Tuesday, July 30, 2013

No. 751: Supplying power grids with the function to store electricity (July 31, 2013)


Mitsubishi Electric developed a new power grid system that keeps transmitting electricity even though power cables are destroyed by strong wind and earthquake. Because the new power grid is given the function to store electricity, it starts to transmit stored electricity in 10-20 minutes after power outage. It transmits electricity from solar batteries if power outage occurs in the daytime and from storage batteries if power outage occurs in the nighttime. The new system sets large storage batteries and solar batteries for every 10-1,000 household and transmits electricity using undamaged cables for more than one week. The idea is to supply a power grid regarded as a tool to transmit electricity with with the function to store electricity. (Photo: A power grid: The experiment to supply power girds with the function to store electricity is under way in several plants of MItsubishi Electric.)

The new system works in concert with the electricity distribution system of an electric power company and automatically selects stored electricity when a power outage occurs. Because the new system stores electricity using a power grid, it is theoretically possible to cover a town entirely. Even though residents cannot use electricity as much as they want, the new system is expected to eliminate the anxiety of residents living in a devastated area. The introduction cost is estimated between 100 and 300 million yen for every 100 households. Mitsubishi Electric has already started experiments in several plants. The company plans to complete the system by next April and sell it to electric power companies and local governments. 

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