You might have heard of the smart grid before if you are an avid reader or you have an interest in energy. This might have been through your energy supplier or just briefly while surfing the net. If you have, then, you definitely know what this is about and if on the other hand, you haven’t (or you just don’t really understand what it is about) then you have come to the right place.
To fully understand what a smart grid is, we first have to know what a grid means.
A grid is a web, a combination of several electricity transmission lines, substations, transformers and other equipment used in the distribution of electricity from where it is produced to where it is consumed like your home, office or business. A grid is responsible for you having power in all of these places, without a grid in place, it would be impossible to have electricity to power your appliances such as your light, television and the likes.
The grids we use today were all created over a century ago. However, as technology progresses and energy needs increase, additions have been made to the grids. While the electricity grid is an amazing engineering marvel, it is currently being stretched to its limits due to increasing energy needs. And in order to cope with the growing demands for energy, there is a need for us to find smarter and more effective ways of distributing energy than what we currently have on ground. This is where the smart grid comes in.
Smart grid is the combination of electricity grids with digital technology. The digital technology inherent enable consumers to communicate with the utility company. Smart grids are designed from the go to handle the explosion and ever increasing demand for electricity the world is currently experiencing which is a result of the high rate of digital and computerized equipment and technology.
Smart grids are automated and this enables them to cater to the increasing electricity demands and stress of the modern age.
What are the features of a smart grid?
The reason why a grid can be considered smart is because it has sensors along the length of its transmission lines. A smart grid can be likened to the internet in that there is a world of switches, computers, automation and technology that all work together towards the same goal which is a smarter, more intelligent and more responsive grid which can better handle and adapt to the changes and fluctuations in our electricity needs.
Digital technology as a whole represents smarter ways of doing things for us as a race and the smart grid is a perfect example of this. With this technology in hand, energy suppliers start providing us with more reliable, more readily available, and way more efficient energy that will help us move the world a step closer towards sustainable living and energy production.
The following are some of the many advantages the adoption of a smart grid provides us with;
- Better transmission of energy from producers to consumers
- Faster repair time and subsequently faster restoration of power
- Improved security for the electricity grid and many more.
The use of a smart grid helps us cope with power issues such as blackouts which can severely cripple our organizations e.g. banking, communications, health and so much more. Do you think it’s to early for smart grids? Let us know in comments below 😉