LANCIUM LLC (Houston, TX)
Systems consist of at least one critical datacenter connected to flexible datacenters behind the meter. The critical datacenter is powered by grid energy, and is not necessarily collocated with the flexible datacenters, which operate “behind the meter.” If a critical datacenter’s computational operation cannot be performed at that location, and it is discovered that it is possible to perform it more effectively or profitably in an alternative location, the computational operation will instead be obtained by the flexible centers for performance. The critical datacenter and the flexible datacenters typically share a communication path to allow high-bandwidth, low-latencyand safe data transmissions. A queue system may be used to arrange computational operations waiting for distribution to either the critical datacenter or the flexible datacenter.
The cost for electricity distributed by national and regional electric power grids is composed of Generation, Administration, and Transmission & Distribution (“T&D”) costs. T&D is a large part of the electricity that consumers pay. T&D comprises capital expenses (land and equipment, substations, wire, etc.). ) as well as electrical transmission losses, and maintenance and operation costs. Electric power is usually generated locally (e.g. natural gas, coal as well as nuclear) in the medium Voltage Class of 2.4 70 kVAC to 69 in kVAC. After being converted through an AC step-up transformer to High Voltage at at least 110 kVAC or greater, it is then sent to local stations. T&D costs begin accruing when the generated power departs the local station for conversion into High Voltage electricity that is then transmitted to grid.
The power that leaves the station and goes into the grid is paid local station owners at a fluctuating market rate. However, grid stability requires the existence of a balance between the amount of energy entering the grid as well as the amount of grid power utilized. The stability of the grid and its congestion are the charge of the grid operator and grid operators make steps that include curtailment, in order to reduce power supply from local stations when necessary. In order to discourage local stations from producing power, the market price for generated power is often decreased. Sometimes the market price for generated power will be negative. This could result in local station operators being required to pay more in order to continue providing power to the grid. Grid operators can sometimes instruct a local station owner to reduce or stop the amount of power that the local station is supplying to the grid.
The fluctuation in power markets, the power system conditions (e.g. power factor fluctuations or local station startup testing) and operational directives that lead to decreased or discontinued generation, can all have a disparate effect on renewal energygenerators. These can happen multiple times a day and last for indeterminable periods. Particularly, curtailment is problematic.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Technical Report TP-6A20-60983 March 2014 states that “Curtailment” is a reduction in the output of a generator relative to the output it would produce based on the available resources (e.g. wind or sunlight) typically at an involuntary basis. Curtailments can result when operators or utilities command solar and wind generators to lower output in order to limit transmission congestion , or to control the system or attain an optimal mix of resources. The problem of congestion in transmission and the lack of access are the most frequent reasons for curtailment. However, it can also happen due to excess production at low loads which causes baseload generators surpass minimum generation thresholds. This is often caused by interconnection or voltage issues , or to ensure the frequency requirements of small grids. Curtailment is one among many tools to maintain system energy balance. It can also be used to manage grid capacity as well as thermal and hydropower generation, demand response storage, and institutional changes. Deciding on the best method to use is largely an issue of the economics and operational practices. Today’s definition of “curtailment” is not always going to match the definition of 2000. Two major shifts in the electric sector have shaped curtailment practices since that time: the utility-scale deployment of wind power, with no fuel cost and the development of wholesale market for power. These concurrent changes have led to new operational issues, but they have also increased the use of market-based tools to address these challenges. There are a variety of practices that differ by region and market design. In places with centrally-organized wholesale power markets, and the experience of wind power and wind energy, manual curtailment methods are becoming increasingly replaced by transparent offer-based market mechanisms that make dispatch based on economics. Market mechanisms that distribute generation based on economics can also result in renewable energy facilities producing less than they could potentially produce with sunlight or wind available. Grid operators typically refer to this as “downward dispatch” or other terms. Power purchase agreements (PPAs), between the utility company and the wind developer, often include financial provisions that cover curtailment contingencies. **** Some decreases in output can be determined by how a wind operator valuesdispatch versus non-dispatch. In response to potential incidents of reliability the grid operator could also decide to curtail wind. Still other curtailments result from overdevelopment of wind power in transmission-constrained areas. Dispatchbelow the maximum output (curtailment) could be more of an issue for solar and wind generators than for fossil generators due to differences in their cost structures. The capacity to generate electricity when there is sufficient sunlight or wind to power the facilities determines whether wind or solar energy can be economically viable. Generators that generate solar and wind energy cost a lot in capital but they are also low on fuel expenses, so the more they produce increases their capacity to recuperate capital expenses. However, fossil generators have higher variable costs for example, fuel costs. Eliminating these costs could be a good thing, depending on the economics of a specific generator, to some degree lower the financial burden of curtailment, particularly in the event that the generator’s capital costs are included in a utility’s base rate.
The curtailment of energy can result in it loss. This is not the case for fossil generation units that can decrease the amount of fuel consumed. In the case of wind power, in particular, it may also takesome time for the wind farm to become fully operational following curtailment. The wind farm might not be fully operational until the time it is and it may not be operating in its most efficient state or even be able to supply electricity to the grid.
In this case, an example system is described. The flexible datacenter comprises an behind-the-meter power supply, a first distribution system as well as a control system, and a variety of computing systems that are that are powered by the power distribution system. The flexible datacenter control system can be configured to regulate the power distribution to the various of computing systems based upon the presence of one or more monitors for power systemconditions or operational instructions. The system also contains the criticaldatacenter which comprises power inputsystem as well as a secondpower distribution systems and a critical control system and a second set of computing systems that are powered by the secondpower distribution system. The queue system is used to handle a variety of computation operations. It also provides an initial link between the flexible datacenter, criticaldatacenter and the queue system. The system also includes an automated routing control system that can (i) identify a computation procedure to be executed using the queue system and (ii) decide if the computational operation need to be directed to the flexibledatacenter. (iii), based on a decision to route the computations to the flexibledatacenter, cause the computation to be transferred through the first communication link to the flexibledatacenter.
A different example of a system is illustrated. The system comprises a number of flexible datacenters each one comprising an behind-the-meter power input system, a power distribution system, a datacenter management system, and a first set of computing systems powered by the power input system. The flexible datacenter control system can control the power source to the aforementioned computing systems in response to some or all of the monitored power system conditions, or an operational directive. A critical datacenter is also integrated into the system. It includes an input for power and distribution system, a second one as well as the critical control system, as well as another set of computing devices powered by the second power supply system. The system also contains the queue system, which is designed to arrange a number of computational operations and a first communication link connecting the flexible datacenters, thecritical datacenter, and the queue system. The system further includes an automated routing control system that is configured to (i) identify, using the queue system the computational operation that is to be carried out, (ii) determine whether to direct the computational process to a flexible datacenter from the plethora of datacenters that are flexible, (iii) upon a decision to route the computational operation to a flexible datacenter in the plurality of flexible datacenters, identify the specific flexible datacenter within the variety of flexible datacenters that you can transfer the computational operation, and (iv) cause the computational operation to be transmitted to the specific flexible datacenter via the initial communication link.
Other features of the present invention will be evident from the description that follows and claims.
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