SYNDEM Architecture

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The paradigm change of power systems from centralized generation to distributed generation is widely regarded as the democratization of power systems. Democracy is a political concept that empowers all eligible individuals to play an equal role in decision-making. Rule of law and legal equality are the most fundamental features of a democratized society. The rule of law implies that every individual is subject to the law and the legal equality implies that all individuals are equal. However, an important fact in a democratized society, i.e., individuals can have different or even divisive opinions, has to be avoided in a democratized power system. If the democratization of power systems is to be implemented, it is vital to guarantee that all players would synchronize with each other for a common goal, i.e., to maintain system stability. Hence, democratized power systems should be synchronized as well, leading to the concept of synchronized and democratized (SYNDEM) smart grids.

In order to realize SYNDEM smart grids, it is vital for all active players, large or small, conventional or renewable, supplying or consuming, to play an equal role for the same goal, i.e., to actively maintain system stability, and to follow the same rule of law.

  • Rule of Law: The synchronization mechanism of conventional synchronous machines (SM), which has underpinned the organic growth and stable operation of power systems for over 100 years, can continue serving as the Rule of Law for SYNDEM smart grids.
  • Legal Equality: The power electronic converters on the supply side, inside the network and on the load side can all be equipped with the synchronization mechanism to behave as virtual synchronous machines (VSM).

Conventional power plants can be connected to the grid in the usual way without much change. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, energy storage systems, electric vehicles etc. can be connected to the grid through VSM. The majority of loads can also be connected to the grid through VSM as well. The power electronic converters on both ends of HVDC links can be controlled to behave as VSM, too . Hence, when looking from the transmission and distribution network, more or less all active players are synchronous machines. Some are physical SM; some are virtual SM. This leads to a unified and harmonized grid.

There is no need for the low-level control of the SM and VSM to rely on communication network because they are equipped with the intrinsic synchronization mechanism.  This saves huge investment in communication infrastructure and cyber security, paving the way for organic growth and autonomous operation of future power systems.

We have shown that there is no longer a need for power electronic converters to have dedicated synchronization units, e.g. phase-locked loops, and made several technical breakthroughs in implementing SYNDEM smart grids. See Pathways for more details. 

The SYNDEM grid architecture is lateral, with the option of adding a hierarchical management layer on the top. Together with the technical pathways, Syndem LLC now presents and leads a complete technical solution to realize the lateral power envisioned by Jeremy Rifkin for The Third Industrial Revolution.

We believe in simplicity: One for All and All for One. 

One Mechanism (synchronization) for All Players and All Players for One Goal (stability).