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Address biggest power challenges with smart grids

By Donna Donnowitz
January 15, 2014

Supply, demand response, cost and consistency are four of the biggest challenges energy providers face on a regular basis. In order to overcome these hurdles and optimize power transmission, more utility companies are turning to smart grid deployments.

According to Smart Grid News, ensuring power generation meets load demand is a primary focus for grid operators. Constant adjustments to generation the flow of power and the grid itself is necessary to maintain quality and eliminate the risk of brownouts or other problems. However, legacy systems may not meet the supply and demand needs of power providers, requiring smart grid technologies to boost performance of the grid infrastructure and overall service.

Additionally, the news source notes that the complexity of distributed energy is only likely to increase, making providers' jobs more difficult. Investing in the appropriate smart grid technologies, from smart meters to terminal servers, will ensure that the grid is able to keep up with demand. New appliances, increased consumer adoption of alternative generator solutions and electric vehicles are just a few trends overtaking the power grid, and providers will need to act quickly to avoid having their systems overloaded by significantly increased demand.

The demand response improvements that a smart grid deployment provides helps utility companies establish their role in the energy network, which is increasingly shifting from provider to manager. Regulating power flow and ensuring that the grid is capable of handling these new technologies is critical, and using the best in serial to Ethernet converters and other smart grid-related hardware will optimize the network without hitting consumers with the bill.

Rather than focusing solely on increasing power supplies, companies should look to improved management, lessening the strain on the network during peak times and leveraging alternative energy for a brighter, cleaner future that doesn't just keep the bill out of consumers' pockets, but keeps it from being created in the first place. Every aspect of power generation is likely to be altered in the future, being prepared for these changes will ensure utility provider's place in the mix as consumers take control over their energy use.

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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