R&D Quick Hits


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

With electric long-haul trucks on the way, utilities need to prepare for higher power charging and related grid impacts, according to an EPRI Quick Insights paper. With falling battery prices, more truck manufacturers are considering production of short- and long-haul electric trucks. Daimler’s trucking division is deploying and testing two medium-range electric trucks. Tesla announced plans to manufacture trucks with 300-mile and 500-mile ranges, beginning next year. While the price of the 500-mile model ($180,000) is $60,000 more than a diesel-fueled semi truck, Tesla claims that its truck will save about $250,000 over the first million miles relative ...
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At three large hotels on Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach, researchers have demonstrated that a new, “fast” type of demand response can yield significant load reductions without sacrificing customers’ comfort. The project was a collaboration among EPRI, Hawaiian Electric Company, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Demand response can offer a cost-effective option to balance intermittent generation from widespread deployment of rooftop solar in Hawaii. During traditional demand response, utility customers reduce energy use for 3–6 hours during peak load periods, with advance notice ranging from 12 hours to 2 days or more. With fast demand ...
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With Strategically Placed ‘Mesonet,’ Ameren Missouri Reduces Forecast Error by 40% EPRI, Ameren Missouri, and Saint Louis University demonstrated that carefully designed coupled with customized models can provide utilities with weather forecasts superior to traditional sources alone. Forecasts from those sources, such as the National Weather Service, The Weather Channel, and AccuWeather, do not provide local detail necessary to guide crew positioning ahead of severe weather. Regionally configured mesonets can potentially provide more precise data to weather- and damage-forecasting models, enabling better utility response. Using Saint Louis University’s QuantumWeather® algorithm, researchers determined the optimal placement of more than 100 weather ...
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EPRI Develops Better Methods for Calculating Reserves Grid operational changes that improve reliability typically increase costs. An EPRI study of Hawaii’s Oahu grid reveals that grid operators can have their cake and eat it too: More robust methods for quantifying the necessary capacity of can increase reliability and reduce costs. Increasingly, operators rely on reserves to accommodate intermittent renewable energy generation. The challenge is to determine the optimal reserve capacity needed based on anticipated conditions. Too much can be costly, and too little can make the system less reliable. Many of today’s methods for calculating reserve capacity are ...
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There is significant uncertainty in quantifying energy use by bitcoin mining, according to an EPRI Quick Insights paper. Bitcoin digital currency is released into circulation through “mining.” As with other digital currencies, bitcoin is backed by technology, which uses cryptography to verify transactions and add them to the public record. To do this, a “miner” must solve a complex mathematical puzzle, which requires powerful computer hardware and significant electricity consumption. Successful miners receive a financial reward. As the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed since late 2017, so has the number of miners—and the difficulty of the puzzles. Absent ...
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