2 steps to building a clean energy grid

Smart grid deployments assist with clean energy efforts.

By Donna Donnowitz
December 6, 2013

Optimizing a power grid for clean energy is becoming a larger priority for many utility providers but the path to success is often fraught with hurdles. In order to start optimizing power distribution, implement smart grids and harness the potential of alternative power sources, energy companies need to work on several areas of operations, such as cost benefit analysis, integrate balancing areas and upgrading their grids with the proper hardware, such as serial to Ethernet converter technology. These efforts will provide the foundation for the clean energy revolution and support these efforts with as little additional cost as possible for providers.

Smart grids
Many firms are finding that investing in smart grid deployments assists their clean energy efforts significantly. According to The Energy Collective, the evolution of the power grid has allowed providers to connect plants, substations, cities and entire regions more effectively. The next natural step in this process is to bring alternative power sources into the mix, but this also requires improved flow of information across these grids to optimize distribution and usage for consumers. By harnessing smart grid technologies, such as smart meters and terminal servers, utility companies can focus on expanding their networks reliably, and improving the quality of service for all customers.

The human factor
According to the news source, many of the barriers in the way of implementing a stronger clean energy grid are the people involved in the process, not the technology. Firms already have access to high-quality Ethernet I/O solutions and the other hardware necessary to bring their grids online and into the 21st century, but they need to focus on bringing their people up to speed to facilitate these improvements.

Providers need to look at their policies, zoning and employee workload and optimize these efforts around the new systems, while improving process management in order to facilitate upgrades without affecting service quality.

Ultimately, the decision to invest in smart grid technologies and the related changes needed to embrace cleaner energy will pay off significantly. Firms that take the proper precautions in preparing for the change and ensure they have the technology infrastructure in place to support new power sources will be able to harness the benefits easily and start delivering cost-effective, clean energy to their customers.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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