First Interactions Between Quantum Computers and Power Grids

Posted by Matias Almeida Garzon

Scientists have successfully applied the power of quantum computing to power systems for the first time in a transcendental breakthrough for the sector.💥

The rise of Smart Grids revolutionised the energy sector in multiple aspects. The number of applications and functionalities multiplied exponentially, and real-time remote control and monitoring became a reality, as well as the bidirectional flow of data from producers to users and vice-versa through the introduction of edge devices like smart meters. The inclusion of renewable sources altered the system structure by pushing for a new decentralised model where generation geographies multiplied and raised the challenge for transmission and distribution.

All these changes have posed a massive challenge for computing systems when dealing with new monumental volumes of data. Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have successfully developed a software interface allowing for the application of #quantum computing technology on power grid systems. The experiment proved effective after researchers coupled the Atom Computing solution pack with RTDS real-time grid simulators, creating a quantum-in-the-loop environment for #powersystems.

The core lies in the fact that conventional binary #computing is well known to be less efficient in handling exponential data scale-up, which is the trend that the energy industry is currently witnessing, considering the requirements of DER integration and bidirectional flow. The Smart Grid and Smart City concepts entail controlling and processing data from every element, such as electronic appliances, e-vehicles, energy usage, etc. Putting this in the context of any city, the amount of data points easily surpasses the million, the threshold where conventional computers start to show limitations as stated by one of the project's system engineers.

This exciting breakthrough reminds us of the importance of staying updated on the latest development of such a dynamic sector as the energy sector. SGF-IEC Week 2023 was designed to provide the audience with the latest updates about the IEC 61850 standards for substation communication, IEC 62443 for cybersecurity and IEC CIM for common information models.

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📆16-20 October 2023
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