Case Study: Power to the People: A Decentralized Energy Trading Revolution

Case Study: Power to the People: A Decentralized Energy Trading Revolution

IntelliSmart’s prestigious annual event, INSTINCT 3.0 powered by Hack2skill, stands at the forefront of driving innovation in the digital transformation of the power distribution sector. Building on the success of INSTINCT 2.0, this year’s hackathon challenged participants to push the boundaries of smart metering technology and pioneer solutions to pressing industry challenges.

The traditional electricity grid faces limitations:

  • Limited Access to Renewables: Consumers lack affordable access to clean energy sources.

  • Static Pricing: Fixed tariffs don't incentivize energy conservation or renewable energy adoption.

  • Grid Congestion and Losses: Peak demand strains the grid, leading to inefficiencies and power losses.

Decentralized Energy Trading: A Blockchain-Powered Solution

This case study explores a revolutionary approach - a "Community Energy Trading Platform" powered by blockchain technology. This platform facilitates real-time peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading between households, businesses, and industries with renewable energy generation assets or storage capabilities.

The Solution: Smart Microgrids and Blockchain Integration

The proposed solution leverages the concept of "smart microgrids." These are localized networks comprising a distribution transformer, smart meters, and connected consumers within an HT (high-tension) feeder area. Three key functionalities are integrated within each microgrid:

  1. Blockchain Technology: Blockchain provides a secure and transparent platform for financial transactions, smart contracts (self-executing agreements), and bidding closures between sellers, resellers, and buyers.

  2. Smart IoT Devices: All stakeholders (sellers, resellers, buyers) are equipped with smart devices that monitor energy use and facilitate data exchange. This includes smart meters with import/export capabilities and time-of-day (TOD) tracking.

  3. Integrated Control Station: A cloud-based platform integrates with blockchain and smart IoT devices, providing real-time monitoring of energy flow, data management (MDA/MDM/DSM), and overall microgrid control.

Benefits and Opportunities:

  • Price Competitiveness: Participants can trade energy amongst themselves, fostering competition and potentially leading to lower prices compared to the grid.

  • Demand-Supply Matching: Real-time trading helps match demand with available renewable energy, reducing reliance on the central grid.

  • Renewable Energy Growth: Provides an incentive for renewable energy investment, promoting a cleaner energy future.

  • EV Charging Infrastructure: Decentralized trading can facilitate the creation of charging stations powered by local renewable sources.

  • Grid Resilience: Load shifting by consumers during peak hours reduces pressure on the grid and improves overall stability.

  • Reduced AT&C Losses: Trading within microgrids minimizes transmission losses in the low-voltage distribution network.

Features of the Online Trading Platform:

  • Transparent Bidding System: Sellers list energy availability with timestamps, and buyers can quote their preferred rate.

  • Real-time Visibility: All stakeholders have access to bidding information, ensuring a fair and competitive marketplace.

  • Automated Transactions: Smart contracts automatically execute trades and settle payments using blockchain technology.

  • Secure and Verifiable: Blockchain ensures secure transactions and an immutable audit trail for all trades.

Tech Stack:

  • Blockchain Platform: Securely manages financial transactions, smart contracts, and bidding processes.

  • Smart IoT Devices: Monitor energy usage, facilitate data exchange, and enable intelligent controls.

  • Cloud-Based Platform: Manages data flow, microgrid control, and connects with blockchain and smart devices.

  • Smart Meters: Track energy import and export with time-of-day data for accurate pricing and trade settlement.