A Smart Grid is a modern power generation, transmission and distribution system that can automate and manage the increasing complexity of electricity in the near future.
The intent is that the Smart Grid will replace the outdated and inefficient North American power grid that has been in continuous operation for 150 years.In fact,Over 300,000 milesof transmission lines have been installed across the United States alone since the late 1800s, says the US Department of Energy.
As a point of reference, the Earth’s circumference is roughly 25,000 miles at the equator. That means that you could circle the Earth about a dozen times with just the U.S.’s portion of power lines in tow.
Besides being old, the original power grid is no longer efficient due to a shift in power expectations. In other words, our demand for electricity has changed drastically over the years. Many of the grid operators monitoring and controlling the flow of power are using old software that limits their ability to anticipate potential problems and work to solve them before they escalate.
A Smart Grid not only carries electricity from a power plant to the source of need, it also carries information to and from all points of interaction. Using the binary blessing of digital technology, two-way communication can be built into the grid to give utility companies moment to moment knowledge of electrical demand and disruptions.
Employing automation and computers as well as existing and emerging technologies and equipment, the Smart Grid is producing smart utility companies, smart homes and smart businesses to augment the entire electrical exchange making efficiency the premier benefit of the Smart Grid.
There are many benefits for power and energy users, such as:
• More efficient transmission of electricity
- Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
- Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
- Reduced peak demand, which also helps lower electricity rates
- Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
- Improved security
It’s been estimated that the U.S. Smart Grid could be completed by 2030 at a cost of more than $500 billion.
Want to know more about Smart Grid technology? Tonex offers several Smart Grid training courses.
Additionally, Tonex offers nearly 400 classes, seminars and workshops in close to four dozen categories of systems engineering training.
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