Altair Engineering: Can our electricity network support the electrification revolution?

Representatives from 200 countries gathered in Glasgow in November for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26. Nations around the world are devoting substantial resources to reducing carbon emissions in order to slow the rate of climate change. Replacing fossil fuels with electrification is a key step towards meeting the COP26 goals, and billions of dollars are being invested in renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydroelectric power, as well as in the development of innovative electric vehicles.

Experts agree it’s imperative to switch to renewable energy sources as soon as possible, but in a world where electric cars are ubiquitous, homes and buildings are heated with electricity instead of gas natural, and carbon neutral electricity is readily available to all, we are going to require much more electricity. We must ask ourselves: Is our current electricity network equipped to meet this increased demand?

The challenges of modernizing the network

HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver Discussed the Current State of the US Electricity Grid in Their Nov. 8 Reporte episode. In the United States, an expansive and aging power grid makes it difficult to provide the sustainable energy needed to meet the demands of modern society. Most power lines are beyond their expected lifespan since most were built in the 1950s and 1960s with a life expectancy of 50 years; in addition, extreme weather conditions exacerbated by climate change have intensified the wear and tear of these critical lines. Power grid engineers face great pressure to develop modern solutions to replace these obsolete pieces of infrastructure.

Additionally, fossil fuel power plants have an advantage, as they can be built virtually anywhere they are needed to meet the energy needs of a given population. The reality is that we cannot replace every coal-fired power plant with a wind turbine. Wind and solar power plants are viable only where conditions are favorable – where wind or sunlight is strong and available. A study by David Gardiner and Associates for the Wind Energy Foundation found that only 15 central states account for 88% of the potential for wind and solar power generation, but only 30% of the potential demand. This means that transmission lines will have to distribute electricity over great distances to reach coastal towns and major urban centers.

Vox: Why the United States is not ready for clean energy

Develop efficient energy solutions with simulation

To make power generation more efficient, transmissible and distributable, power grid equipment engineers are turning to simulation. Altair® Flux® provides robust electrical and thermal analyzes to achieve the highest levels of efficiency, thereby reducing energy loss and optimizing overall equipment performance.

Altair Flux for Smart Grid applications

Regardless of the power source, engineers want generators to convert motive power into as much electrical energy as possible. From kilowatts to megawatts, Flux can perform electromagnetic analysis that increases generator performance while remaining light enough to be positioned on a wind turbine or integrated into tidal equipment.

When upgrading an electrical network, equipment must stand the test of time. Hard-to-reach equipment must maintain its performance, so extending life and avoiding downtime is crucial. Failures of critical high voltage equipment such as power transformers, circuit breakers, and insulators are incredibly expensive. Therefore, with the global trend to operate equipment closer to its performance limit, Altair’s solutions include structural constraints to accurately and comprehensively assess failure risks. Coupling Flux to Altair’s full suite of physical solvers allows users to tackle multi-domain optimization to improve overall plant efficiency, optimize energy transmission from the fluid stream to the equipment, predict the best transmission ratio to the generator to optimize production, optimize its cooling and Continued.

Ensuring reliable energy transmission

Analyzing cables, power lines, and bus bars is especially important for power transmission, but it is often difficult to predict their performance without simulation tools. These complex systems involve domains and constraints of magnetic, electric, thermal and power grid fields. Altair provides in-depth analysis solutions to predict different phenomena in each of these areas. Magnetic simulation includes tools for modeling radiated fields, magnetic fields, the quality of the electrical system, and kinship and proximity effects. Users can also analyze the distribution of electric fields, current sharing and surges, as well as thermal phenomena such as skin effect based heating, thermal networks, thermal conditions in submarine cables, etc.

Altair Flux simulation tools for efficient power generation, conversion and transport

Developing smart grids with IoT and digital twins

Remote monitoring of equipment gives networks the flexibility to adapt to high power supply while controlling local electricity production. From load balancing to reducing peaks in consumption and hour-of-use pricing, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become essential to supporting demand response and developing new services. .

Harnessing the full power of artificial intelligence, analytics and IoT, AltairMT SmartWorks® is our next-generation cloud-native enterprise data ecosystem. SmartWorks provides dynamic tools and a collaborative environment for business teams to solve complex problems, accelerate transformation, and drive business value. SmartWorks is ideal for developing, deploying and maintaining smart grid or smart city projects, and makes it easy to collect data from connected devices, store them, and build powerful applications.

Dynamic digital representations, also known as digital twins, use data from sensors to mirror equipment to understand and optimize their performance. Through the integration of SmartWorks with Altair’s simulation products, the co-engineering of interactive networks of physical and computer components improves the ability of engineers to understand and predict future network performance.

Want to learn more about simulation-based design for power grid equipment? Check out the Flux webinar series:


Altair Engineering Inc. published this content on November 16, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on November 16, 2021 07:15:05 AM UTC.

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