PLM / ERP
Smart Grid: Intelligent Power Distribution
posted on February 03, 2013 |
| 5365 views
Image: US Department of Energy
In 2003 a power line failure in Ohio triggered the largest blackout ever in North America, leaving over 50 million people without power. The power distribution grid, based on century-old technology, was taken down by a wayward tree branch. Not a terrorist –
Contrast the power grid with the Internet, where intelligent switches and routers assure that data finds the most efficient path to its destination, even if one or more paths are blocked or “clogged” with traffic. Well, if the power goes out, at least we’ll still have the Internet. Oh, wait ... the Internet runs on electricity, doesn’t it?
Imagine a power grid that uses Internet technology to intelligently monitor energy supply and demand, detect faults, and route electricity in a way that balances the load and bypasses points of failure. Soon you won’t have to imagine it – the smart grid is on its way!
Maybe you’ve heard of a little company named
. Much of the Internet runs on Cisco technology, and now they’re entering the power distribution field. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) selected Cisco to provide grid communication technology for its Smart Grid Demonstration Project.
In addition to Cisco routers, the project will employ Itron smart electric meters
and smart water modules.
Besides improved reliability,
a smart grid is essential for the incorporation of sustainable energy production such as photovoltaic and wind power
. Unlike non-renewables, these sources don’t provide a constant, predictable output. The current grid is not designed to handle unpredictable sources or excessive demands – a smart grid can.
On top of all that, the smart grid can
significantly reduce energy loss due to inefficient distribution
I can’t compete with Neil deGrasse Tyson, so I’ll let him tell you more about the smart grid. Yeah, the video is a little childish, but engineers are kids at heart – we just play with more expensive toys, and we get paid for it!
on PBS. See more from
In a later article, I’ll discuss the consumer side of the smart grid: smart homes and smart appliances.
Recommended For You
Batteries Are the New Peaker Plants
Low-Power Bluetooth® & Wi-Fi® Modules offer Connectivity Combo
Sensors for Smart Assembly Lines
Electric Vehicles Make the Grid a Two-Way Street
comments powered by Disqus.
You must be in Edit Mode to enter content, and then you can use the Module Action Menu or Module Action Buttons to manage content
Sensing and Ranging using LED Technology
How to Choose the Right Visualization Techniques for Your Measurement System
How to Choose the Right Reporting Tools for Your Instrument Control System
Designing a Portable Multi-Channel DAQ for Non-Destructive Testing
Lenovo ThinkStation P500: How to Optimize Your Mid-range CAD PC Workstation
Educator brings UK’s Academic Race to the USA
Bring Response Surface Modeling to Car Design with modeFRONTIER’s PowerFLOW node
Natural Gas Cars! But How Do You Carry Enough Fuel?
Earth's Most Abundant Material Finally Gets a Name
Instant-Start Computers May Now Be Possible
ENGINEERING.com brings the most influential voices in engineering to a worldwide audience of engineers. Our stories are informative, inspiring and entertaining.
Games and Puzzles
Masters of Engineering Management
Copyright © 2014 ENGINEERING.com, Inc.
All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our
Advertise With Us
Digital Marketing Blog