School: Sat Sci Math Acad
Area of Science: Engineering
Interim: Problem Definition: A smart grid is an electrical grid that consists of multiple new technologies that either operate or measure energy production and consumption such as smart meters, smart devices, renewable energy resources, and energy-efficient resources. Smart grids have decreased the carbon footprint by efficiently transmitting electricity, reducing operations and management costs, and reducing power costs for consumers. The Department of Energy estimates by the year 2030 Smart Grids can be credited for reducing CO2 emissions from an approximate range from low, 60 million metric tonnes, to high, 211 million metric tonnes. Although Smart Grids have effectively decreased the average carbon footprint throughout the nation it seems that there is not a system that prioritizes renewable energy resources through all processes of distribution. Our goal for this project is to find a way to efficiently route renewable energy resources from a selection of power plants first, rather than energy generated from coal or gas, to the desired location depending on the demanded amount of power of the sector or region while taking into account if another plant could more effectively distribute the same amount of power to that region.
Problem Solution: Our plan of action is to write a code that analyses the power output of power plants and the power consumption of regions to route the power to each area effectively while prioritizing the power generated from renewable energy sources to lower the carbon imprint of the power grid while keeping an efficient and reliable system.
Progress to Date: We have begun to familiarize ourselves with the power distribution process. The electricity made by generation stations is sent through transformers to increase voltage for power to reach longer distances. The electrical charge is sent through high voltage transmission lines across the country which then reaches a substation to lower the voltage to be sent to smaller lines. The smaller lines extend into neighborhoods where the electrical charge is sent through another transformer to reduce the voltage and to ensure the power is safe to use in a home. When the power is connected to the home, it passes through a smart meter to monitor how much the home uses. In order to learn how this process applies to New Mexico and the zones the power companies use to route, we have decided to contact PNM and will survey data-sets to implement into our code to find the most efficient way to distribute energy, especially renewable energy.
Expected Results: To be able to increase power routing more efficiently, which can help lower power costs and increase energy coverage. While in turn reducing a city’s overall carbon impact by rerouting renewable sources first, as our top priority. Additionally, we hope this system will assist energy producers to switch to renewable energy resources sooner. For example, in 2017 PNM reported that its current energy mix was 56.1% coal, 21.8% nuclear, 12.3% natural gas, and had a total of 9.8% renewable energy resources used for power generation such as wind, solar, and geothermal. Moreover, PNM plans to have 100% emissions-free generation by 2040. Once again, we hope this system will induce energy producers, such as PNM, to switch to renewable energy resources sooner.
Team Members: Anwi Fomukong, Gloria Enga, Matthew Barkley, Michaela Moshe, Ronnie Betts
Sponsoring Teacher: Debrah Johns
How electricity is made and delivered to your home. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.alliantenergykids.com/AllAboutEnergy/HowElectricityIsMade
Brain, M., & Roos, D. (2000, April 1). How Power Grids Work. Retrieved from https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/power.htm
Electric Power Research Institute, & Global Energy Partners, LLC. (2008). Energy savings and carbon emissions reductions enabled by a Smart Grid. The Green Grid, 29-37. Retrieved from https://www.smartgrid.gov/files/The_Green_Grid_Energy_Savings_Carbon_Emission_Reduction_En_200812.pdf
PNM. (n.d.). Energy Sources. Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://www.pnm.com/energy-sources
PNM. (n.d.). Our Commitment. Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://www.pnm.com/our-commitment
Sponsoring Teacher: Debra Johns
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