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NREL's Emulation Platform Unleashes Potential for Clean Energy Grid Integration

Hydropower plants are large and expensive, making it difficult to customize and test their designs. In contrast, wind and solar energy technologies are easier to model, perfect, and deploy. To address this challenge, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a Real-Time Hydropower Emulation Platform. This platform utilizes field data, mathematical models, and hardware to recreate hydropower plants in a virtual laboratory setting. It enables users to study how different plant designs would operate in the real world and in real time, providing a cost-effective and low-risk way to test new hydropower technologies and grid configurations.

The development of this emulation platform is particularly crucial for the clean energy power grid transition. Hydropower's reliable and flexible energy, along with its storage capabilities, will play a significant role in maintaining grid stability. While the integration of solar and wind energy into the grid has been extensively studied, the potential of hydropower in supporting a clean energy grid is not well understood. By using power electronics to enhance control over energy output, hydropower plants can swiftly respond to both cyber and natural threats, further increasing their value in a future clean energy system.

Read the complete news by energypost.eu: https://energypost.eu/hydropowers-full-potential-emulator-optimises-designs-and-operations-in-real-time/ 

Hydropower Emulation Platform, NREL - TaraSmithIllustration Hydropower Emulation Model. Credit: Tara Smith, NREL


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