What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids?

Assignment 1 What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids? Case Study

1.How do smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United States? Smart Grids Advantages: A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce costs, and increase reliability and transparency.

The smart grid enables information to flow back and forth between electric power providers and individual households to allow both consumers and energy companies to make more intelligent decisions regarding energy consumption and production. Information from smart grids would show utilities when to raise prices when demand is high and lower then when demand lessens. Smart grids would also help consumers program high-use electrical appliances like heating and air conditioning systems to reduce consumption during times of peak usage.

If implemented nationwide, proponents believe, smart grids would lead to a 5 to 15 percent decrease in energy consumption. Electricity grids are sized to meet the maximum electricity need, so a drop in peak demand would enable utilities to operate with fewer expensive power plants, thereby lowering costs and pollution. Another advantage of smart grids is their ability to detect sources of power outages more quickly and precisely at the individual household level. With such precise information, utilities will be able to respond to service problems more rapidly and efficiently.

Current Electricity Infrastructure Disadvantages: The existing electricity infrastructure in the United States is outdated and inefficient. Energy companies provide power to consumers, but the consumers are using that energy, making it difficult to develop more efficient approaches to distribution. The current electricity grid offers few ways to handle power provided by alternative energy sources.

2.What management, organization, and technology issues should be considered when developing a smart grid? Organization: Hundreds of technology companies and almost every major electric utility company see smart grids as the wave of the future. In the case, the author lists some company invest great number on the smart grid in the national wide. The investment will be huge besides the federal funds but the future return is not very sure. The smart grid is designed to the peak of the consumption, the utilities will benefit from every reducing.

The return depends on how much the consumers can cut their cost. The consumer can make their decision of curbing their consumption to cut costs depending on how much they are consuming and the price. The energy companies would benefit from developing more efficient approaches. The smart grid allows electricity flow from homes and businesses into the grid, and the converting to smart grids along with other related energy initiatives can create up to 370000 jobs.

Management: If the in-home displays showing how much the consumers are consuming at any moment and the price of that energy, the consumers could make their decision of curbing their consumption to cut costs. Home thermostats and appliances could adjust on their own automatically, depending on the cost of power, and even obtain that power from nontraditional sources. However, the energy companies should help consumers be accustomed to the new technology and new software.

Technology: Networks and switches for power management; sensor and monitoring devices to tack energy usage and distribution trends; systems to provide energy suppliers and consumers with usage data; communication systems to relay data along the entire energy supply system; and system linked to programmable appliances to run them when energy is least costly.

3.What challenge to the development of smart grids do you think is most likely to hamper their development? There are a number of challenges facing the efforts to implement smart grids. Changing the infrastructure of our electricity grids is a daunting task, Two-way meters that allow information to flow both to and from homes need to be installed at any home or building that uses electric power-in other words, essentially everywhere. Another challenge is creating an intuitive and-user interface. Some participants reported that the dashboard they used to mange their appliances was too confusing and high-tech.

The smart grid won’t be cheap, with estimated costs running as high as $75 billion, Meters run $250 to $500 each then they are accompanied by new utility billing systems, Who is going to pay the bill? Is the average consumer willing to pay the upfront costs for a smart grid system and then respond appropriately to price signals? Will consumers and utility companies get the promised payback if they buy into smart grid technology? Might “smart meters“ be too intrusive? Would consumers really want to entrust energy companies with regulating the energy usage inside their homes? Would a highly computerized grid increase the risk of cyber attacks?

4.What other areas of our infrastructure could benefit from “smart” technologies? Describe one example not listed in the case. There are a lot industries could benefit from “smart” technologies. Take the delivery industry for example. Demand: There are more and more people purchase on the Internet and the demand of delivery increase rapidly. Organization: The adoption of smart technologies helps the delivery companies beyond the restriction of geography. The business can develop from local to the worldwide. Management: The adoption of smart technology integrates all resources, which helps the delivery companies can obtain high customer satisfaction with low costs.

5. Would you like your home and your community to be part of a smart grid? Why or why not? Explain. I do not like my home and my community to be part of a smart grid for the reasons as follows: The initiation fee is very high, I am not sure about how much I can reduce in the future from the energy consumption. The digital dashboard (software) is not friendly enough.

If we let the smart grid manage our applications, there will be too much details information we should share with the energy companies. It is a challenge and a highly computerized grid increases the risk of cyber attacks.