Electricity is the lifeblood of our digital world. Access to reliable, safe and renewable energy can impact entire economies and there is extensive research showing the substantial economic losses caused by power outages. This is one of the key reasons why smart grid technology is being deployed by power utilities around the world—improve energy security and grid reliability and keep our digital world running. Smart Grids are also giving us a glimpse into the much talked about Internet of Things (IoT). Power utilities are demonstrating the critical role of resilient communication networks that enable millions of devices to talk with one another. IoT is often defined as connecting any object with an IP address and some intelligence to any other object over the communications network.
Hawaiian Electric Co. is proposing to install smart grid technology for more than 455,000 customers on Oahu, the Big Island, Maui, Lanai and Molokai that will cost about $340 million to implement, the Honolulu-based utility said this week.The project includes installing a wireless communication network, smart meters and technology that will upgrade the existing electric grid to more automated and energy efficient.
Talk of smart grid technology often revolves around how homeowners can reduce their utility bills by implementing smart meters on their homes. But focusing on such technology limits the understanding of how true technological innovations are transforming, and protecting, smart grids across the world. For instance, fuel cell technology in India is changing how the country uses back up generators and, as a result, how it will keep tens of thousands of cellular towers running amid the country’s pervasive blackouts.
US smart grid technology and networking company Silver Spring Networks has unveiled its new IoT Edge Router, created to make the deployment of devices and IoT networks by utilities and cities simpler and more secure.A Silver Spring release states that the router allows utility companies and cities to securely and cost-effectively integrate a wide array of devices and applications into their existing Silver Spring IoT networks.The IoT router provides ‘plug and play’ capabilities for new and legacy smart city devices to be used in applications such as smart street light and smart grid systems.
City leaders today are assuming a more proactive role in creating energy policies by developing comprehensive energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This has resulted in ambitious energy projects supported by innovations in smart grid technology, demand management, alternative and renewable generation, and distributed energy resources (DER). According to a new report from Navigant Research, global smart energy for smart cities technology revenues are expected to grow from US$7.3 billion in 2015 to US$20.9 billion in 2024.
The smart grid: It’s the power-system modernization effort that U.S. utilities are building to meet the country’s growing demands for electricity. But it’s not confined to power plants and substations–if you have a smart meter, a key piece of smart grid technology already is attached to your house.That means that Americans’ willingness to accept those meters, and use the features they provide, serves an important role in developing a more reliable, secure electrical grid.
Thanks to models like the Tesla Model S and the BMW i8, it’s clear that Electric Vehicles (EVs) can keep gearheads happy and still play an important role in the future of our clean-energy transportation portfolio. In addition to ushering us into a silent, torque-happy utopia, they’re poised to benefit the very grid that supports them, and help revolutionize our energy sector.For starters, a 240 volt high-speed charging system adds up to five times the kilowatt demand of a typical air conditioning unit to the electric grid. As EVs become more common (especially in densely populated areas), utility companies are exploring how to leverage new smart grid technology to ensure that sections of the grid don’t become overloaded, especially as the number of fast chargers like Tesla’s Superchargers continue to grow.
If smart grid technology is the path to a greener, more efficient, and reliable power system, then communications technologies can be thought of as the highway that will lead the industry there. And where the road was once narrow, unpaved, and reached only critical substations, today it is being widened and extended to reach all the way to customer premises, as well as accommodate many more and larger travelers (data and applications) moving at ever higher speeds.
Source: Smart Grid Networking and Communications: Public and Private, Wired and Wireless Networks for Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Distribution Automation, and Substation Automation: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts – Reportlinker Review – MarketWatch
Marking a US power industry first, a “smart” network of distributed energy storage systems installed on-site on utility-customer premises successfully bid into and supplied electricity to California’s power grid via the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) real-time, day-to-day wholesale power market. Aggregated by pioneering smart grid technology developers Stem and Olivine, the distributed energy storage network functions as one large, utility-scale energy storage asset. Smart battery storage systems are installed at 18 Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) commercial customer sites.
The new SunPort Internet of Things (IoT), smart device is bringing the solar energy revolution to an electrical plug near you. Giving people the power to choose renewable energy, SunPort is the world’s first smart grid, solar delivery, plug-in device. It allows anyone to instantly use 100% grid-connected solar energy just by plugging it into a common wall socket. Whenever users plug in their devices with the SunPort, the power they use is recorded and automatically upgraded to solar through the company’s proprietary smart grid technology.