We’ve all heard the buzzwords: smart grid, energy efficiency…and more. But for utility electrical distributors, applying smart grid technologies turns those buzzwords into practical solutions for common issues.
Utilities today face the ongoing challenge of meeting stringent government mandates for energy efficiency, including the need to manage new technologies for alternative energy generation. No pressure, but improvements have to take place while maintaining acceptable voltage levels and delivering reliable service to their customers
Distribution system operators can tap energy strategies that incorporate smart grid tools to address the issues they face in making their networks more efficient.
Active and passive energy strategies to overcome efficiency issues
Reducing energy use through active measures can include dynamic network reconfiguration and voltage optimisation. Passive energy efficiency lessens energy consumption through measures that reduce thermal losses using low-consumption equipment.
For example, voltage control aided by algorithms can help manage changes introduced by adding distributed energy resources.
4 steps to efficiency for a distribution network
Following these best practices when creating a migration plan will help you develop a more efficient network:
- Within the next three months, identify areas where waste can occur.
- Within the next year, install sensors and applications that can accurately assess efficiency losses.
- Within the next two years, implement a pilot project to demonstrate feasibility, quantify gains, and estimate deployment costs.
- Within the next 10 years, plan and implement a staged rollout.
You can read more in the white paper titled “How Utility Electrical Distribution Networks can Save Energy in the Smart Grid Era,” which I co-authored with my colleagues Michel Clemence and Alain Glatigny.