Enerhash enables flexible, combined use of conventional and renewable energy sources, helping to further increase the share of renewable sources in the energy mix
One of the biggest challenges to the widespread deployment of renewables is weather dependency and the resulting uncertainty of supply. This is why experts see a mix of conventional and renewable energy sources as the solution in the medium term. This, however, also faces a number of challenges at present. One of the most important is the ability to connect conventional power plants to the grid in case of “bad weather”, in a lightning-fast and flexible way. Enerhash offers a solution, allowing conventional and renewable power plants to be connected more efficiently to the same system. In Hungary, E.ON Energy Producer LTD. is already using their system.
A Hungarian energy technology company has developed an innovative global solution that enables the efficient integration of renewable energy producers into the electricity grid, and their flexible use alongside conventional energy sources. One of the biggest challenges in green energy today is that many renewables, such as solar and wind, are highly weather-dependent, creating uncertainties that need to be balanced on the grid level. And efficient energy storage, which would ensure a steady supply of electricity even in adverse weather conditions, is currently not cost-effective.
However, there is a growing need to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix, in order to achieve emission reductions and climate protection targets. Experts believe that in the medium term these goals will be met by providing flexible capacity. In adverse weather conditions, a continuous supply of electricity cannot be ensured solely from renewables. In such cases, the grid operators will turn to conventional power plants, meaning losses and lower efficiency due to sudden capacity increases, and the repeated on and off switching of gas engines within a day, including even cold starts.
“Under current circumstances in Hungary and elsewhere, conventional power generators – mainly gas-fired power plants – will increase or decrease their capacity in response to the needs of the grid operator, depending on how much electricity the renewables can deliver at any given moment. It’s like using a car constantly in heavy urban traffic, with lots of slowing down, accelerating, and constantly stopping and restarting the engine. In terms of fuel consumption and vehicle lifetime, this is the least efficient mode of transport possible, and so it is with power stations. Our solution, using this analogy, can provide power plants with ‘sustained highway use’, i.e. we increase energy efficiency, ensuring efficient and predictable operation,”
– said Jogg Dániel, co-founder of Enerhash.
Data centers and distributed computing capacity are the key
Hungarian company Enerhash has sought and found a solution to this problem. They are installing high-tech computing data centers directly at power plants, and so are able to continuously use the power generated by the plants. Thus entering the market as a customer capable of increasing the current utilization rate, which is on average one or two-thirds of the capacity, to over 90%. This will provide a stable source of revenue for power plants, however these can still switch to feed electricity into the public grid at the touch of a button, when required. This way they can make up for temporarily lost renewable capacity due to adverse weather conditions, without switching on and off several times a day, which in itself means low efficiency, losses, and higher maintenance costs.
“With our data centers, we are able to take up the power generated by power plants 0-24 hours a day. On the other side, we sell so-called distributed computing capabilities to our customers, who can use our services in areas such as artificial intelligence, visualization, modeling, or even blockchain. There is a growing demand for this worldwide. Only if the infrastructure develops and becomes sufficiently resilient will it be possible to increase the use of renewable energy in the residential/community sector in a meaningful way. We enable this with our solution, offering our data center service to both fossil and renewable power plants, instead of costly and less mature energy storage solutions”
– added Jogg Dániel.
Enerhash’s solution was first deployed in Hungary by E.ON Hungária Group, with a 400 kW unit at a 3,870 kW power plant. Stable consumption has provided predictability with a number of benefits for the company: fewer start-ups and shutdowns, which reduces the risk of breakdowns, and stable running means that maintenance can be timed more accurately.
“The energy world of the future is currently taking shape, including the technologies that will best meet the operational challenges of this transformation. Our colleagues are therefore constantly looking for and exploring innovative tools and solutions and their fit into our portfolio. Our priority is to provide both flexible and rapid answers to the challenges of sustainable power generation, both in the grid and in conventional power plants,”
– said Deme Roland, CEO of E.ON Energiatermelő Kft., the group’s power plant fleet.