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Power Economics and Emissions

Description: 

This applet simulates a system that is owned by a power utility company. The company provides power to three communities. It owns and operates generators (which can be turned on and off in the exercise) and the transmission lines that serve the communties. On this system, it is usually possible for the utility company to supply all of the load demand using the local generators. However, there could be many reasons why this is not possible or most profitable, and then electricity is purchased from or sold to the external system.

NOTE: Since support for NPAPI has been phased out of Chrome, the TCIPG Education applets will no longer work in Chrome broswer. Alternative browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer should still run the applets, provided your version of Java is up to date.

Challenges: 
  1. Press the Reset System button. Currently, the system is spending $54,000 per hour to purchase energy from external systems. Can you find a way to set the system so that the power grid does not have to rely on external systems to meet the needs of its customers?
  2. Without changing the demand from the communities, maximize the provider's profits. How large is the provider's profit? What did you do to maximize the profits?
  3. Without changing the demand from the communities, maximize the provider's profits. How large is the provider's profit? What did you do to maximize the profits?
  4. Press the Reset Time button. Keep the power demand from Residenceburg at 1700 MW (megawatts) and from Commerceton and Industryville at 850 MW. Adjust the system so that the utility is making a profit and the CO2 emissions are lower than 1000 metric tons per hour.
Resources: 
  • Quick-Start Guide: Use this quick-start guide to learn about the features of this applet.
  • Lessons: Lessons have been created to help you use this applet in your classroom.
  • Student Pages: A Student Notebook has been developed to accompany the lessons. 
  • Power Grid Game: A 2-player game has been developed for this applet. You and a partner will use this applet to play a game in which you will compete to see who is better at controlling unexpected situations that may occur.