Unique problems with solar require improved infrastructure

Improved infrastructure key to embracing renewable energy sources.

By Donna Donnowitz
October 22, 2013

Solar energy has a promising future, but there are some hidden challenges to implementation that are just beginning to receive the attention they deserve. According to Smart Grid News, one of the largest hurdles to successful implementation of solar-based energy networks across the nation is the current energy infrastructure that is in place, which doesn't quite support the needs of greener strategies.

The electric grid currently in place across the nation was created to distribute power reliably from a select few generation sources, which are highly monitored and controlled for dial distribution of their power loads. Solar, however, works in a drastically different process, with largely unmonitored sources of power spread wide, and the current infrastructure simply isn't able to properly distribute the power. Limited visibility, diagnostic, control and forecasting capabilities all contribute to imbalances in distribution and other problems.

According to the news source, the key issues facing the current power infrastructure when it comes to solar distribution are voltage violations, flicker and other power quality issues, reverse power flow and protection coordination issues, increased wear on utility equipment and real and reactive power imbalances. In order to overcome these problems, the nation needs to focus on the technology that supports its energy infrastructure and upgrade electricity delivery to smart grid solutions.

Investing in media converters and the necessary serial to Ethernet technology to optimize the forecasting, regulation and maintenance of power grids will help with solar energy distribution and start eliminating the issues mentioned above. This will allow the U.S. to implement safer, more sustainable energy with ease, and deliver it to a broad spectrum of citizens, rather than select areas. Wide-spread distribution is one of the main setbacks keeping the country from migrating away from nuclear and fossil fuel energy resources, and improving the technology that supports the electric infrastructure will help to ensure large-scale conversion to a renewable energy resource like solar.

By implementing high-quality serial to Ethernet adapter and conversion solutions, individual power networks will be able to better support a nation-wide push toward efficiency, and demonstrate to customer's their dedication to high-quality, low-cost electricity with reliable and secure distribution for all.

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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