Teaching an old grid new tricks

Increased investor interest in the improvement of power grids drives success

07/17/2008


Five years ago, a small number of overgrown trees caused a blackout for a large section of the northeastern part of the U.S. The health of the nation’s electric grid has not improved much since then. Increasing demand for electricity is putting more pressure on an aging network. Deregulation of the utility industry has stymied investment in transmission lines.
According to Forbes a multitude of companies have invested large amounts of money in the grid but ignored the transmission line; the reason being that the potential to turn a profit from a network that is already in place is much greater than investing in a new one.
Optimal Technologies International commercially unveiled technology in May that could possibly eradicate blackouts. California’s grid operator has successfully tested the system although other results are still pending.
In March, Virginia based GridPoint and Xcel Energy combined with Duke Energy to test technology that could potentially lower the stress placed upon the grid by charging hybrid vehicles. Xcel Energy has since announced that it will be using the technology to build the first " Smart Grid City " in Boulder, Colo. It remains to be seen how enthusiastic local grids will be to embrace the new technology. However, with a steady source of investment from private companies and the government there is a better chance for improvement than before.





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Emergency lighting; NFPA 3 and 4; Integrated building systems; Smart lighting, HVAC design
Designing for energy efficiency; Understanding and applying NFPA 101 for mission critical facilities; Integrating commissioning and testing for fire alarm systems; Optimizing unitary pumping solutions
Economics of HVAC systems; NFPA 110-2016; Designing and choosing modular data centers
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me