Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Future lies in Smart Grids

Rising energy prices , increased environmental awareness and the desire for greater control over the power consumption are some of the factors that have led to an urgent need to make our electrical grid technically advanced . In fact , smart grid technology has been making headlines recently , few are familiar with the whole gamut of benefits and its role in improving the power sector .

What can the Smart Grid do?
Most of the existing power plants pumping energy into the power grid but do not have precise control over the flow or the amount of electricity or above the frequency fluctuations , something which is increasingly important with modern gadgets and power -sensitive facilities such as data centers . We also know how an electrical disturbances can drastically affect the banking , communications , business and security companies . A smart grid with a distributed set of sensors and switches and two-way interactive capacity to increase resistance to electric power systems , minimize outages and allows automatic rerouting during equipment failure .

In addition, the power plant is currently heavily dependent on fossil fuels is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the world . To minimize environmental impact , on the one hand we need to optimize our electrical grid system and on the other hand , reducing dependence on fossil fuels . A smart grid help manage electricity needs on an ongoing basis , because it has the potential for energy storage and demand response capacity to balance power consumption with supply . It also has the ability to integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into the grid , offering a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions . In fact , consumers will be able to sell PV - solar energy produced them upstream to the utility in the form of a credit to their energy bills .

But , what makes the smart grid ?
A key driver in the implementation of the smart grid is the latest digital technology and automation that allows for two-way communication between power suppliers and power of consumers . It consists of a computer -based remote control and has been there & emerging technologies work together to respond to rapidly changing digital electrical needs . When implemented properly , this technology can improve the efficiency of electricity production , transmission and distribution ( T & D ) , improve reliability and increase consumer participation .

Some advanced smart grid technology in the transmission including Flexible alternating current transmission systems ( FACTS ) to provide maximum power and help stabilize the grid with the right power control , high voltage current ( HVDC ) technology directly to supply electricity over long distances with minimal energy loss , wide area monitoring systems ( wams ) to track critical system parameters and Supervisory control and data acquisition systems ( SCADA ) that analyzes real-time network conditions . In addition , high efficiency distribution transformers , substation intelligent and automatic distribution feeder allows instant adjustments to changing loads .

However , the smart grid is not just about utility and technology , but also about giving consumers the information and tools to make choices about their energy use . Building automation systems for HVAC , lighting systems and water supply pump is the solution for consumers to control their energy usage . In addition , smart meters give users information about the unit of energy consumed and the price of the same real time .

Barriers & Solutions for Smart Grid Operation
Meanwhile , there are many advantages of smart grid , there are certain hurdles to overcome in its implementation . Installing smart electricity grid requires renovating including cable networks and substations that require large investments . Lack of consumer awareness , economic incentives are not enough by policy makers , cyber security and privacy of data some other major issues . However , the scale of this challenge and the level varies from country to country .

Make rules and regulations and the right economic environment in the state that benefit will help attract more private players and provide affordable access to funds . Also , needed is the political framework and a strong national economy to keep investors from risk and to generate electricity at a lower cost to the customer . Simultaneously , educate consumers before applying the concept of smart grid and offer user friendly products and services will help them adopt new technologies with ease . And to address cyber security risks and privacy issues of data , utilities can use stringent cyber security standards .

As a matter of fact , given the growing energy needs in the world , is very important for us to upgrade our aging energy infrastructure . The smart grid is an opportunity for the electricity sector , to move into a new era of reliable energy supply , renewable resources are integrated and reduced carbon footprint .

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