Dominion Energy has been granted a patent for a control system that optimally manages an electric power grid. The system includes sensors located at distribution points, inverters for generating and absorbing reactive power, and a controller that minimizes voltage slopes and adjusts power delivery based on distributed power generation. A component adjusting device is also included to respond to energy delivery parameters. GlobalData’s report on Dominion Energy gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Dominion Energy, Power grid analytics was a key innovation area identified from patents. Dominion Energy's grant share as of September 2023 was 46%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Control system for optimizing voltage and power distribution in grid

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Dominion Energy Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11755049B2) describes a control system for an electric power grid that aims to efficiently supply electric power from a supply point to multiple user locations. The system includes a plurality of sensors located at various distribution locations on the grid, which sense different components of the supplied electric power and generate measurement data based on these components. Some of these sensors are associated with inverters located within non-overlapping blocks of the grid, which can generate and/or absorb reactive power.

The control system also includes a controller that is connected to the inverters and is responsible for minimizing block voltage slopes associated with the different blocks of the grid. The controller achieves this by modifying a target value of the supplied electric power based on the amount of distributed power generation. It also generates an energy delivery parameter based on the controller target value and controls the inverters to modify the voltage on their respective blocks. The target voltage is raised as the amount of distributed power generation increases.

Additionally, the system features a component adjusting device that can adjust a component of the electric power grid at the supply point in response to the energy delivery parameter. In this system, the component of the supplied electric power is voltage, and the controller target value is a target voltage band with a voltage set point and a voltage deviation range. The target voltage is lowered as the amount of distributed power generation decreases.

The controller is further configured to add the measurement data from the sensors to a load profile, assess the state of the grid, and generate the energy delivery parameter to hedge against predictable voltage risk. The plurality of inverters can modify volts-amperes reactive (VAR) absorption or production in response to the controller, maintaining a desired voltage at the inverters or within the blocks. The desired voltages can be adjusted based on a proactive schedule.

Overall, this patented control system aims to optimize the distribution of electric power in an electric grid by efficiently managing voltage levels and reactive power generation. It utilizes sensors, inverters, and a controller to dynamically adjust the target voltage and control the inverters to maintain stable and efficient power delivery.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.