Arrowsmith Presents Smart Grid Talk to Kiwanis

Utility Manager John Arrowsmith discusses the Smart Grid Project. Courtesy photo

Staff report

Department of Public Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith spoke to the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club at its lunch meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Arrowsmith presented an overview of the NEDO PV Smart Grid project. Everyone wants renewable power, but the challenge is that solar is available 24 percent of the time, wind 30-40 percent of the time and hydro 30 percent of the time, he said.

It is still necessary to have traditional power sources for the times when the renewable power can’t be generated, Arrowsmith said. The Smart Grid Demonstration project is helping to develop world standards. NEDO and Los Alamos County built a 1 megawatt photovoltaic (PV) field on the landfill site. 

In the future, the County will build another megawatt. The PV houses battery storage with two types of batteries. The sodium-sulfur batteries can store 1 megawatt for seven hours. The lead acid batteries can store 8/10 of a megawatt.

The Smart House associated with the demonstration project has a 3 kilowatt solar array and a 22 kilowatt battery in the garage, which can power a day’s worth of consumption for the house. 

One goal of the project is to test methods of storing the energy generated from the PV field for those times when solar energy isn’t available. Another goal is to test appliances and smart meters, which can work together to maximize energy use in the home.  

The appliances in the Smart House are able to store power when renewable energy is abundant and shut off or use battery power when energy is in short supply.

For more information about the NEDO Smart Grid Project, click on link:

Utility Manager John Arrowsmith shows a slide of the PV Panels at the Smart Grid Project. Courtesy photo

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