Smart grid: future electricity network

The evolution of new technologies is reaching all sectors and now the time has come, for the electricity sector one of the most important, with a need of new models, which permits a more efficient use of energy, in keeping with the times. The classic centralized power plants model, does not comply with renewable energy, as they do not provide a steady flow of energy (dependent on the sun, wind …). The idea is to create distributed intelligent power plants capable of supplying energy in a dynamic way known as an intelligent or smart grid network.

The main feature of a Smart Grid is that it allows the distribution of electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability. In order to achieve this objective a perfect distribution of energy is needed, which would imply storage, either when there is a surplus (something really complex and expensive) or a restructuring of the existing system to accommodate the demand in a flexible manner, making the most of existing technologies.

The solution needs to engage the consumer /user who play a very important role, because they become yet another element within the intelligent network. The idea is that rates are dynamic, varying in price according to demand and the user being familiar with them in real time. To achieve this, smart devices (smart meters) would be installed in homes which will replace the traditional meters and which would be able to constantly report the price of energy we consume. Not only visually but also through a computer protocol, which could be combined with intelligent electrical and electronic equipment to be activated when consumption is more favorable, resulting in energy savings. If we look at power consumption in Spain (which can be viewed in real time on the website of the Red Electrica of Spain), we can clearly observe that there are peaks in demand at certain times. The idea of this system is to reward those who use electricity at times of low demand without entailing additional effort on their part (non-intrusive system).

Moreover, within this model, users can also be suppliers of energy (read / write grid). Renewable energy is a good way to produce energy and the surplus can be distributed appropriately through the smart grid, resulting in economic benefit to the user. Related to this, there is also the so-called vehicle-to-grid that aims to harness the excess energy that could generate an electric vehicle at certain times to sell at the point of recharge.

The future is promising .There are already great companies like Google and Cisco who bet on the development of these technologies and even Microsoft has its own product / service called Microsoft Hohlm, which is already a guarantee that there is a whole market emerging to be expolred.
Gradiant is contributing, in a way, to these new technologies and making project proposals related to smart grids, especially those in which the electric car is involved.etc