Improved Interfaces And Decision Support Information Technology Essay

Published: 2021-08-02 10:50:07
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According to (NETL) the National Energy Technology Laboratory, five key technologies area have been identified in order to modernize the grid. These categories are described as following [13]:
Integrated communications:
It consist of connecting constituents to create an open architecture for real-time information monitoring and control, permitting each part of the grid to both ‘talk’ and ‘listen’.
However, the implementation of integrated communications is a crucial need that must be solved in basis phase, mandatory by the other key technologies and vital to the modernize power grid.
Integrated communications will create an active, interactive super infrastructure for real-time information and power interchange, giving users the opportunity to interact with numerous smart electronic devices in an adapted system sensitive to the different speed requirements of the interconnected applications [12].
Sensing and measurement technologies
These technologies are crucial in order to support faster and more precise reaction and response such as remote monitoring, dynamic pricing and demand-side management.
Sensing and Measurement is an important component of a completely modern smart grid. Such advanced technologies will obtain and convert data into information and boost several characteristics of energy system management. These technologies will estimate equipment strength and the reliability of the grid. They will support regular meter readings, exclude billing valuations, and avoid power theft. In addition they will help release congestion and moderate productions by allowing customer choice and demand response and by associating new management strategies.
Advanced component
Advanced components have an active role in demonstrating the electrical performance of the grid and in spreading over the latest research in superconductivity, storage, materials, chemistry, microelectronics and diagnostics fields. They can be applied in either unconnected applications or standalone or connected together to create composite systems such as micro-grids [13].
Advanced control methods
These technologies are fundamental to monitor indispensable components, enabling quick diagnosis and exact solutions suitable to any event. These devices and algorithms will help investigate, diagnose, and foresee conditions in the smart grid and describe and take appropriate curative activities to except, moderate, and avoid outages and power quality troubles and disturbances. Providing control at the transmission, distribution, and customer levels and will accomplish both real and reactive control across state frontiers.
Improved interfaces and decision support
This technology should enlarge human decision-making, giving grid operators and managers wide vision of their systems applications, real-time view and energy equipment’s.
Enhanced Interfaces and Decision Support are critical technologies that must be applied to help grid operators and managers having tools and training they will need to control a modern grid. Upgraded Interface and Decision Support technologies will convert multifaceted power-system information into data that can be definitely assumed and treated by human operators. Different data display techniques like virtual reality, will prevent data overload and help operators detect, classify, analyze, and perform on evolving problems.
Smart Grid Market Segments and applications
The Smart Grid is composed of three high-level layers: the transmission and distribution layer, the communications and control layer, and the applications and services layer. These layers will be represented in further work.
Each of these high-level layers contains additional sub layers and more detailed market segments. The major Smart Grid market segments and applications consist of:
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI): The Foundation of the Smart Grid
Advanced Metering Infrastructure is composed of the meter the key component of smart grid implementation, AMI deployment consist of replacing mechanical meters with digital meters that permit for two-way communication.  By providing information as well as energy to the consumer and back to the grid, the consumer is authorized to shift power consumption outlines away from peak-demand times when both prices are high and system reliability and efficiency is to its lowest.  Utilities are also able to collect usage data that can be used to deliver more efficiency and less money and power waste.
Demand Response:
Utilities encourage electricity consumers to decrease their consumption at critical, peak demand times. In the future system view, contracts will be made in advance between consumers and services providers, in which they determine precisely both how and when the utility can decrease an end user’s energy charging from and to the grid.
The utility paybacks by not having to recourse to more expensive and less environmentally friendly peaking power plants, and customers advantage is earning income which make demand response a win-win solution.
Smart Grid communication networks develop the way operators reach consumers. Furthermore, domestic users with installed smart meters will progressively have the option to register in DR programs, giving demand response reach to an extensive percentage of the total system.
