The electricity zipping around neighborhoods that have lots of rooftop solar PV is very different from conventional electricity. Not only does it sag and surge in response to the pattern of clouds crossing overhead, but it is also provided by lots of inverters, which creates electrical conditions very different from the alternating current supplied by big spinning generators.
The technology being applied to managing this distributed energy landscape includes smart inverters, advanced power electronics and other grid edge devices, as well as the communications networks and software platforms that make use of it all. Now, courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, we’ve got a new contender: the microsynchrophasor.
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