3 reasons why we need smarter energy systems

Smart grid investments provide clear benefits to consumers, businesses and the nation as a whole.

By Donna Donnowitz
April 25, 2014

Smart grid infrastructure investments are on the rise, but not everyone is on board. Some towns and cities are questioning the enterprises, while legislation regarding smart grids and related technologies are still being considered. Whether from a lack of understanding or communications regarding the advantages of smart grid deployments, it's time to discuss why the nation needs to invest in smarter power infrastructure and the technologies that go along with it.

Improved distribution
Distribution control of power has always been a problem point in the utility industry, affecting blackout and brownout rates, as well as the stability and cost of power flow across the nation. Smart grid technologies like serial to Ethernet converters help improve the flow of information along power lines, allowing utilities to assess and manage power distribution in real time and improve their networks. This enhanced communication has other benefits, but the main one is a more resilient power grid that support evolving demands of businesses and consumers.

Device integration
New smart devices for the home are being delivered to consumer markets every day, with Nest and Honeywell, for example, developing a thermostat that automatically adjusts throughout the year and learns from the homeowner's preferences. From refrigerators to hot water heaters, these systems can feed information back to the energy provider as well to better assess home needs and regulate distribution for peak demand concerns. This would reduce power costs for individuals and strengthen the network as a whole.

Expanding service
Smart grid efforts are also helping utilities strengthen their networks in rural and extended areas with traditionally weaker power infrastructure, improving the power grid as a whole and reducing outages to the edges of their service areas. This helps improve quality of living, commercial business and other efforts in these areas, while reducing strain on the utilities network overall, allowing it to focus on other areas for improvement.

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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