Grid Optimization: Adding Real Brain to the Present Power Grid
Grid optimization entails a wide array of potential advances that will give utilities and grid operator’s digital control of the power delivery network. The addition of sensor technology, communications infrastructure and IT will help optimize the performance of grid in real-time, improving reliability, efficiency and security. Grid operators will gain improved situational awareness as fundamental system-wide visibility and analytics will
Now be in place. While AMI deployments lay the foundation for utilities having control of millions of end user devices, real-time command and control of higher level grid devices is of equal, if not greater, value in the current push for overall grid efficiency.
As large-scale utility "upgrades" continue to accelerate in North America and Europe, grid optimization supporters and vendors rightly point out that the resulting efficiency gains are not contingent upon changing consumer behavior, and as such the resulting returns can be seen as more predictable. While the concerns and desires of each utility will vary greatly (with variables such as existing rate recovery structure and the current state of physical grid assets paramount) the predictability of the ROI will make continued investment in grid optimization projects very attractive.
Distributed Generation
Taking Renewable Energy From Novelty to Norm The whole promise of renewables making a significant energy and environmental contribution is a complete non-starter without a Smart Grid that can facilitate and integrate these variable generation sources. Increasingly, Smart Grid will be about moving "new" technologies and applications – renewable energy technologies as a prominent example – from the land of novelty to the everyday norm. While PV solar panels and wind turbines are now ubiquitous in marketing campaigns, and research reports, Smart Grid promises to make these green technologies ubiquitous in our actual lives. In truth, many of the solutions that are presently in vogue, as we collectively try to comes to grips with global warming and our dependence on somebody else’s hydrocarbons, have actually been around for
decades – if not considerably longer. Solar panels were invented in the 1950s; electric cars pre-date the introduction of gasoline automobiles and were first conceived in the late 19th century. The first electricity-generating wind turbines were invented about that same time, and the more modern wind turbines have their roots in the 1970s.
While great technological advances have occurred – improved conversion efficiency, scalability, cost reductions and so forth – the issue is no longer whether these technologies are battle ready, but rather do modern societies have the infrastructures in place capable of supporting the introduction of renewable energy technologies at mass scale. The Smart Grid aims to tackle this scale-management problem.
Energy Storage: The Lost Link
Energy storage is increasingly perceived as both a viable and necessary component of any future, intelligent electric grid. The leading visions of how a Smart Grid should operate usually focus on distributed storage options, rather than bulk storage. While both forms of storage will be welcomed on a grid that historically has had effectively zero storage, distributed energy storage assets – located near the consumption end of the grid – will provide localized power where it is most needed, decreasing the need to build new power plants and transmission lines. The most discussed benefit of energy storage is that it helps solve the intermittency problem associated with renewable energy, and as such, will help these "green" sources of energy scale faster and reach a wider market penetration.
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): Smart Charging and Vehicle to Grid (V2G)
One of the most discussed and anticipated "applications" of Smart Grid is the introduction of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). A PHEV’s larger battery will allow for both the possibility of storing electricity, which might otherwise go unused (ideally from renewable, intermittent sources), and of feeding stored energy back
into the electric grid, in periods of high demand, serving as a back-up source of power for the electric grid. While the market fundamentals to support what will be a revolutionary advancement in both the automobile and energy industries are not fully in place as of 2010, PHEVs are about to be marketed and sold by virtually every major
automobile manufacturer in world in the next two to five years, and as such utilities are now scrambling to ready themselves for what could be a truly disruptive technology. The two leading challenges will be smart charging – how to smooth the charging of millions of PHEVs in order to prevent accidental peaks and (2) how to draw power from these batteries in a way that doesn’t alter the expected life of the battery or leave the vehicles undercharged when their drivers turn them on. The concept of vehicle to grid (V2G) – pulling power from car batteries to feed peak demand- properly fits into the energy storage market, and, as such, new systems and analytics will be needed to help this market grow.
