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Where the smart grid will be in 10 years

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, December 27, 2012

For years, the utility industry tried to derive as much data as possible to improve operations, and now, it appears they've got more than they can handle. In the next 10 years, utilities will need to learn how to manage the huge amounts of information that can be generated by thousands of intelligent electronic devices, and learn how to use this data to improve overall operations.

There are many schools of thought on the best ways to manage, interpret and leverage this new deluge of information, and Smart Grid News recently sat down with a few industry leaders to hear their thoughts on the best ways to handle grid information.

Jeremy Eaton, vice president and general managers of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions, may have summed it up best for readers.

"In recent years, Honeywell has seen the widespread deployment of smart meters and a corresponding increase in access to granular energy use data. At the same time, the majority of homes and businesses in the United States (and beyond) have Wi-Fi connections, and want remote access to information through smartphones and other mobile devices," he said. "As a result, smart grid deployments will need to be tightly integrated as utilities look for combined hardware and software solutions that deliver energy data - and coaching - in a seamless manner."

Peter Mainz, president and CEO of Sensus, added that he believes smart grid analytics will be instrumental in managing the way utilities control how much renewable energy is introduced to the grid, and how excess energy can be stored. He stated that in the period of smart grid 2.0, utilities will need to focus on gathering data and turning it into "actionable information" that will lead to better distribution networks.

Echelon CEO Ron Sege told the news source that the vast amount of new data will also help distributed intelligence flourish. Sege stated that distributed intelligence will quickly become a necessity for smart grid deployments, as it allows companies to more quickly and efficiently manage data.

"We need to collect data at the edge, analyze it there, decide what's important and what's not, and send back to the enter only the exceptions. Better yet, take action locally based on that data," he said. "This kind of distributed intelligence is the direction the grid will go."

SUBNET has helped utilities all over North America install systems that allow them to better manage huge amounts of data from IEDs installed across their enterprise. 

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