In the years to come, the electric grid is to change radically. What is now produced by coal-fired plants and consumed instantly, will then be produced by wind turbines and solar panels, and stored inside batteries or other forms of energy storage.
The worldwide network of energy grids will be interconnected and will need software support to run on, just like your laptop’s programs run in Windows, iOS or Linux.
GELI (Growing Energy Labs Inc) is the first software company to create an operating system for this kind of applications – a (partly) open source platform that will be able to bear programs written specifically for energy distribution, by the grid operators.
Founded by Ryan Wartena, a man whose vision foresees energy networks just like Steve Jobs foresaw tablets and iPhones everywhere, GELI will launch its beta version of the operating system during the next few weeks to Korean battery maker Kokam and others.
“I absolutely see this as being as widespread as washing machines. There are about a dozen manufacturers in Asia, Europe and the US gearing up to build this type of system for the home,” Wartena said in an interview to SmartGridToday, earlier this year.
Wartena also worked with the U.S. Naval Research Lab and MIT, where he contributed to the world’s first self-assembled battery with Yet-Ming Chiang, the founder of A123 and 24M.
Smart grids will also incorporate smaller storing units like electric car batteries. Those will complete the renewable storage map and will provide bursts of previously stored renewable energy when the grid operator will need it. The car owners will also be rewarded a premium cost per uploaded kilowatt, just like solar power producers receive in various countries like Italy, Germany or the UK.
These will all need computerized management mechanisms, and an open source environment is perfect – just as perfect as Linux is for the Android development across several phone manufacturers.