TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
Enter Polycom’s Workplace of the Future
Polycom hosted Workplace of the Future event in New York City,…
 2 of 5
9 Ways the Corporate Meeting Room Evolved at InfoComm 2015
Unified communications and collaboration were hot tech trends on…
 3 of 5
19 Dealer-Friendly Difference Makers at InfoComm
Now that another InfoComm is in the books, here are a slew of…
 4 of 5
8 Eye-Popping Digital Sign­age Dis­plays at Info­Comm
Check out this round-up of digital displays that made us stop and…
 5 of 5
Editor’s Pick: 13 Best Products of InfoComm 2015
Product editor Bob Archer singles out the most innovative,…
Tech Jargon 101: Smart Grid Technology
How well do you really understand Smart Grid Technology? Here is a breakdown of the term.

Article


April 20, 2012 By Fred Harding

Smart grid technology is an updated high-voltage electrical delivery network that has been recently developed. The “grid” part refers to the network of transformers, sub stations and wiring to homes or businesses. The “smart” part refers to the use of analytical technology tools to perform tasks that at one time were done by sending a guy out with a truck and a ladder to manually inspect or adjust.

Essentially, smart grid technology will allow off-site monitoring for trouble and make it easier to switch to alternate electrical feeds. That can bypass downed power lines, for example, but also allow seamless integration of alternative energy sources like solar and wind.

This technology is deployed placing sensors that supply data back through two-way digital networks to the mother ship.

Through the application of smart grid metering devices, energy consumption patterns and anomalies can be monitored instantaneously, allowing for speedier response to demand. Situations like heat waves, which can cause increased demand, can be handled with greater efficiency. Manufacturers can take advantage of the technology to implement production schedules that require greater power consumption to off-peak times, saving money for themselves as well as potentially reducing demand for new power generating facilities.

Since the existing electrical grid has been in place for some time, it’s natural that utility companies will upgrade to this technology without tremendous prompting. The U.S. government has set up the Federal Smart Grid Task Force to further move the technology down the road, offering economic incentives, a directive furthering standards and interoperability amongst suppliers and deployers, as well as focus on security and robust characteristics for the grid.

Since the current electrical grid is somewhat antiquated, one important byproduct of smart grid is an improvement in quality power delivery to end-users. One way to look at what traditional electrical demands were in a typical residence built 100 years ago is to simply count the number of outlets in any given room, or look at the original service feed entering the structure. Clearly, demand for power has grown by comparing those figures to what is currently deployed in similar sized facilities.

Another aspect of smart grid to consider is energy security. The two-way communication protocol will allow a system to self heal more rapidly in the event of a physical disruption, as well as rebuff attempts at cyber attacks.

Since the technology platform is being established through consultation with multiple constituencies, uniform standards will exist so that all parties can interoperate satisfactorily. Equipment that is currently in place will not need to be replaced immediately, ensuring a more responsible transition from old to new.

Ultimately, the goals for smart grid include improving the efficiency of power distribution networks, reducing costs, improving quality of service, enhancing grid security, and allowing easy integration of known and yet to be developed alternative energy sources and storage methodologies into the grid.

The implications for commercial integration are providing a higher level of information about consumption patterns and a higher quality product being delivered to facilities.

About the author

Fred Harding handles technical sales and design at Capitol Sales.
View all posts by Fred Harding
Article Topics
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources



Recent comments

Craig, I probably spent 8 + hours of booth duty in front of the Surface Hub.  The end user feedback there…

Posted by RBonham on 2015 06 26 · commented on
'Microsoft Gets It Right at InfoComm 2015'.

I think the Key Note address was somewhat revealing on the subject of Big Data and our industry’s disposition.…

Posted by billmullin on 2015 06 25 · commented on
'Is WOW the Right Word? The Lack of Innovation at InfoComm 2015'.

Dan - all great points. I don’t think anyone would/should question your respect for the industry for…

Posted by Ernie Beck on 2015 06 25 · commented on
'Is WOW the Right Word? The Lack of Innovation at InfoComm 2015'.

We love this industry and our noble competitors keep us on our toes, always pushing us to serve our customers…

Posted by Mike Stead on 2015 06 24 · commented on
'Microsoft Partners with AV Integrators to Deploy Surface Hub [Updated]'.