By: Edward Kobeszka, Survalent Technology
Smart Grid technology is changing the way that we monitor, deliver and use electricity as well as influencing the way that we think about it. With more electric utilities deploying smart grid tools, other agencies and utilities are beginning to see the benefits of smart grid technology for improving services such as in the water and gas industries.
What Is Smart Grid?
Smart Grid is a real revolution in the marriage between technology and utilities. Electrical grids have been around since 1886 and as time passed, they grew in size. Eventually, they began helping whole geographical regions to distribute power appropriately while preserving the overall health of the miles of lines and cables making up each grid. Massive power outages and brownouts in recent history demonstrate what happens when weaknesses undermine such grids. Smart Grid technology promises to turn such outages into mere memories by utilizing large quantities of information at high speed and to utilize automated procedures to restore and stabilize the networks.
Smart grids use both digital and analog information gathered from a number of sources such as intelligent electronic devices, advanced metering, sensors etc. to distribute energy more efficiently. In the past, the great struggle for grid operators has been to channel electricity to where it was needed without distributing too much or too little. Sending too much energy risked damage to the grid as well as wastage of unused energy. Too little distributed resulted in blackouts and brownouts that were dissatisfying to consumers. A smart grid utilizes modern information technology to automate these functions.