Advanced Utility Controls Systems
The Future of Energy Monitoring and Control An Advanced Utility Controls System refers to the upgrade and continued integration of various mission-critical systems, applications and back-end technology infrastructure necessary to support a utility’s monitoring, control and optimization of the grid. In order to leverage the full potential of AMI deployments (and the end-to-end communication networks now in place), utilities will need to develop enterprise wide systems, capable of sharing data across applications and systems. While historically
Utilities’ systems have been far from integrated, the realization of a Smart Grid will depend on a utility-wide integration of systems (and business processes) which allow for real time visibility and decision support. For example, at the system load level before a utility decides to draw power from distributed storage assets to mitigate peak energy demand, that utility would do well to consider if would makes more financial (and environmental) sense to issue a demand response call instead (or for that matter, weigh the cost/benefits of calling upon any and all grid connected generation sources, for a particular scenario). Other cases will be far more specific. For example, the decision on whether it makes greater sense to charge a family’s electric car with electricity originating from their next door neighbor’s rooftop solar panels (a concept called peer-to-peer) or electricity coming from a centralized power plant. Utilities will increasingly have to face millions upon millions of these types of decisions, and as such advanced utility control systems will be necessary, as the volume and complexity of these types of decisions will surpass the capabilities of human operators, as well as the silo’d utility systems of yesteryear.
Smart Homes and Networks
By adding intelligence and networking capabilities to appliances (such as thermostats, heating, lighting and A/C systems) located inside buildings and residences, both the utility and consumer stand to benefit. Homeowners will be able to monitor their energy consumption and reduce their utility bills with very little effort, as well as financially gain from incentives provided by the utility for energy conservation. Meanwhile, utilities that now have an extension of Smart Grid into the house, can better manage peak demand, beyond simple demand response initiatives. The extension of smart metering intelligence into the home/building itself, connecting the meters to "load centers" is radical advancement for the power grid. While, today certain utilities manage peak load demand by directly capping these load centers’ usage, a home area network (HAN) and home energy management system would allow the homeowner to indicate a mix of consumption and efficiency across a range of appliances and devices, changing forever the way the consumer participates in the energy consumption.
Smart Grid Potential Impacts
A wide area optimized network infrastructure for smart grid systems, combined with the appropriate power sensors in the distribution network, will allow power services to gather and vehicle increased bulks of real-time usage data.
With this visibility, power utilities can more accurately respond to rising or falling consumption. They can also dynamically adjust electricity supply to meet demand and better predict when and where there could be a weakness or a failure in the grid [9].
In case of an outage, a proper network infrastructure enables smart grid applications to take instant and programmed actions to bind the spread of the outage and to dispatch the right workers with the right tools and the right information to reestablish power as quickly as possible.
Essentially, the Smart Grid will allow utilities to proactively deal with demand, re-direct power around troubles, integrate dispersed renewables and electric transportation and carry on to offer consistent and inexpensive electricity into the predictable future [10].
The Role of Smart Grid Infrastructure in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
It is obvious that electricity power plants have negative impact on climate change and on our natural environment. The burning of fossils fuels is associated to the problem of global warming. In fact, electric generation is the largest contributor of CO2 and greenhouse gases in the world. These concerns are motivating the development of whole productions capable of producing energy in cleaner ways.
Electric power causes around 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and utilities are reconsidering what the electricity system of the future should look like. Otherwise, renewable and distributed power generation will play a more important role in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions [15].
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction
A technology-enabled electric system will be more efficient, empower applications that can decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and increase power consistency and reliability.
Deployment of Smart Grid technologies and services can have a significant impact on CO2 reduction by intelligently managing the delivery of power to consumers and businesses when and where it’s needed:
Decrease peaks in power usage by mechanically turning down selected appliances in homes, factories, and offices.
Decrease waste by providing direct response on energy quantities we are consuming.
Enhance manufacturers to produce smart appliances to decrease energy use.
