Smart grid systems have been a trending topic in the energy industry for almost a decade now. Have you ever heard of them? What’s the difference between a smart grid and a traditional grid? Traditional electric grids are just one way systems where the power company supplies electricity to homes, businesses and industries without receiving any real-time feedbacks from their consumers.
On the other hand, a smart grid system is an electrical grid that provides a two-way communication network using computerized technology. This way, power companies can supply electricity to their consumers and at the same time, receive real-time feedbacks from them. These feedbacks contain valuable information about electrical usage and power interruptions within the covered area. Using these data, system operators can constantly monitor, modify and optimize their services to save energy and to provide the best experience for their consumers. It also allows them to look for potential problems that may trigger blackouts or any inconveniences.
Smart grid technology has countless benefits. And we can talk about them forever! To keep things simple, we shortlisted and summarized most of its benefits for you. Here are some of them:
1. It Helps the Consumers Save Money
Using demand response programs found on advance metering systems, smart grid users (yes, that’s you) will be able to cut back on their power usage during heat waves and cold spells. This technology reduces the peak-demand periods on the grid which save the consumer as well as the power company money.
2. It Manages Your Energy Consumption
Smart grid systems also allows consumers to manage their electric consumption “smartly”. By giving access to your electric consumption data, smart grid apps (such as digital meters) can moderate your household energy usage to reduce overall demand. For example, it can reduce a household’s energy demand by turning off the heat in a dryer for a couple of seconds. The dryer will still spin but the heat user will not notice that the heat has been turned off for a while.
3. It Makes Energy Production and Distribution More Reliable
Smart grid systems automatically “detects” possible problems that may cause power outages and other interruptions. Aside from this, it also can also electronically pinpoint the specific location of outages or “damages” in the grid. This will allow power operators to conduct repairs and power restoration more efficiently.
4. It is Environment Friendly
Smart grid systems integrates the power produced by renewable energy sources such as wind farms, hydro power plants and solar plants more efficiently into the electrical grid. This makes them more reliable and increases their potential to become our main energy source in the future while protecting the environment in the process. Studies also show that smart grid technology cuts down a decent percentage of air pollution which saves an estimated number of 30,000 deaths a year.
Here are the top smart grid companies to watch out for this 2014!