its main source of energy where several solar cells laid on solar panels convert light to electricity (Sanburn, 2015). Several technologies have been used, however; the crystal silicon is the most preferred technology currently in application. This is basically a combination of multicrystaline and monocrystaline silicon, with this technology enhancing efficiency in the photovoltaic segment. This would therefore suit the areas of Auckland and New Zealand given the improved energy payback time (EPT) and improved grid parity, which basically refers to reduced cost incurred in the implementation compared to the power paid for electricity grid supply (Komoto, 2009).
Solar power generator
Solar power generators can generate about 100Kw of energy. These energy transmission equipment can be placed in homes, farms and other areas where they can easily be integrated into the main power system. However, despite the potential nature of such areas, the strength of sun is an essential element to consider before building such an infrastructure, with duration of sun being an important to consider if good amounts of solar power is to be generated.
New Zealand electricity supply continues to face challenges due to demand despite even the many sources of electricity such as the micro hydro systems implemented in most rivers (“Micro-hydro systems”, n.d.). This also continues to be a challenge to Trans power electricity system as most households use more electrical power hence resulting to a deficit within the electrical grid. Therefore, in order to help design alternatives, the alternatives discussed here remain the most viable solutions for the power problems affecting Auckland. This however is dependent on efficient use of electricity in homes, commercial establishments and industrial setups, in which can be achieved through the use of energy efficient electrical appliances that are efficient in energy consumption.
Apart from using efficient energy transmission strategies, an alternative that would also play a role is the load management. This would basically limit or reduce electricity use during peak times of the summer and hot afternoons. As an alternative, load management would help reduce the cost of energy in many households without compromising other current uses of energy in such households. In as much as this reduces energy costs, there are other alternatives such as the use of solar panels and wind energy. These options also offer clean energy that is less costly and effective in most households. Other than these, the solutions tend to utilize improved technologies which also reduce costs, as well as designed short transmission lines which are however prone to thermal issues which would cause instability in the power being transmitted.
The alternatives discussed are promising; however, the load management technique is crucial in achieving lower costs. It also remains the most sustainable alternative given that it can help lower power consumption during peak times hence enhancing efficient electricity use, which would mostly help the Auckland population. However, it is essentially important that additional sources of energy be created rather than depending on load techniques. Therefore, the
most viable option in Auckland and New Zealand would be to implement a solar photovoltaic system, which would utilize the available solar power hence reduce electricity shortage
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