R&D Quick Hits


Facts, Figures, and Findings from EPRI Research, Reports, and Other Sources

An EPRI study looks at the potential impacts of reduced on frequency stability in the world’s electric power grids and reviews emerging solutions. Turbines, generators, and motors in fossil, nuclear, and hydro power plants spin at speeds proportional to grid frequency. The rotational energy of these massive devices provides significant inertia that can counteract changes in grid frequency due to disturbances. For example, if one power plant in a region goes offline, grid frequency will decrease. Other spinning generators can respond by speeding up slightly to resist the frequency shift and stabilize the grid. Because solar ...
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Utility-scale solar photovoltaic plants in 2030 are likely to look different and have more capabilities than they do today, according to an EPRI study. Over the next decade, plant operators and developers are expected to use various design strategies and technologies to continue deployment and mitigate declining solar value. Solar energy is becoming a victim of its own success. As with other electricity generating assets, the more capacity deployed in a region, the less each additional unit is worth. The U.S. Energy Information Agency projects that solar will ...
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According to an EPRI study, technologies are moving closer to the efficiency and equipment life necessary for large-scale hydrogen production. Continued technological development is needed for hydrogen to serve mass markets for and cost-effective, . For fuel cells in the transportation sector, hydrogen production costs need to be at or below $2 per kilogram. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that to achieve this target, electricity prices for hydrogen production need to be less than 3¢ per kilowatt-hour, and electrolyzers need a system efficiency of at least 75%, an operating life of at least 10 years, ...
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According to an EPRI Quick Insights paper, a new approach for purchasing solar power generation in Hawaii offers potential to enhance grid flexibility while reducing financial risks for plant owners. With many solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) today, utilities pay plant owners per kilowatt-hour of output, which can result in reduced payments for owners when the utility needs to curtail output for grid balancing. As part of its plans for eight solar facilities totaling 275 megawatts coupled with battery energy storage, Hawaiian Electric has developed a new PPA structure in which it pays plant owners a ...
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Drone-mounted technology can be used to inspect concrete structures at nuclear power plants with the same degree of accuracy as traditional inspection methods, an EPRI field demonstration showed. Historically, when nuclear plant technicians inspect containment buildings, cooling towers, and other large concrete structures, they may use scaffolding, hanging platforms, or to gain access—or even rappel from the top. These approaches increase risk of worker injury. The use of drones can reduce risk, costs, and disruption of plant operations. EPRI field-tested the use of drones equipped with various payloads to inspect a containment building at a nuclear ...
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