Sense and avoid power blackouts by isolating disturbances in the grid
Worldwide electric energy consumption is estimated to rise 82 percent by 2030.This claim will primarily be met by constructing many new generation electricity plants using coal and natural gas. In this case, global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to grow reaching 59 percent by 2030 as a result [15]. Building a technology-enabled smart electricity grid can help offset the increase in greenhouse gas emissions by reducing growth in demand for electricity; accelerate adoption of renewable electricity-generation sources, and Delay Construction of New Electricity-generation and Transmission Infrastructure.
perspective and Vision of the future of Smart Grid development
Most of the technologies essential to build a Smart Grid exist today. Forward-looking utility companies are already offering demand-response technologies that, for example, detect the need for load shedding, communicate the demand to participating users, automate load shedding, and verify compliance with demand response programs. Many utility companies are also implementing large numbers of smart electric meters to offer variable pricing to consumers and to reduce manual meter-reading costs.
Several competing communication protocols are still vying to become the standard through which all building devices can intercommunicate. This inability to agree upon a common industry standard has delayed the vision of connecting every electric device and spawned several middleware and gateway companies.
As expected, many white goods manufacturers are making appliances that can connect to a building’s network.
In addition, several public and private organizations have implemented energy consumption dashboards.
So far, however, nobody has been able to define an industry architecture that spans the entire Smart Grid—from high-voltage transformers at the power plant down to the wall sockets in homes and offices. Despite its promise and the availability of most of the core technologies needed to develop the Smart Grid, implementation has been slow. To accelerate development, state, county, and local governments, electric utility companies, public electricity regulators, and IT companies must all come together and work toward a common goal.
In 2006, IBM and global power professional institute collaborated to develop a solution of smart grid. Power companies can use sensors, meters, digital control equipment and analysis tools to automatically monitor network, optimize network performance, prevent power outages and restore power supply faster.
March 2008, a small town in Colorado was built as the first U.S. smart grid city.
February 2009, IBM signed agreement with a Mediterranean island named Malta- they will build a "smart public system" together, in order to achieve country's electricity grid and water supply systems digitalization, including build a sensor network in grid .
IBM will provide data collection and analysis software to help reduce costs and carbon emissions.
California has completed the installation of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to 2 million homes and the initial analysis shows that power savings can be up to 16% ~ 30%.
Support for smart grids became federal policy with passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The law, Title13, sets out $100 million in funding per fiscal year from 2008 to 2012, establishes a matching program to states, utilities and consumers to build smart grid capabilities, and creates a Grid Modernization Commission to assess the benefits of demand response and to recommend needed protocol standards.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to coordinate the development of smart grid standards, which FERC would then promulgate through official rulemakings.
Smart grids received further support with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which set aside $11 billion for the creation of a smart grid.
Primary Smart Grid Challenges:
Interoperability Standards
The electric grid will be deprived of the real "smartness" it requests without communications and data flow framework for interoperability standards between physical devices.
Until the standards are set, we don’t have a guarantee that the emergent Smart Grid technologies will be "plug and play" and thus provide modular solutions from one end of the grid to the other; that utilities and vendors won’t be developing expensive, incompatible systems prone to go obsolete prematurely; and that the commercial growth of Smart Grid technologies are being accelerated and deployed as needed for the benefit of both consumers and society-at-large.
A common set of protocols would make it better for all players – from utilities to smart appliance makers to smart meters makers to PHEV makers – to confidently research, develop and deploy technologies, applications and systems.
The value of a true Smart Grid is straightly associated with the technology implementation that empowers a secure, smart and fully connected electric grid. There is wide settlement among utilities that the development and adoption of open standards to confirm both interoperability and security are vital for Smart Grid.
Future-Proofing Utility Systems Architecture
Utilities must adequately understand and implement the systems architecture and technical requirements necessary to support both present and future applications. Historically, utilities have conducted system upgrades as a series of "one-offs." The difficulty here is a Smart Grid will not be something that you "do" and then cross it off your list because it’s "done." The Smart Grid is setting the stage for an evolving energy delivery and management system that will be continually upgraded. Smart Grid is sometimes referred to as "a system of systems" and each of these systems will need to communicate back and forth between each other. Many systems experts have highlighted the urgency of defining standardized interfaces right from the start, and incorporating security, network management, data management and other core capabilities (that will likely interface with any
future system or application) into one architecture or "platform" able to support future applications. From a startup vendor’s perspective, one of the major hurdles to deploying solutions and technologies is gaining the confi dence of a utility that typically only wants to talk to deeply established companies. One strategy is conducting a series of successful pilot with a utility in order to gain familiarity and trust (this has been the strategy of GridPoint, who has built strong ties to both Duke Energy and Xcel Energy through their pilot initiatives). A second solution is partnering with a more credible brand name. The business strategy of software developer GridNet is based on the belief that in order to succeed in the utility world, a vendor must have strong relationships with utilities, and as such, that company is strategically "piggy-backing" on GE’s longtime relationships with utilities.
