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Smart grid

Smart grid

Smart grid

(OP)
What exactly is a Smart Grid?

RE: Smart grid

Optimistically:
Essentially control and feedback of everything connected to, and the grid itself. The idea being "complete" control of the power structure so that it can be optimized for efficiency and durability.

Pessimistically:
Essentially to allow mis-control by bureaucrats and feed-forward of everything connected to the grid, and itself. The result being "fragile" control of the power structure so that it can be mishandled while trying to be overly cheap resulting in blackouts and instability.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Smart grid

I thought it was called SMRT-grid... invented by the operator in sector 7-G.

RE: Smart grid

Optimistically - Items that better decision making. Outages will be shorter. Less cost will go into maintaining the system. Eliminate blackouts. Cheaper electricity due to better use system capacity.

Pessimistically - Justifying projects that have little to no justification without federal grant moneys. I have a creeping suspicion that if reliability was the real concern, the money might be better used to build more transmission and add more local generation. Some stuff like initiatives into EMP and solar storm hardening don't seem steeped in cost/outage risk analysis.

RE: Smart grid

Optimistically in practice:
When the power went out in your neighborhood, someone had to actually call the PoCo and tell them, "Hey, my power is out!" But they would have now idea WHY or WHERE the problem was until someone else called, then someone else, then someone else, until they could narrow it down by knowing what was in common to all of the callers. With the "Smart Grid" technology now, they IMMEDIATELY know where the problem originated and can dispatch the repair crew to it. In addition they can, as is the case in my house, remotely disable my air conditioner if there is an impending brown-out because of high demand. Nobody is home at my place during the day, so I signed up for that to get a rate reduction.

Pessimistically in practice:
I signed up for that discount, because they had ALSO implemented what's called "TOU" rate structures, meaning Time Of Use. So I have different rates for different times of the day. I pay the lowest rate from 9:01PM to 8AM, then from 8:01 to 11AM, it basically doubles, and from 11:01AM to 9PM it TRIPLES to $.36/kWH! And if I don't pay the bill? They simply punch a code in their computer and my "Smart Meter", which now has a little contactor built into it, cuts off my power without them having to send out a technician to pull the meter from the socket.


"You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals" -- Booker T. Washington

RE: Smart grid

With these new smart meters, I can see the day come where the electricity "Time of Use" pricing is floating based on real-time generation costs and you either pay the floating price or you chose a high price limit and your hydro simply goes off when the floating price goes above your chosen limit. As a possible alternative, different appliances or zones in your house could go off based on chosen limits for each one.

RE: Smart grid

A band-aid fix covering for upgrades that should have been done 40 years ago along with a conspiracy to make infrastructure more vulnerable to cyber security threats. Please forgive me for being so blunt but I do not approve. The engineering of 50-60 years ago was far more well thought out and mathematically elegant as a whole.


Look at it one example: What will keep the lights on during an ice storm? Well designed poles and spacer cable or a properly coordinated recloser loop scheme? Plasticity looks great on paper, it takes brain power too, but it is not immune to the old saying: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You can have the most plastic system in the world, but what supply will you have when all of them are gone?

RE: Smart grid

Smart Grid as used by many is to control the customers usage of electric to reduce the costs to specific customers. Big Government jumped on because they wanted to be in control.

Just watch how this works out.

RE: Smart grid

Quote (cranky108)

Smart Grid as used by many is to control the customers usage of electric to reduce the costs to specific customers. Big Government jumped on because they wanted to be in control.

Just watch how this works out.


I'd argue it was more about utilities delaying infrastructure upgrades. We all know what happens when customers are subjected to appliance control, light bulb types and usage aversives. The peak turns more into a baseline curbing the need to address capacity issues. Further by adding plasticity to the system parts can age/be less maintained into hire failure rates without having it reflect on the end user. This is of course assuming no weather related events.

RE: Smart grid

Argue all you want. Infrastructure upgrades over a specific amount would have had to be approved by PUC's, and in many cases were turned down.

Most everything utilities do is regulated, but in your view the regulators have no fault in any short sightedness.

We have to have Smart Grid because the government thinks you are too stupid (they also think the utilities are too stupid, despite the fact that we have been doing this for 100 years).

RE: Smart grid

Mbrooke,

50-60 years ago utilities were still vertical. It is easier to supply electricity cheaply when their is a unified vision. With things split up, transmission's goal is just to provide reliability and interconnect generation and load. Generation owners have no incentive to place their generation in weaker portions of the system to provide support. The goal went from cheap, reliable kw/hr to something less direct.

RE: Smart grid

Quote (cranky108)

Argue all you want. Infrastructure upgrades over a specific amount would have had to be approved by PUC's, and in many cases were turned down.

There are many cases where POCOs did not put projects forward. I know of places where 345kv loops were delayed in the hopes local generation would get the job done. This is pure POCO, no PUCs. Once put forward the project was approved.



Quote:

Most everything utilities do is regulated, but in your view the regulators have no fault in any short sightedness.

