Technology is changing our habits so our habitat. Information is becoming power. With smart devices becoming commonplace item; internet at touch of a button is very much a reality. In recent years, we observe paradigm shift in managing the essentials of livelihood. One is electricity. Digitization of electricity has offered a unique platform for stakeholders to engage, communicate. We call it smart grid; smart grid uses digital technology to improve reliability, security and efficiency of electrical system. Smart grid arguably represent a reasonable partitioning of electrical system covering scope from large generation through the delivery systems to electricity consumers and a growing number of distributed generation and storage resources. Smart grid technologies are helping utilities to have better visibility and insights of system helping them to improve the business efficiency.
Now let’s have a look at what is happening at the retail end – the low voltage electricity network inside facilities and buildings.
Here are some inputs on why it’s important to digitize the low voltage electrical network:
- Facility efficiency improvement – digitized low voltage devices for example an air circuit breaker with measurement & communication capabilities . It would collect measurements from across to determine system’s state and health. This is making it a lot easier to keep you on top of everything that is happening in the network. The real time information on load monitoring, alarming and predictive maintenance will be useful to identify the potential opportunities to reduce operating costs, improving the facility efficiency.
- Connected Low voltage distribution network – a coordinated system – The Low voltage distribution system in a facility is wide spread at various levels and layers. There are main switchboard and associated distribution boards in the whole systems architecture. For example the communication ready miniature circuit breakers [MCBs] are providing a greater deal of connectivity ensuring bidirectional flow of information .This would result faster, much easier identification of the problem & its location in facility. The systems coordinating actions enhance economic efficiency, reliability, and effective response to disturbances. Ethernet is one of the most simple to use & reliable communication architecture in the low voltage network.
- Getting facilities ready for energy audits: regulations have started imposing efficient energy use by treating facility like an electrical appliance. There are energy performance directives and standards. With the digitized low voltage systems, a facility manager will be able to access the entire system locally, remotely. The availability of data is providing better visibility and insight into what’s happening in the facilities, and helps to knows how much energy facilities are consuming. The converged data is presented in a precise and well documented format, which is ready for energy audits.
- Simple facility management at your fingertips – The technology revolution now offering an easy to use platform to manage, configure all of these devices and breakers for single and multi site locations using cloud connectivity.
Someone said once “The whole idea is not about the choice between using or not using technology, the challenge is to use it right”.
My personal take, if the technology help to be efficient & simple – make the most out of it !!!