Smart Grid: Smart Modernisation for Intelligent Electric Ecosystem

Akash Kaushik, ELE Times

The energy ecosystem is very important for every nation to develop, survive and grow. This sector drives the other sectors of a nation on its shoulders for their better development and smooth going.

As the population is increasing day to day, the requirements of urban and rural residents are touching the sky. Cities like New York, Berlin, and London have smart grid structures to perform well in this smart environment of artificial machines. Designers have designed number of technologies for smart energy ecosystem. Internet of things, Artificial intelligence, and Blockchains are some advanced technologies that will help the large cities to use energy smartly and efficiently.

Transparent Automated Electric Transition

Since the beginning of 20th century, electric meters are working as eyes and ears for the State and National Energy distributors and manufacturers. Consumers as the centre of attention, all the sectors have been using the technology to interact and grow with the growing needs. From the beginning of smart production and upto the distribution process, every single phase has been using the latest and advanced products.

The advanced two way communication channel responsible for the monitoring and management of consumed units by the consumers now eliminates the physical visits of workers. Payment method has become digital, feedback system has been generated over the internet, changes can be done automatically in no time.

Smart grid uses digital technology to improve reliability, flexibility, and efficiency (both economic and energy) of the electric delivery system. The strategy to achieve this vision hinges upon activities that directly address the technical, business, and institutional challenges to realizing a smarter grid.

Smart grid employs innovative products and services together with intelligent monitoring, control, communication, and self-healing technologies in order to:

  • Develop in distribution of energy with efficiency.
  • Make consumers an important part of the process
  • Make a two way communication process with consumers and educate them about energy consumption.
  • Aware about the environmental impact of electricity
  • Maintain or even improve the existing high levels of system reliability, quality and security of supply.
  • Maintain and improve the existing services efficiently.
  • Deploy intelligent sensors, two way feedback communication, and automatic transaction

Synergy with future Electric Vehicle Market:

Without a doubt, inventing electric vehicle technology was one major step taken by manufacturers. Looking after the escalating need of personal and public transportation, electric vehicle technology has been deployed everywhere in the world and still in the phase of regular changes.

When you look around and see the vehicles running by burning gallons of fuel every day will make you think for a minute about the ongoing climate changes, where are we heading and what are we relying upon for our future transportation? Talking about the same, electric vehicle technology will change the pace of development and experience of transportation because of the pre-planned smart electric ecosystem in major cities around the globe.

Installation of smart grid electric ecosystem for electric vehicles has been already started and working majorly in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and New York. This advancement was only possible because of the smart grid electric system in the mentioned cities. Charging spots and maintenance stations have been deployed for vehicles. Therefore, the market of electric vehicles has a factor of dependency over smart grid electric system. The synergy between both the solutions will go hand in hand in future because smarter cities are built on smarter infrastructure.

IoT Monitoring Technology in Smart Grid

Current smart grid system are not made to withstand the peaking energy demand, equipment failure, power outages, and immediate responding system.

Intelligent grid system for smart city technology will be able to monitor usage across different areas, immediately adapt to settings like rain or fog, adjust output to meet the time of day or to meet traffic conditions, and detect and address lighting outages instantly. Users can adjust the temperature of their home thermostats through apps while they are at work or on vacation.

IoT based smart grid technologies demand less on batteries, are more carbon efficient, and designed to reduce the peak load on distribution feeders. The U.S Department of Energy has already been working in the integration of smart and green electric system for cities like New York, Los Angles, and Seattle. Optimized wind turbines, solar cells, and microgrid technologies have the potential to benefit all levels of the distribution chain and are designed to lower the costs through monitoring and source rerouting the instant detection of power failure.

Need for Smart Grid India

According to the Ministry of Power, India’s electricity transmission and distribution losses are among the highest in the world. Since India is developing in every sector with a great pace, Indian Government is venturing very enthusiastically in renewable and smart grid electric systems. Government has set a goal that solar should contribute 7 per cent of India’s total power production by 2022. India is projected to invest $44.9bn in smart metering, distribution automation, battery storage and other smart grid market segments over the next decade. This investment will help to reduce the country’s staggering 22.7% transmission and distribution loss rate.

Overall, India is one of the most unique smart grid markets in the world. It combines enormous market potential and a high GDP growth rate with complex regulatory structures and low per-capita income. Challenges are certain to persist, but the government’s commitment to addressing India’s significant power sector challenges by investing in smart grid infrastructure ensures strong market growth throughout the coming decade. Hence, the opportunities for building smart grids in India are immense.

Conclusion

For power sector to continue on the path of economic growth, deployment and adoption of latest technologies, introduction of more intelligence into the grid in the form of Smart Grid are inevitable. Experts from distribution utilities across the country, regulators and policy makers, etc. are regularly witnessing various smart grid attributes like, AMI, OMS, PLM, net metering, smart street lighting, demand response etc. The smart grid shall bring efficiency and sustainability in power sector, meeting the growing electricity demand with reliability, resilience, stability and best of the quality while reducing the electricity bill of a consumer. It also enables consumer participation in energy management.

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