Smart Grid Technology: Why do we need it?

Well, talking about smart things, there are a lot of new technologies growing up in the smart sector. Every ‘thing’ is becoming smart nowadays. So let us talk about the concept of smart grid technology. What exactly is a smart grid?  Wikipedia defines it as “an electrical grid which includes a variety of operational and energy measures including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficiency resources.” So, to be precise, just like the Internet is the networking of people, the smart grid is the networking of things that generate, distribute and transmit energy.

 

As the smart grid technology is implemented, it will lead to many benefits. It is cost-effective hence will save people money, help conserve energy and improve the environment. The smart gird will eliminate the need for thermal power plants and enable greater use of renewable energy sources, like hydro, wind and solar. In addition, the smart grid will generate new and rewarding careers in the field of green industries and energy sectors. With that in mind, it is essential that everyone and budding engineers be aware of the role this technology will play in our energy future.

 

Effective roll out of this technology will demand coordinated effort and collaboration among a phenomenal disciplines, including communication control frameworks for generation, transmission, distribution, operations, markets and administration supplier.

 

smart grid technology

 

 

Few things that might be required for effective implementation of smart grid technology

  • Increased use of digital information to improve reliability, security, and efficiency of the electric grid.

  • Optimization of grid operations with full security.

  • Categorization of distributed resources including renewable resources.

  • Development and incorporation of demand response, demand-side resources, and energy-efficiency resources.

  • Integration of `smart’ appliances and consumer devices.

  • Timely information and control options to customers.

  • Identification and lowering of unreasonable or unnecessary barriers to adoption of smart grid technology.

A common element to the implementation of smart grid is the application of Digital Signal Processing techniques and Wireless and digital communication frameworks to the power grid.

Few advantages to the implementation of the smart grid technology 

A) Reliable source of power

The smart grid will make use of technologies that improve fault detection and will self-heal the network without the intervention of technicians hence improving reliable supply of electricity and reduced vulnerability to natural disasters.

B) Flexibility in network topology

A better infrastructure of transmission and distribution will be able to handle bidirectional energy flows, allowing for possibilities of energy generation from multiple sources such as from photovoltaic panels on building roofs, but also the use of fuel cells, charging to/from the batteries of electric cars, wind turbines and pumped hydroelectric power unlike classic grids that supported one-way flow of electricity.

C) Sustainable infrastructure

Due to improved flexibility of the smart grid, it permits the transmission from various renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind power. Current network infrastructure is not built to allow for many distributed feed-in points. Smart grid technology is a necessary condition for very large amounts of renewable electricity on the grid as it can sustain a large number of fluctuations caused due to weather conditions.

 D) Market-demand

The smart grid allows for systematic communication between suppliers and consumers, and permits both to be more flexible and sophisticated in their operational strategies. Only the critical loads will need to pay higher prices and consumers will be able to be more strategic in when they use energy. At the domestic level, appliances such as air- conditioners, refrigerators, heat banks, and heat pumps will seek to minimize energy cost.

 

These are a few advantages of Smart grid system. A student level curriculum has been introduced for deeper understanding and work book format has been implemented for the same. Visit the link below to learn more about the new technology.

http://files.sgcc.gethifi.com/e-learning-center/Smart-Grid-Curriculum-Unit1.pdf

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