Doc Bernds FutureLab

Emergency Quantum Grid

An emergency power grid to supply electricity in the event of a catastrophe

Themed "What Mars can teach us", climate change was a central theme already in our Xyna Conference 2018. "Mars has already experienced major climate change. We can take our cue from this scenario for the future of our planet," says GIP board member Bernd Reifenhäuser. But climate change may not only have effects that could make Earth a Mars-like planet. Rather, the probability of the occurrence of extreme weather events, such as the current floods, increases due to extreme permanent precipitation but also due to high winds and tornadoes. These natural disasters are a serious threat to our power grids. 

Back in 2014, I pointed out in the German trade journal EW Energie- & Wasserwirtschaft the danger of large-scale blackouts, which go beyond regional power outages, due to natural disasters. As a solution to the described problem, I explained the subdivision of the electricity grids at the various voltage levels into so-called safety cells. These safety cells are connected via so-called quantum grid routers, allowing electricity to flow in packets as specified by the quantum grid. One advantage is that these quantum grid routers act as firewalls between the cells and thus prevent the spread of the blackout in the form of a domino effect. Entire cells no longer have to be taken off the grid, but can instead continue to be supplied with "emergency power" by carrying out a corresponding packet transmission at the interfaces of the cells. Secondly, these Quantum Grid safety cells offer the advantage of a simple and safe black start into a stable operating state. During the so-called black start, the balance between generation and consumption must be "juggled" when the power plants are restarted by synchronising the frequencies and phases accordingly. The advantage of coupling the safety cells through Quantum Grid Routers for packet-based power transmission is that such complex and difficult synchronisation is not necessary for ramping up to a stable state. 

But as the current natural disaster shows, the requirements go beyond limiting blackouts. Thankfully, there was no nationwide blackout. Considerable areas are currently not only cut off from the outside world by debris and mud masses, but also affected by regionally limited blackouts - the power supply has already collapsed for days - and it will take time to restore it. However, the availability of electricity is essential to quickly reach the population and to facilitate the clean-up and restoration efforts.

With the Emergency Quantum Grid, an emergency power supply could be established and expanded very quickly by forming Emergency Cells. In such a cell, the consumers are connected via a Quantum Grid router to the emergency power generators, which are operated e.g. with hydrogen or ammonia, but also with diesel generators, using standard connection cables of various lengths, in order to quickly establish local island grids. By connecting the cells via the Quantum Grid Routers, the Emergency Quantum Grid is then able to quickly establish a local power supply over a large area. This enables the interconnection of several emergency power generators and a geographically larger power supply without the need for complex power balancing and frequency synchronisation.

We believe it makes sense to consider such approaches in addition to existing alternatives in the context of natural disaster management.

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You may find more information regarding the Quantum Grid here and in our newest white paper.