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verdeagendaΗλεκτρονική - Συσκευές

21 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

139 εμφανίσεις

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Benefits of a Smart Grid

The latest implement that could change the entire electrical power market is the

smart
grid.
” The smart grid is a

new form of electrical networking which

employs digital technologies
in company with customer participation to accomplish a more efficient and beneficial

power grid

system.

This advanced system is made possible by using sensing and control devices equipped
with a two
-
way communication that enab
les the grid to adjust in real time.


The smart grid utilizes the idea of reducing energy demand in peak usage hours, active
control in response to grid conditions. In times of high demand the smart grid can turn off
selected devices to lessen the requirem
ent. It has the capability of turning off appliances, such as
washing machines, which can run at illogical hours. Devices such as air conditioners,
refrigerators and heaters’ cycles can be altered to avoid activation in times when the grid is
experiencing
a peak in demand. The smart grid replaces today’s meters with smart meters that
can add continuous real time communications, which allows the use of demand response
-
aware
devices and “smart sockets.” This allows users to analyze their energy use as it is t
aking place,
not waiting on their bill to come at the end of the month. Most meters today are read by people,
who must receive a paycheck, adding to the cost of energy. However, the smart grid’s meters
can be read automatically, cutting down on cost, resu
lting in monies which can be used in other
areas. Energy providers have charged a predetermined set price for service for years, but with
smart meters they can introduce different prices for consumption based on the time of day,
seasonal high and low tempe
ratures, and grid conditions. This allows customers to make choices
about when and how they use their electrical devices.

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The smart grid system is not solely based on the altering of electrical devices, but also
requires the participation and involvement
of customers. One suggested customer trade
-
off
would be cooking dinner at nine p.m. instead of five p.m. to relieve the power grid at peak times.
Hopefully, an increasing amount of customers, residential and industrial alike, will become more
receptive to
peak time trade
-
offs as they are able to see the direct correlation between their lower
energy costs and the trade
-
offs they make. The smart grid would like the customers to integrate
smart appliances into their homes, so the system could run at its full c
apability. One United
States Department of Energy study indicated that by using a smart grid, the United States could
save between 46 and 117 billion dollars over the next 20 years. To customers with solar panel
roofing, small wind turbines or access to ot
her alternative sources of power, the grid can activate
these devices and put that energy to use. This would lessen an individual carbon footprint of a
home, industrial, or business building.

Not only will the smart grid have the potential to save custome
rs money, but also make
them money. By providing a new workforce, the smart grid would create “green” jobs in this
economic downturn. Some of the jobs one could undertake are smart grid security engineer,
network engineer, field deployment technician, soft
ware engineer, and many more. The system
not only provides jobs for technology majors, but to people who install equipment and work in
the field.



There is some apprehension of the innovation, more from residential consumers rather
than industrial. They
are concerned about privacy issues, because the smart grid can read when
and how much energy is used. Through the readings of energy usage, you can determine when
the residents are not at home, are sleeping, how much they watch TV and how often they use th
e
microwave. What citizens must realize is that the smart grid wasn’t planned to invade users’
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privacy, but to improve their lives. Some have even proposed that the data collected from meters
could be subpoenaed by law enforcement to enhance a case against

a criminal, but distributers
have pledged that they will not release data by any other means without the consumer’s consent.


What many citizens do not know is that our grids today have been around for decades,
and are becoming more fragile all of the ti
me. In recent years society has become more
advanced, adding more technology to the home, multiple computers, TVs, microwaves, etc.,
resulting in higher energy demand. The current infrastructure is crumbling under the strain of
keeping up with the multipli
ed amount of consumers and devices in those consumers homes that
have advanced technology and are more sensitive to minute fractures in the service. A smart grid
would be built to handle these new obstacles and make today’s technology run more effectively
and efficiently. The smart grid in theory would be able to communicate with electric cars and
accommodate for the projected use of these items.


The grid is comparative to the internet, with instantaneous two
-
way communication,
voltage readings, and remot
e connect and disconnect options. The goals of this internet
-
like
system are, of course, regulating energy consumption and demand, providing auxiliary services,
reducing cost, reducing carbon footprint of electrical generation, enhancing reliability, etc.
It can
also detect and isolate problems in the system, before it becomes a regional blackout, improving
efficiency of the provider. Reducing demand will also be a way to offset energy use, since it is
not used during the peak times, the energy can be defer
red to later use in less demand times, like
on a cloudy windless day when alternative energy sources are not apt to run.

According to a recent study by the
Department of Energy's Pacifi
c Northwest National
Laboratory, the smart grid could reduce carbon em
issions by 12% from now through the year
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2030. The consumers can add to this number, by being able to view their energy use compared
with demand via the smart grid, they can reduce their use and aid in the campaign to diminish
discharge that negatively eff
ects our environment.

The benefits of a smart grid greatly outweigh any downfalls one could ever imagine. The
system will protect the United States’ current grid structures from failing under the strain of our
usage, it will lower carbon emissions, save mo
ney, conserve resources, and above all project us
into the 21
st

century. The smart grid offers us a brighter more clean future; the United States and
its citizens should embrace the smart grid and all of its benefits.