The official definition by the US government on its Smart Grid is that, “a Smart Grid is a developing network of new technologies, equipment, and controls working together to respond immediately to our 21st century demand for electricity.”
The standard electric grid is a legacy network, dating back to the 1890s with over 9,200 electric units carrying 1 million MW connecting transmission lines over 300,000 miles long. Patchwork across the grid has reached maximized optimization and the existing electric grid needs to be converted into a stable and ‘smart’ electric grid for the future.
Future is smart grid
Digital technology offers ‘smart’ electric solutions today. The use of digital technology will bring interactive communication between utilities and consumers as well as ‘reading’ or ‘sensing’ the loads across transmission lines for efficient management of energy delivery.
Extensive use of computer-based controls, automation, and inclusion of latest technologies as well as equipment will lead to the development of a smart grid.
What is Smart Grid an education video from Scientific American
What is the smart grid offer?
The Smart Grid will build the foundation for breakthroughs in the delivery of utilities to consumers at cost-effective prices and achieve high energy efficiency. It will also bring-in availability, efficiency, reliability and increased economic stability.
The major benefits the smart grid will provide consumers are:
- Rapid restoration of power fluctuations and disturbances
- Decreased operations and management costs
- Lower peak demand, and inter-twined lowering of electricity rates
- Increase in large-scale network integration of renewable energy sources
- Greater security
With the new Smart Grid, blackouts could well be things of the past since the two-way communication between grid and consumer will allow for auto re-routing whenever there is system failure or equipment failure. Smart Grid will automatically control and minimize outages and lower the effects of equipment failure.
Smart grid empowers consumers
Also, the smart grid will streamline transmission and distribution and will also offer consumers and end-users greater power. Consumers will now have the tools as well as the information to make well-researched choices on the types of energy they use.
This means consumers will be able to view their consumption on a daily basis, apply real-time rates and strategize on how to minimize their monthly energy bills.
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