Smart grid refers to the electric grid, a network of transmission lines, substations, transformers and more that deliver electricity from the power plant to your home or business. It’s what you plug into when you flip on your light switch or power up your computer.
Today, it consists of more than 9,200 electric generating units with more than 1 million megawatts of generating capacity connected to more than 300,000 miles of transmission lines. Although the electric grid is considered an engineering marvel, we are stretching its patchwork nature to its capacity. To move forward, we need a new kind of electric grid, one that is built from the bottom up to handle the groundswell of digital and computerized equipment and technology dependent on it—and one that can automate and manage the increasing complexity and needs of electricity in the 21st Century.
The transition to the smart grid is fundamentally driven by market forces. The smart grid’s ability to improve safety and efficiency, make better use of existing assets, enhance reliability and power quality, reduce dependence on imported energy, and minimise costly environmental impacts are all market forces that have substantial economic value.
The smart grid is expected to provide benefits to society in the following areas:
Despite the benefits, smart energy grids face serious security issues, which have forced consumers and experts to question the system.
While conceptualizing, designing, and executing a smart grid, plenty of time needs to be devoted to planning. The possible drawbacks and loopholes should be identified well in advance. Smart grid security, infrastructure compatibility, and performance must all be taken into consideration. Besides, scalability of the grid should also be taken care of. Pilots must be run before large scale grids are rolled out. Continuous feedback from energy producers, distributors, and consumers should be taken for the improvement of smart grids.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.