Scientists at the University of California at Davis have developed a new transmission algorithms to cut power plant carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the amount of energy needed to generate electricity.
The research, published online today in Nature Communications, will help utilities improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the energy delivery network, or EDN, that provides power to the grid.
The researchers say they found a way to reduce emissions by as much as 40 percent without burning any more energy.
They say the technique is especially useful for grid operators who want to reduce the power they have to deliver electricity from power plants.
In addition, they say they can also use the technique to improve the efficiency of electric vehicles and make it possible to more easily move power between plants.
The new method, which they call an EDN-based transmission optimization approach, uses algorithms that use sophisticated mathematical models to predict how energy flows from power sources.
The scientists say they also found a technique for improving the energy efficiency of vehicles that uses algorithms to reduce CO2 emissions and help the vehicle achieve more efficient fuel economy.
“Our approach has the potential to deliver energy savings through better fuel economy and better efficiency, which are crucial for the energy economy,” said David Gao, an associate professor of physics at UC Davis who was not involved in the research.
“This is the first time that a transmission optimization method has been applied to the transmission of electricity in the United States.”
Gao is a member of a group of researchers that is developing a technology that would allow power plants to use renewable energy, instead of coal, gas or nuclear power.
The idea of using energy from renewables to power electrical grids is a big change in energy technology, but it has been difficult to achieve because the energy sources are expensive and difficult to manage.
The U.S. government is trying to make the transition from coal-fired power plants, which burn coal, to clean-burning natural gas, which can be produced from renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
The Department of Energy says the cost of renewable energy generation is about 40 percent less than conventional energy sources, such as nuclear power, wind and sun.
The team of researchers also worked with energy engineers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a research center funded by the Department of Defense.
Their research is the latest in a series of papers on EDNs.
Last year, a team of UC Davis scientists showed that EDNs could reduce the emissions of a coal-burning power plant by 40 percent by using advanced transmission optimization techniques to optimize electricity distribution.
The work is supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the U.N. Environment Programme and the Office of Naval Research.
The UC Davis team is led by Andrew Krashen, an assistant professor in physics and a member for the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.