What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids

1) How do smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United States? The main difference where the smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United Sates is that there is no information currently available as to how much energy/electricity is being used and where it is being used. In simple words it can be said that currently there is no exchange of information between the provider and the consumer.

The smart grids will be able to provide all information regarding the usage pattern of electricity consumption by the customer which would help in the effective usage of electricity. The grids will then be able to know as to when the consumption is at peak and when it is not being used much. Also with this technology the consumer will be able to monitor their energy consumption which would encourage them to save.

2) What Management, Organization and Technology issues should be considered when developing a smart grid?

There may be a lot of issues the smart grid might have to face:

a) Management Issues: It is very important that proper planning must be done before the implementation of smart grids. All aspects should be planed and discussed over and over again with the managers at each level. It is a huge project which involves a lot of investment and a failure at the planning stage which is the beginning would be a disaster. It is also very important to make correct decisions at the right time. If correct decision are not made it could mess up the project.

b) Organization Issues: Before the implementation of the project it must be made sure that everything is being done legally and taking into consideration all government policies. People within the organisation play an important role. The roles of each individual should be defined and proper flow of information is required in all levels.

c) Technology Issues: According to me this is the most issues that the project relies on. On the whole it is a technology project and the investment cost is immense. It is very important that all Hardware, Software, Network and communication requirements are in place.

3) What challenge to development of smart grids do you think is most likely to hamper their development? According to me the challenge the smart grids will face is the acceptance by the customers. Not all customers will want to accept this change. It is usually the case that people are reluctant towards change. Also, if the customers find out that they are going to pay for this change and technology most of them would say no. It is very important to decide how the project is going to cover such a huge cost. It should be stress that the project has a long term potential and would help the customers in the long run.

4) What other areas of our infrastructure could benefit from the smart technologies? Describe one example not listed in the case. The areas of infrastructure that could benefit from this smart technology are not one. But, an example could be construction and mining industries. Efficient way of using electricity should be used in these industries which would greatly reduce their cost on a project.

5) Would you like your home and community to be part of a smart grid? Why or Why not? Explain. I would certainly want my home to be a part of the smart grid because it will help save energy and cost over the long run. If I was able to monitor the usage of electricity and know how much each electrical item at my home consumes electricity I would use it more efficiently and safe a lot of cost. I would be more motivated to use energy efficient items. Also the case talks about the electrical items can be turned on/off from anywhere. Let me discuss this example to demonstrate the efficiency.

I go to work in the morning at 9 AM which is when I turn of the air conditioner at my place, I would be working at my office till 5 PM before leaving my office I would turn on the air conditioner at home so that by the time I reach home my home is nice and cool. This is a simple example how we could save on the electricity cost. Also with these grids the providers would know how the usage patterns are and decide on what rate

should be charged from each customer. The only concern that I would have is that the cost of the actual setup of the grid. If that price is not immediately transferred to me I would be happy to accept this change. It should be well distributed and nominal so that the consumers do not feel the pinch.