Decades ago environmentalists did not often speak about energy problems, whereas now the issue of energy dominates conversations about the environment. One of the components of an energy system is, of course, the infrastructure built to carry the energy from one place to another and to otherwise manage the energy grid. Through the use of contemporary computer technology we now have the possibility of developing a “smart grid,” which acts much like a smart phone. It has been called the “digitization of the electric grid.”
A smart grid is simply using computers to gather data at various points along the grid to assess how much energy is being used, when and where along the grid it is being used, where problems are developing and breaks occur. It also allows the grid operator to inform customers about their usage of energy. Such a system avoids the need to send personnel out to read actual meters and monitor lines and other components of the energy system.
Some further ideas to explore on Smart Grids
Determine whether there is a smart grid delivering energy to your residence and place of work.
If so, figure out what data it provides to the energy company.
If so, figure out what data the energy company supplies to you from this smart grid.
If you are not served by a smart grid, see if others in your area, county, or country are.
European Technology Platform for Electricity Networks of the Future www.smartgrids.eu/
US Department of Energy, “Smart Grid.” energy.gov/oe/technology-development/smart-grid
“Smart Grid.” www.techopedia.com/definition/692/smart-grid
“Smart Grids”. www.smartgridnews.com
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