CLEMSON — The historic eclipse that will cut across the nation on Aug. 21 will give Clemson University researchers and industry collaborators a chance to study what happens when solar panels suddenly quit generating energy.
The research underscores one of the challenges that utilities face as they incorporate more renewable energy into the electrical grid.
The grid relies on a steady flow of power and what experts call “balance of energy” to run smoothly. Too much or too little could trigger rolling blackouts that leave thousands in the dark.
Utilities have well-established technologies and decades of experience in maintaining the flow of power when using coal, nuclear energy, natural gas or some other source under their control. But as they bring in more solar and wind power, the flow is less predictable.
Clemson researchers are taking on the challenge by working with industry in world-class labs to develop “smart grid” technologies.
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