Monday, December 09, 2013
Smart grid testing, deployment to boost power reforms
Smart grid technologies are on the cutting edge of power distribution and conservation improvements. With enhanced capabilities to track, adjust and monitor usage, loss and other key factors, utility providers are able to optimize their focus on cleaner, equally distributed power.
According to BusinessDay, Computer Warehouse Group recently implemented its own strategy for these efforts. Investing in a smart grid and meter deployment, the West African technology company is looking to eliminate technical and commercial losses caused by power inefficiencies. One way the company is accomplishing this is investing in anti-theft devices to detect illegal connections sapping its power lines.
"At intervals of about 30 seconds or so, it measures the power that is being consumed along the distribution line from the transformer to the poles and to consumers on a continuous basis. It knows the total power that came in and went out, so it there is an illegal connection without a meter, it would know within two minutes and raises an alarm. It has a full profile of customers unit and knows at which time you have thick and little power. It can also disconnect without anybody coming from the utility company," James Agada, chief technology officer at CWG, told the news source.
Agada noted that metering and billing are the country's two least efficient processes in its power distribution, and improving these areas will make significant headway in improving its services. These areas of operations have resulted in nearly half of the nation's technical and commercial losses in the past.
In the U.S., National Grid has begun testing smart meters in Massachusetts, looking to optimize its own operations. As one of the nation's largest power distributors, National Grid services New England and other areas, and smart grid solutions would help the firm optimize distribution, reduce usage during peak hours and potentially deliver lower cost power to its coverage areas.
The new tests the company is performing in Auburn, Mass., are intended to reduce use by up to 5 percent and track how this adjustment affects customer billing and service satisfaction.
By investing in high-quality supporting technologies like smart meters, terminal servers and serial to Ethernet converters, providers can optimize their deployment of smart grids and focus on improving service while reducing overall energy use and costs.
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.