Saturday, January 7, 2012

Path to future Power System – Sprint or Marathon?

Many people have assumed that the conversion of today's power system into a smarter system could be done in a few years – comparable with a Sprint.

After eight years of extensive training on IEC 61850 and other power related topics I conducted for more than 2,750 experts, from more than 700 companies and more than 70 countries I have learned that the conversion is more like a Marathon!

Many people believe that smart meters would convert the system in a few years to become a Smart Grid. The German Network Regulator has stated that a roll-out of huge number of smart meters is not required for the stable network operation. The report states also that the development of a Smart(er) Grid is more like an evolution – not a revolution.

Click HERE for the Report (pdf, German only)

At the Hanover Fair in April 2010 I took the following photo of a hybrid PEV vehicle and a charging station. The battery was charged with a regular extension cord connected to a conventional outlet – in the morning before visitors walked around!!


Photo: Karlheinz Schwarz

The car is already a Sprinter – but the Plug into the future could be expected after a “Marathon” – it just takes some more time!

The International Energy Agency (IEA) states in their “Technology Roadmap on Smart Grids” that “The “smartening” of the electricity system is an evolutionary process, not a one-time event.”

Click HERE for the IEA roadmap [pdf, 50 pages].

Click HERE for a discussion of the results of the stimulus funding of the U.S. government by end of 2011. According to that report “18 million [installed] smart meters only covers 13 percent of the 142 million customers in the U.S., for example, and automating 671 substations leaves another 11,795 more to go, or 95 percent of those remaining in the United States. As befits its title, this stimulus funding was meant to stimulate a new wave of smart grid investment across U.S. utilities, not merely to serve as a one-time jobs-and-spending jolt.

My students are told all the time: Do not hurray! Take your time. To win in a Marathon you need sustainable training. Only Smart (i.e., well trained) People will be able to implement the needed systems to measure, monitor, control, protect, optimize, … the electrical power system.

No comments: