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IEEE helps to spread smart grid innovation, implementation

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, October 03, 2011

Experts from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers have announced their belief that although the smart grid will face many obstacles in the future, the technology will ultimately present a bottomless well of benefits and possibilities for utilities and electric grid managers.

For that reason, the institute has increased its efforts to push for the international deployment and implementation of the smart grid, EE Times Asia reports.

"The smart grid is a profound transformation that will play out over the course of our lifetimes," stated James Prendergast, IEEE executive director. "The future is going to be very different from the past in terms of how we receive, use and distribute electricity."

The sheer magnitude of smart grid investments is indicative of the global gravitation toward the technology. According to the news source, cumulative smart grid investment will reach $80.3 billion in Europe by 2020, while the U.S. will likely see $60 billion invested in the new grid infrastructure in the next 20 years.

As all corners of the globe are embracing the smart grid, the complexity and diverse demands across the markets will call for globally relevant technology and interoperability that allows systems to communicate with one another.

IEEE currently has a portfolio of more than 900 interoperability standards with 500 more under development. Of these, 100 are directly related to the smart grid, including the recently published IEEE 2030, which was labeled the first system-of-systems developed to enhance smart grid connection and interoperability.

One focus of IEEE is to foster innovation, as is evident by the IEEE Power & Energy Society, which is working to spread awareness of phasor measurement units. The new technology allows key parameters in the power system to be monitored, thereby exposing its state and stability and aiding in grid control and the minimization of blackout risks, the news source stated.

Members of the IEEE Communications Society are currently working to develop new ways to design and optimize data communications within the smart grid infrastructure, which is the core of all intelligence in the grid and is imperative for all smart grid applications, from generation to utility functions.

According to a previous EE Times Asia article, initial integration of the grid has proven to be helpful for grid operators, who have reported an ease in managing large amounts of energy from wind and solar sources that typically show varied levels in energy production.

SUBNET Solutions Inc. works with utilities to enhance substation automation, another vital and effective function of the smart grid.  

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