Authors: Daniel Gebbran; Alberto Barragán-Moreno; Pere Izquierdo Gómez; Ramadhani Kurniawan Subroto; Mohammad Mehdi Mardani; Miguel López; Javiera Quiroz; Tomislav Dragičević
The increasing grid penetration of renewable energy generation, energy storage, and controllable electronic loads, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers, motor drives, and electrolyzers, is making power electronic converters (PECs)—their controllable grid connection interfaces—omnipresent. Fleets of PECs are therefore becoming key players not only in coordinating generation and storage but also in unlocking the potential for flexibility within each load. In this article, we discuss how cloud-based platforms and edge computing devices can act as interfaces to enable the deployment of advanced control and monitoring algorithms.
We present seven different study cases using our own developed cloud-based platform that demonstrate the smart coordination of PECs in a variety of prototypes and real-world solutions. Moreover, the capabilities of cloud and edge computing are highlighted throughout the article at large, effectively characterizing cloud-based operation of fleets of PECs as an essential part of the future energy sector.
The applications presented can be categorized into:
– Systems monitoring: PEC condition monitoring and battery degradation analysis and forecasting.
– Distributed control: voltage imbalance compensation and operation of virtual power plants.
– Planning and optimization: fast charging station dispatching, distributed wastewater pumping system coordination, and frequency regulation market bidding.
In addition, the article discusses the trade-offs between cloud and edge computing for PEC fleets, providing insight on how the two can complement one another, and highlighting which factors should be considered in the development of smart management solutions.