Open source microgrid initiative launched

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Linux Foundation coalition LF Energy and Sony Computer Science Laboratories are partnering to launch the Hyphae open source microgrid platform.

Hyphae Energy Web Services, named after the long filamentous structures found in fungi that facilitate connection and growth, is an open source initiative to automate peer-to-peer distribution of renewable energy in a microgrid.

Sony CSL’s existing Autonomous Power Interchange System (APIS) software, which automatically distributes locally produced renewable energy over a DC grid, will be transitioned to work with AC grids.

With resilient peer-to-peer microgrid energy trading, even the most remote communities will be able to store and distribute energy autonomously without connecting to large-scale power stations or electrical distribution networks.

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“By launching Hyphae with us, [Sony CSL] are making a profound statement about their intention to collaborate and lead to solve the world’s most complicated problem – decarbonisation,” says Dr Shuli Goodman, executive director of LF Energy.

“Working with Sony CSL will help us spur energy transformation in developed countries, as well as bring electrification to energy-poor corners of the planet.”

Sony CSL, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation, is the newest member of LF Energy, a non-profit launched in 2018 with the French transmission system operator RTE to advance an open source software approach in the energy sector.

The coalition says in a statement that an open source, automated microgrid controller and peer-to-peer trading platform like Hyphae will allow for faster innovation while decreasing costs.

Moreover, the partnership with Sony CSL brings LF Energy closer to its goal of building the first interoperable AC and DC-ready microgrid that is self-contained, operational off-grid and able to connect to an electrical distribution network with utility oversight.

“By working with LF Energy, we see a path toward an interoperable, cloud-native, configurable microgrid that will revolutionise the world’s relationship with networking energy,” said Dr Hiroaki Kitano, president and CEO of Sony CSL.

“We share the sense of urgency to act on climate issues, which is why we decided to turn a part of our decade-long research into open source.”

LF Energy is currently searching for hardware partners to collaborate on creating an entirely interoperable system.

Hyphae is anticipated to seed a suite of energy web services that will be able to meet the expected growth in nano, mini- and microgrids.