Quantum Computing and Energy Sector!!
We had discussed in detail in our earlier blogs/write-ups that energy consumption is increasing by the day and almost doubling since 2004 across the globe – this surge is inevitable. The ‘demand’ for energy availability has made innovation a necessity for companies across the globe. This demand is paving the way for many to emerge out of the dark.
The emphasis is slowly but actively leaning towards developing efficient energy management systems that can support the smart grids that becoming a reality as you read this. Hybrid power systems (a combination of solar, wind, and hydro) are being tried and deployed in different countries. While there is innovation in energy production, a gap persists in identifying the optimization methods. Grid optimization is an important factor in the success of these smart grids, where managing the demand and finding the perfect balance between availability and cost becomes crucial. In such scenarios, computation takes center stage in order to find the best smart grid operation model, and to do it on a large scale costs a lot.
The only way to solve such a complex issue is the use of Quantum Computing. Compared to classical computing, managing a smart energy grid could happen in a fraction of the time through quantum computing.
What is Quantum Computing?
Compared to classical computing which uses either 0 or 1, quantum processors can use both 0 and 1 simultaneously (the processing unit is called a ‘qubit’). This allows the quantum computer to arrive at multiple solutions to an issue. Apart from this, the qubits can intuitively understand what’s happening with the other ones without sending any signals.
The Possibility of Deployment
There has been continuous research on this for the past 20 plus years with active support from tech giants and the respective governments. In January 2019, tech giant IBM and gas mammoth ExxonMobil had signed an agreement to develop next-generation energy technologies using quantum computing. The energy giant on the partnership said will provide them “with an ability to address computationally challenging problems across a variety of applications, including the potential to optimize a country’s power grid, and perform more predictive environmental modeling and highly accurate quantum chemistry calculations to enable discovery of new materials for more efficient carbon capture.”
Not just corporates, the US government had announced a plan to provide USD 40 Million to develop new algorithms and the necessary software for quantum computing. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) had also joined hands with Microsoft to develop a new quantum-based solution to address energy optimization and other challenges.
Though quantum computing sounds promising as an elixir to the existing problem, the complexity outweighs its possibilities. Building a quantum computer is not easy, the issues are a dozen. For example, Qubits need to be cooled down to sub-milli-kelvin (colder than outer space) and the hardware required is extremely sensitive to noise. Any change in the qubit’s temperature can result in computational errors and the ultimate collapse.
An active group of scientists has been conducting a systemic study of quantum computing for energy system optimization. Their findings have promising preliminary results and evidence of the potential to use quantum computing in the energy sector.
In spite of all the underlying uncertainties, quantum computing can be of great benefit to the energy sector. High-speed computing can aid across multiple applications, such as:
- Grid Optimization
- Energy Optimization
- Grid Security
- Consumer Analytics
“There was a time when Quantum computing would feature most in Sci-Fi media (think Star Trek, Voltron, etc.). It’s like a race car we don’t know yet, way faster than hypercars or Formula one cars. It’ll transform the way we generate, transmit & manage our Energy. From data is the new oil, we are steadily moving to Data for new oil (energy). “ says Navin Kumar, Managing Director, Navsar Engineering International Pte. Ltd.
Navsar has partnered with Keemurai, an ‘AI-Based Smart Tool for Better Operability’ to help power plants to monitor production, consumption, and disruption patterns. Their proprietary tool ‘FAKT-A.I.’ provides ‘Energy Efficiency as a Service’ to clients and helps them analyze data & improve their efficiencies through predictive analytics, thus saving valuable time, money & effort.
For information regarding our A.I. services, visit www.keemurai.net
NAVSAR is one of the Leading Energy and Infrastructure Development Company based out of Singapore offering a bouquet of services and solutions for the Energy & Infrastructure Industries. Visit www.navsar.in to know more about our services and email firstname.lastname@example.org to know how we have been helping our clients.
Article References: Cleantech group, Thrive