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Technology Makes Homes More Energy Independent, Helps Divert Power During Blackouts

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Most homes with solar power are connected to the electrical grid.

A new smart technology can help utilities better serve communities struck by power outages.

Credit: Getty Images

Researchers from Texas A&M University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and utility Dominion Energy have designed a smart technology to help utilities better serve communities struck by electrical outages.

Their power electronics intelligence at the network edge (PINE) device enhances energy delivery between residential solar-power systems and the electrical grid.

Installed outside the home, PINE features three main connections: one entering the home, one connecting to the grid, and a third to solar panels and batteries. PINE regulates the flow of electricity in any of these directions, and is programmable to allow authorized external control over how much grid electricity reaches solar-powered homes.

Texas A&M's Le Xie said, "During power outages, PINE allows homes to be self-sufficient and use their solar power efficiently," and "also allows the utility company to wirelessly instruct PINE systems to limit the grid current to solar-powered homes and redirect it to other affected areas."

From Texas A&M University Engineering
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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