I never implied they did not. They also have fault in this.


Quote:

We have to have Smart Grid because the government thinks you are too stupid (they also think the utilities are too stupid, despite the fact that we have been doing this for 100 years).


Which I never defended. The smart grid concept is back firing.

RE: Smart grid

Quote (HambergurHelper)

Mbrooke,

50-60 years ago utilities were still vertical. It is easier to supply electricity cheaply when their is a unified vision. With things split up, transmission's goal is just to provide reliability and interconnect generation and load. Generation owners have no incentive to place their generation in weaker portions of the system to provide support. The goal went from cheap, reliable kw/hr to something less direct.


I agree, but in any case I'd take that over anything today.

RE: Smart grid

What is SMART GRID???
From the answers, there may be three or more different concepts of "What is Smart Grid."
I take the pessimistic view that almost all implementations of SMART GRID are sourced as a result of lobbying by the shareholders to maximize profit.
The cost of implementing "SMART GRID"? The PUCs often allow the utilities to pass the cost on to the end user.
Kind of a lose/lose situation for the consumer.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Smart grid

Some types of Smart Grids that I know of:


1. Cogeneration/peak shaving

2. Smart Meters

3. Remote control of appliances to curb peak use

4. Distribution automation

5. Advanced SCADA and operating logic for transmission

6. Advanced control and automation of generation

7. Renewables and their integration into the grid.


#7 I like, #1 is nice but the others I am not to thrilled about.



RE: Smart grid

Thanks Mbrooke;
There are even more than I suspected.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Smart grid

Quote (waross)

I take the pessimistic view that almost all implementations of SMART GRID are sourced as a result of lobbying by the shareholders to maximize profit.

What I've been trying to say. When you increase the plasticity of a system and ability to drop peak loads you skip out on long needed upgrades saving money. It is cheaper to add microprocessors to everything and a few stray STATCOMs than build miles of transmission lines.

Case in point: Several POCOs around me have begun to or have been automating their distribution system for some time. On average every 500 customers are between a smart SCADA recloser or switch with the distribution system literally being one giant mesh practically covering several states. The logic to control it is incredible complex making transmission relaying look like a kindergarten lesson. The distribution control room looks like something covering the bulk power system for several continents. Complex computer load flow analysis is done for every contingency and any multiple sets of contingencies possible. It really is an engineering accomplishment across several fields. However reliability has not increased, certainly not when its needed most. The distribution system is now heavily neglected and vegetation management has become a joke. Poles are replaced when they fail, not before they fail. Momentaries have gone up treed/squirel areas. The automation masks day to day events caused by neglect and SCADA pinpoints it for fast repair. So it looks great for the POCO. During storms however the automation does nothing. I've seen it kick me across several substations, rewire itself a dozen times, but in the end everyone loses power. The broken poles and neglected tree limbs make for many more trouble spots slowing down restoration afterwards.


On the other hand several municipal POCOs and one major POCOs next to mine operates a system which is almost entirely radial. When a line fault occurs its 3,500+ customers and a feeder lockout. Many distribution feeder breakers lack SCADA and crews drive around for fault finding. However the maintenance philosophy is radically different. Miles of distribution lines are replaced with spacer cable ever year, poles, hardware, drops ect are hardened. Any aging assets are replaced. Vegetation management and tree trimming is exceptionally aggressive. The system is considered dumb by all standards, and distribution operations woefully inefficient, over staffed and can be said to be stuck in the 60s. The reliability on the other hand is higher than its automated neighbors. Momentaries are uncommon, and during storms while they have 1/3 the outages their smart grid blacked out smart grid neighbor.

For me is been one of the most compelling cases against smart grid. I have extensively researched plasticity vs hardening and I can say for a fact while hardening has slightly higher up front costs it pays off many times more. Plasticity looks very sexy on paper, but it does not reflect the real world well. Not to mention the cyber security concerns which at the time of my number crunching I never took into account. As I said, POCOs were doing it right decades past.

RE: Smart grid

Quote (waross)

Thanks Mbrooke;
There are even more than I suspected.

Welcome. I am leaving out others as there are many more which aren't coming to me. One that just came to mind is energy storage and its synchronization with surplus energy and peak demand/contingencies. RAS (remedial action schemes) are another but I guess that fits in with #5 as being a subgroup in the whole plethora.

RE: Smart grid

And oh:

#8 Data acquisition and storage of equipment use/wear and tear/loading cycles ect. Its not uncommon for POCOs to now record the duty of all equipment such as for example the opening and closing of circuit breakers per year over the course of their in service life. As a result equipment maintenance is moving away from cyclic schedules to those based on use or recorded events that alarm attention.

RE: Smart grid

I'm going to say that we've been doing "smart grid" since the early 1990s when we installed the first SEL-121G. Heck of a lot smarter than the HZ or KD that it replaced. Took a couple of decades for somebody to come up with the term smart grid, by which time the smart relays were passe.

RE: Smart grid

Microprocessor relays are ok in my book for the most part.

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