What is the future of power equipment?

With the passage of time, there has been continuous development in the world of solar energy, nuclear power, smart grid, electric vehicles, rail transportation, aerospace, aviation, and navigation. 

Therefore, this trend has increased requirements for power equipment performance. In order to meet the needs of the future and ensure that they have every aspect of their products covered and are also ready to face any new market opportunities or problems on the horizon as they arise, each company that produces power equipment must carry out its business operations with an eye to the future. 

This article will look at what technology might be relevant in terms of power equipment in 2022 and beyond.



Technologies driving improvement in power systems

Lithium-ion batteries and superconductors have been getting a lot of attention.

Lithium-ion batteries are expected to revolutionize transportation, while superconductors have implications for energy storage, which could lead to a complete change in how energy companies operate. Other technologies may be ready for prime time soon as well. 

From advances in carbon capture technology that potentially could save millions of dollars per plant, to molten salt nuclear reactors using more than 99 percent fewer resources than traditional reactors, innovation in all aspects of power systems seems poised to make changes over the next decade. 

These changes will be driven by several key technology trends that include: greener generation; smart grid; electric vehicles; and a change in supply versus demand dynamic.


HVDC transmission

The cost-effectiveness of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission has increased dramatically in recent years, and it's now an attractive option for a wider range of applications than ever before. 

For starters, while AC lines are very expensive to install at low voltages, HVDC can transmit large amounts of electricity from remote sources—solar and wind plants—to population centers over long distances at lower costs than AC.

 And HVDC can also be installed underground, allowing for more placement options (and more savings). 

Currently, offshore wind farms are popping up around Europe and Asia as far away as China and India.


Power Quality Optimization

As applications for solar, wind and other renewable energy sources increase in number and diversity, we will require more reliable ways to store energy. 

Lithium-ion batteries can provide that solution; they offer high efficiency (the ability to convert their chemical energy into electrical energy), low weight, and high charge-discharge cycles. 

This type of battery uses several electrodes: a negative electrode called an anode and a positive electrode called a cathode. 

The electrolyte separates them while allowing lithium ions (electricity carriers) to move back and forth between them. 

During discharge, electrons flow through an external circuit from one electrode (anode) to another (cathode), releasing lithium ions in their wake.


Electrification of Rail Transportation

Due to environmental and energy considerations, rail transportation will be more and more popular in the future. 

However, it’s essential for rail vehicles to meet higher safety requirements, especially for train systems operating at high speeds. 

With these challenges in mind, experts are looking into various power solutions that can meet international standards. 

For example, one solution may be a hybrid system using both diesel engines and electric motors coupled with lithium-ion batteries or ultracapacitors. 

This setup could provide additional braking capabilities while also allowing trains to run without noise pollution on city-center tracks in urban areas.


Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS)

These are advanced, automated, computerized control systems that can be integrated into high-voltage transmission lines to more accurately respond to changing loads and conditions on transmission networks. 

They help utilities maintain voltage levels, allowing for better regulation and saving energy by reducing line losses. 

They also allow for a more responsive, reliable grid with greater opportunities for renewable energy integration.


Superconductivity and Variable Speed Drives

Superconducting magnetic energy storage and variable speed drives are technologies that are designed to improve upon traditional generators, offering users improved energy efficiency and smooth operation. 

The next-generation technology for generating electricity may be closer than we think:

Superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) devices could revolutionize how we generate electricity by capturing electrical currents and converting them into storable magnetic fields. 

We can store these currents in a superconductor that has zero electrical resistance, allowing us to catch current as it flows out of our home, office, or factory walls. 

To be able to capture all of these currents, we will need a very large SMES device capable of collecting huge amounts of charge through millions of wire loops immersed in liquid nitrogen.


Ultra Capacitors

This technology has been around for many years and can store large amounts of energy. 

One company, Avestor Inc., recently developed a capacitor that they claim can save 33 percent on utility costs when connected to solar panels. 

The company calls its new product Inverter Compatible Super Capacitor (ICSC). 

ICSC units are said to offer up to 4 kilowatts of continuous and 7 kilowatts peak power with a cycle life measured in hundreds of thousands or even millions of cycles. 

Their website says applications could include long-duration backup for everything from HVAC to datacenters and remote medical devices. 

Aside from being extremely efficient, ICSCs do not require any maintenance or special charging requirements.


Application Improvement Through Modularization

As technology advances, it becomes harder to handle massive software systems which contain millions of lines of code. 

The modularization technique helps to break a large system in to small modules and those modules work together in order to form a complete system or platform. 

This process improves the performance, reliability, safety, and maintainability of a system. Not only does modularization improve performance but also it increases efficiency for both hardware and software resources.

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