May 22 2020
Energy Internet, a book of theoretical research authored by a team of over 30 top-notch experts led by Prof. Sun Hongbin, a core principal investigator (PI) from Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), has recently been published and captured much attention across relevant sectors. The book systematically elucidates basic concepts, technical principles, and application scenarios of the Energy Internet. It introduces key technologies for the Energy Internet from three perspectives of energy, information, and value. In addition, it presents the latest government policies in the field and some major demonstration projects in China.
How the book came into being
The Xiangshan Science Conference on Energy Internet, which was proposed and organized by Prof. Sun Hongbin, took place on April 21-23, 2015. Following the conference, an urgent call for a comprehensive book on the Energy Internet emerged in both academia and industry, because the Energy Internet is a new field spanning multiple disciplines, such as electric power, energy, information, transportation, economics, and management. It was against this backdrop that Prof. Sun Hongbin mobilized an authoring team of over 30 top-notch experts in Energy Internet-related fields. On September 25, 2016, they held their kick-off seminar at Tsinghua University and jump-started the writing process. After over three years of collective hard work, the team finally finished the book. With 1.32 million Chinese characters on more than 660 pages, it comes in 5 parts that comprise a total of 24 chapters. A few days ago, it was published by China Science Publishing & Media Ltd.
Interdisciplinarity of Energy Internet
In an interview, Prof. Sun Hongbin portrayed Energy Internet as the result of in-depth integration between energy systems and the Internet. He said that the Energy Internet is clearly inclusive as well as interdisciplinary and can be explained from different perspectives. As shown by research and practice at home and abroad, the integration between energy systems and the Internet happens in two aspects:
(1) Internet thinking transforms energy systems in a process that can be called the Internetization of energy systems. A lot of changes can occur to energy systems, including multi-energy flow interconnection, the free transmission of energy, open peer to peer access, and in-depth integration with communication, transportation, industry, and agriculture.
According to Prof. Sun Hongbin, although the tech world is enthusiastic about studying Energy Internet, it has not directly embraced this nascent interdisciplinary area. Up to now, no special national research project has been officially named after Energy Internet. That is a major impediment to theoretical and technological innovations, which are lagging behind engineering. To break through the current situation, the energy sector needs more courage to make innovations in China.
Vision of Energy Internet
Prof. Sun Hongbin believes that the vision of Energy Internet is to build a low-carbon energy ecosystem, which is secure, efficient, open, and shared. The mission of Energy Internet is to break all kinds of barriers in that ecosystem so that more interconnectivity and sharing can be achieved among energy systems, creating fertile soil for a mass of entrepreneurship and innovations in the energy sector.
Prof. Sun Hongbin suggested that Energy Internet can be treated as a key initiative to drive China’s domestic demand in the post-COVID-19 recovery. He is convinced that the Energy Internet will become a new, robust engine powering the country’s spectacular rise.
About Prof. Sun Hongbin
Prof. Sun Hongbin is Director of the Energy Management and Control Research Center at Energy Internet Research Institute, Tsinghua University, TBSI core PI of Environmental Science and New Energy Technology Research Center, member of Tsinghua University’s Academic Committee, and Chairman of the Academic Committee at Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University. He is also a National-level Outstanding Teacher, IEEE Fellow, and IET Fellow. He received funding from the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars and was selected as a Sci-tech Innovation Leader in the Ten Thousand Talents Program. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Energy Committee at the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, First Deputy Director of the Energy Internet Special Committee at the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering, Founding Chairman of the IEEE Conference on Energy Internet and Energy System Integration, and Founder-cum-Executive Chairman of the Xiangshan Science Conference on the Energy Internet.
About Smart Grid and Renewable Energy Lab
Prof. Sun Hongbin is the head of the Smart Grid and Renewable Energy Lab. The lab aims at a more intelligent, secure, and optimal power system operation and provides fundamental mathematical theory and algorithms. The lab also focuses on planning and operation for Energy Internet and Integrated Energy System (IES), including the planning and operation of Transmission/Distribution/Microgrid/IES, development of IEMS (Integrated Energy Management System), application of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technology, etc. In addition, the lab is developing transmission and distribution automatic inspection technology based on online smart devices and expert systems, as well as high-voltage external insulation testing & monitoring.
Source: Tsinghua University’s Energy Internet Research Institute, Power Systems and Big Data
The interview content is from An Exclusive Interview with Tsinghua University’s Sun Hongbin: Take a Scientific Look at Both Sides of the Energy Internet by Zhang Zhenxing.