Sunday, September 11, 2011

Southern California Edison’s Vision for Tomorrow’s Smart Electric Grid – Invest in yourself

In the IEEE power & energy magazine, issue of September/October 2011, you can find very interesting and important statements on the future electric power grid. The current issue provides several papers on power distribution systems. One remarkable paper is “Good Vibrations” (p 22-32) from Robert J. Yinger and Ardalan E. Kamiab (both with Southern California Edison, Westminster, California).

They state at the very beginning that “A smart grid involves adding to
the grid millions of smart electronic devices like phasor measurement
units, fault indicators, meters, and electric vehicle chargers that will send and receive millions of pieces of data per minute to produce actionable information and using that information to enhance the operations and control of the electric system.”

New hardware and software needs to be developed, installed and used – by engineers and programmers that may still be students at a high school. And what about the senior technicians? Are they “open” for “open” systems?

Whatever the mix of renewable power will be – one thing is sure: the future power delivery system needs a lot more information systems for the millions of smart electric devices!! Standards help to keep the cost quite low – by preventing the proliferation of the myriads of vendor specific solutions.

Be aware that standards are just tools – in the hands of people: young and senior experts, and newbies.

For Southern California Edison’s vision standards like IEC 61850 and DNP3 are quite crucial. In order to really benefit from the standards, “one of the challenges facing the utility industry over the next few years is training the necessary workforce for planning, building, operating, and maintaining the smart grid. A large number of new technologies are being applied to the smart grid, including new equipment, state-of-the-art communications technologies, and advanced control capabilities … that can help the entire utility industry prepare the workforce of the future to implement the smart grid … The workforce needs to be trained so that all of these new technologies can be implemented smoothly … Planning for these advanced smart grid systems needs to be done now …”

There is a chance next week (in Nashville, TN, 20-21 September, 2011) to get prepared for the new standards IEC 61850 and DNP3:

Click HERE for the program and further details of event next week.

Invest in becoming a valued power automation professional!

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