Re-defining Utility Business Models and Incentives
There is a great need for a new utility regulatory model if we are to expect utilities to genuinely foster and promote energy conservation and efficiency programs. President Obama’s stimulus package called national attention to this issue when it authorized the DOE to make energy efficiency funding available to states whose regulators seek to execute "a general policy that ensures that utility financial incentives are aligned with helping their customers use energy more efficiently and that provide timely cost recovery and a timely earnings opportunity for utilities associated with cost-effective measurable and verifiable efficiency savings."
According to Xcel Energy, the current risk in the implementation of Smart Grid is "that these technologies that transform conservation and efficiency efforts can lead to degradation of the regulated return and uncompensated demand destruction. Mitigation of that risk requires efforts of both the utility, as well as the regulators. Utilities will need to focus on the creation of new products and services, transforming from a product model to a service model, and offering customers more options. Regulators will need to be partners in establishing different pricing regimens, ones that create incentives for utilities to earn revenue in ways that aren’t entirely linked to additional sales. The focus needs to be on the total customer bill, with an eye toward rewarding both the utility and the customer for conservation."
The Integration of Large Amounts of Renewable Energy
In reality, there are two separate challenge areas related to moving/distributing renewable energy: transmission and distribution. The most discussed in the media and in Congress during the first quarter of 2009 is at the high-voltage transmission level; the associated challenge is moving electrons over large distances such that the energy from renewable energy hot spots can be put to effective use in heavily populated urban areas.
From a Smart Grid perspective, the challenges are primarily at the distribution level and involve:
Having power flow in two directions on a grid that was only designed to go one-way
Having the necessary intelligence automated into the system to facilitate the management of intermittent sources of energy
While the addition of substantially more renewable energy must be lauded, this is not easily achievable until the grid has been redesigned to facilitate these new loads.
Consumer Adoption of Smart Grid Services
The last challenge is the effort of re-defining the user’s relationship with his energy use. Changing user’s consumption habits is a hard assignment. One of the fundamental beliefs of Smart Grid is that by giving the consumer more information they will adjust their energy usage, reacting to real-time signals relaying the price, environmental impacts, and comparative information with the result being a win-win for both the consumer and the utility.
While this interaction with home and building energy management systems – as well increased participation in generating, storing energy and even selling electricity – is the vision of Smart Grid, it remains to be seen how this level of customer interaction will get off the ground. The challenge of how to best educate and entice the public to use Smart Grid technologies and applications remains.
The first wave of major investment in Smart Grid technologies, the deployment of millions of smart meters, has been focused on real-time measurement of the consumer usage data, but data collection alone does nothing to alter consumers’ energy usage. From a technology perspective, the advancement of home energy management systems, home area networks, and new applications (such as electric vehicles, PV and fuel cells) will bring about the deployment of the second wave of components and applications needed for a successful honeymoon and marriage between the utilities and the end-users.
The Age of the Smart Grid is upon us.  Huge amounts of capital are being and will be deployed over the next decade and beyond in upgrading the world’s power grid.  Both the political and financial will appears to be behind Smart Grid deployment.  Fortunes will be made in this arena, and our lives will all be changed for the better through the intelligent delivery of more efficient and cleaner energy. Furthermore, smart grid must be supported by a smart and secure communications network, power utilities will have the infrastructure, applications and services required to deliver non-stop, high-quality power safely and efficiently. In our future work we will focus on the communication platform requirements specification of smart grids, and the reference architecture description and criticism.

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