A team of US engineers has created the world’s fastest stretchable, wearable integrated circuits — a technological feat that can revolutionise the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed wireless world in the future.Led by Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma from University of Wisconsin-Madison, the team developed the new stretchable integrated circuits taking inspiration from twisted-pair telephone cables. They contain, essentially, two ultra-tiny intertwining power transmission lines in repeating S-curves.This serpentine shape — formed in two layers with segmented metal blocks, like a 3-D puzzle — gives the transmission lines the ability to stretch without affecting their performance, said the study, published recently in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
A vast network of power plants, transmission lines, and distribution centers together make up the U.S. electrical grid. The grid constantly balances the supply and demand for the energy that powers everything from industry to household appliances. Out of sight for most, the grid usually only comes to public attention due to large-scale failures, such as the blackout that struck the Northeast in 2003.
Utilities have always done what they can to provide reliable power with what the resources they have available to them — and around them. But with numerous transmission lines crossing borders, renewable energy is no longer something that is situational.
A $2 trillion push in the U.S. to blend renewable energy into the power supply and fortify transmission lines against extreme weather means that Americans must act more like Europeans to keep their power costs down.Even with electricity rates as much as three times higher than what the average American pays, French, Italian and German consumers still enjoy lower monthly bills. That’s because they use less energy due in large part to new smart technology, smaller homes, denser populations and more efficient appliances.
A MATHMATICAL framework for rating transmission lines aims to help relieve power gri
d congestion to make more efficient use of renewable energy.
The framework has been devised by Curtin PhD student Binayak Banerjee who says current grids are designed for the simple task of taking power from a big energy producer at one end, to consumers at the other.
His research aims to better manage the grid by reducing congestion when power is input from multiple renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms.
California is engaged in a major revision of the ways in which its utilities manage their distribution grid. This sounds like a rather unsexy topic, but it’s actually a real game-changer in terms of how we get our power. The major benefit of distributed energy resources is that they are located close to load and thus don’t require expensive new transmission lines. Transmission lines are typically the big steel poles, which are much more expensive than the wooden poles that make up most distribution grid spans.
Transmission, renewable energy, smart water management systems, energy storage and energy efficiency initiatives. This week’s collection of smart grid wins has them all.
PROJECTS AND DEVELOPMENTS
China has agreed to set up three heavy electricity transmission lines in Pakistan, in the first-of-its-kind project that will help Pakistan check the spiraling energy crisis by efficiently transporting power from generation sites to end users through a reliable and effective transmission system. Read more >>
The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) is reporting that it has adequate power supplies to meet summer peaks despite drought conditions. The state’s hydroelectric supply is well below average.
Southern Orange and San Diego counties will be a focus of summer grid operations in the event that heat waves, unexpected power plant outages or wildfires threaten transmission lines and challenge reliability in the area affected by the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
The world’s transmission lines are believed to have dropped approximately 1.4 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity last year. That’s around 1.2 trillion metric tons of CO2 dumped into the atmosphere. Though it is unlikely these loses can be eliminated in the near future, there are ways to reduce them.
Losses of 5–7% or so are the norm today in the United States, BC, and Ontario.
Smart grid technologies are often portrayed as being vital to the efforts to increase renewable energy production, yet this aspect of the smart grid is the least developed.
Massive amounts of new transmission lines will be necessary to access the best large-scale wind and solar resources, however the biggest buzz is about smart grid technologies at the distribution level.