Thursday, October 28, 2010

National Electricity Market Model

Greetings from the Australian National University where software engineering student projects are being showed. One of these is "National Electricity Market Model" (NEMMOD), by Zakaria Bouguettaya, Andrew Fung, Andrew Jackson and Tatiana Vassilieva. The idea is to model electricity use in the Austrlaian grid to better predict electricity demand so as to optimise investment and minimise the effect of climate change.
Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) physically links more than 100 power stations in five states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. It is a dynamic, complex entity that endeavours to meet a fluctuating demand for electricity by drawing on those generators that can provide the least-cost power at each moment in time.

Coal-fired, water-cooled power plants dominate the NEM. The operation of these plants depends directly on the availability of water and on ambient temperature, and so the NEM is sensitive to climate change. Similarly, the demand for electricity also depends directly on rainfall and temperature, and is likewise sensitive to climate change. The overall reliability of the NEM (its ability to meet demand) therefore depends on the ability of the individual power stations to function economically under conditions that are expected to become steadily drier and hotter.

There is, however, considerable uncertainty concerning the way that Australia’s climate might change. While significant increases in average temperatures are likely, change in rainfall patterns is less certain—but an increase in rainfall variability is likely. The NEM covers Eastern Australia, from the tip of the Cape York Peninsula to the southern-most tip of Tasmania. This means that the power stations connected together in the NEM will operate in very different climate regimes. ...

From "Specification for a National Electricity Market Model", Barry Newell
Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU, 2010

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