Energy & Green Tech

Artificial intelligence might protect the electrical grid.

Reza Arghandeh from the Western Norway College of Applied Sciences (HVL), Hossein Farahmand (NTNU), and their group are concentrating on how hydropower makers can utilize normal assets and flex with the market at some random time.

The researchers have created concrete artificial intelligence methods for figuring out how producers should control how much water is put in water reservoirs.

Hossen Farahmand, a professor at NTNU and the head of the research group for electricity markets and energy system planning, is in charge of the research project on hydropower production. Mojtaba Yousefi from HVL, Jayaprakash Rajasekharan from NTNU, and Jinghao Wang from NTNU round out the group.

“Billions of kroner would be different if hydropower producers made decisions that were just 1% better than they did before, and that would help to ease the energy crisis,”

Reza Arghandeh from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), 

According to Arghandeh, “if hydropower producers could make decisions that were just 1% better than before, it would amount to a difference of billions of kroner and help to mitigate the energy crisis.”

The future European power framework, which is basically dependent upon sustainable power sources, will be substantially more climate-subordinate than the power framework today. Consumption habits, according to the two researchers, will also shift.

All of these things create uncertainty about the energy supply, making it much harder to make decisions. The researchers will assist in reducing this uncertainty, making it simpler to secure energy access.

Reza Argandeh (left) is a professor of computer science at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). He is standing next to Mojtaba Yousefi from HVL (right), who is also part of the team. Credit: Heather Arghandeh Paudler

With the assistance of cutting-edge artificial intelligence, Arghandeh has discovered a method for monitoring meteorological data, hydrological data (such as the quantity of water supplied to reservoirs), and topographical data (such as the shape of the landscape), all of which are completely dependent on electricity.

Farahmand adds data about the electricity market to the use of these AI models. They have developed a model that takes into account market volatility, weather, and wind.

“Electricity is not a typical product; rather, it is a product that, similar to oxygen, keeps our society afloat.” According to Arghandeh, this is why establishing access to this fundamental good at a price that is affordable, dependable, and sustainable is so crucial.

Exact and dependable inflow gauging has forever been a test in the development of hydropower.

Around Easter time, the supplies run out. After that, the snow begins to melt on the mountain tops, and water begins to flow down into the country’s reservoirs, regulated waters, and rivers.

In order to supply the market, producers release water on a regular basis between Easter and the return of winter around November.

Additionally, they must ensure that the reservoirs contain sufficient water to withstand the dry (or frozen) winter months.
Water power requires complicated math, but when and how much water should it release? That relies upon a wide range of variables, including weather patterns, scenes, precipitation, winter temperatures, the power market, and the political circumstances in Europe.

Making good decisions becomes even more difficult given that Norway’s power system is connected to Europe. The subsequent events that took place after the Russian invasion of Ukraine were a clear illustration of this. Due to European support for Ukraine, Russia stopped selling gas to Europe. This had a significant impact on energy access and prices.

With so many considerations at once, calculations become extremely complex. The makers in the Norwegian hydropower industry use arithmetic when they need to ascertain how to control the water level in the supplies.

“We need to reinforce the exemplary computation techniques with strategies from man-made reasoning.” Arghandeh says that in this way, we can speed up the calculations and get answers that are more precise.”

Offshore wind power ambitions Offshore wind power production has its uncertainties, but it also has significant advantages. Water is a very adaptable and clean energy source because it can be stored and used to generate electricity at any time.

“At the same time, some limits must be observed.” According to Farahmand, a hydropower reservoir has a limited capacity and uneven water inflow.

Methods from artificial intelligence assist in reducing the uncertainty surrounding decisions in the industry, which means that hydropower has the potential to contribute to a secure supply of electricity to an even greater extent than it currently does.

Norway is working toward becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and decreasing its reliance on energy from fossil fuels. The introduction of offshore wind is a crucial step toward this objective. By 2040, the Norwegian continental shelf will have 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, which is equivalent to the current hydropower capacity.

“Compared to hydropower, the new green forms of energy like wind and solar are significantly less predictable. The breeze doesn’t necessarily blow in all cases, and the sun doesn’t necessarily sparkle in all cases,” says Farahmand.

“We need models that can calculate how wind production affects the integrity of our energy supply hour by hour because wind conditions change so quickly.”

Working with power producers The project’s researchers have worked with Lyse Produksjon AS and Stfold Energi, two power producers. They are currently putting the newly developed AI tools through their paces to see how they perform when put to use in their intended context. They hope that the major players in Norway’s hydropower industry will adopt their strategies in the long run.

“A sustainable supply of hydropower will become far more important to us as we transition to a society that relies significantly more on the sun and wind as sources of energy.” “This country has so many opportunities to create clean energy, so we’re really lucky,” says Farahmand.

These renewable sources of energy “come as a gift from nature.” He asserts, “We need to try to manage them as well as we possibly can.”

Provided by Norwegian University of Science and Technology

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