A grid (Electric Grid) is a network of systems that deliver electric energy from the power station to the consumers. These systems include transformers, transmission lines, and meters.
There are many sources of electricity including hydro-electric, wind, solar, nuclear and natural gas. These sources generate electricity at different voltages. These voltages are stepped up to high voltages in order to increase the efficiency of power transmission to the consumers. As the electric power approaches the final consumer, the voltage is stepped down to low voltages suitable to most electrical appliances. This voltage is mostly 240 volts. From the power plant to the final consumer, the electric current passes through various systems including transformers, meters and switches. These systems make up the electric grid.
WHAT MAKES A GRID SMART?
With the growing population and the technological revolution that has seen the emergence of new electric devices, there are more electric demands which cannot be met by the normal grid. There has emerged new devices including fridges, smart phones, microwaves, laptops, etc. Some of these devices are sensitive to voltage variations. Adding smart meters to the grid will help monitor these variations and react accordingly. A smart grid allows a two way communication between the power plant and the consumer. The smart grid has monitoring, analysis, control, and communication capabilities. It can monitor voltage variations and react accordingly. This improves power efficiency and ensures safety of electric devices.
COMPONENTS OF A SMART GRID
he smart grid is a combination of smart systems that play an important role in power generation and transmission. These systems are smart enough to monitor the power supply and utilize it. The following are its components:
1. Smart meters
The smart meter is a communication system between the power provider and the end consumer. It can detect flaws in the billing systems and communicate to the power provider on time. The communication is secured through wireless systems.
These are high tech appliances that help understand the power position, detect risks and act accordingly.
3. Smart sub-stations
Sub-stations are located in various regions and used to split the electric path to several routes. Smart sub-stations can monitor main station performance and control critical data. The smart sub-station requires manpower and heavy equipment to run smoothly. The equipment include transformers, switches, capacitors, circuit breakers etc.
4. Synchro phasors
Synchro phasors gather information from different locations of the grid to get a clear picture of the whole network using GPS and transmit for analysis to central locations.
BENEFITS OF SMART GRIDS
- They can detect and manage risks accordingly.
- They allow reading of meters remotely without physical appearance.
- They reduce carbon dioxide emissions, hence environmental friendly.
- They ensure better power quality.
- A smart grid ensures better supply and demand management.
CHALLENGES OF SMART GRIDS
- They are expensive to install.
- Since they use the cloud to transmit data, they are prone to cyber-attacks.
- Some of the countries lack the skills required to implement the smart grid.
One of the smart city goals is power efficiency. Therefore, the smart grid will play a key role in implementation of smart city projects. With the high rate of industrialization, electric consumption will be high, therefore the need for smart grids to ensure power efficiency and rik management.
GIS is important for business because most business problems include significant spatial components and GIS enables decision makers to leverage their spatial data resources more effectively.
GIS is useful for managing databases, even extremely large applications such as data warehouses, because it provides an enhanced data structure that is based on the natural organization that geography provides. Today, GIS-based data sources vary from satellite imagery used to validate the number of new houses in a retail market to the individual people-point data of the consumers living in those houses.
Data such as these can add significant value to an organization’s database by helping to validate and extend their own proprietary resources. Although geographic information technologies have existed for several decades, much research needs to be completed, particularly research examining issues associated with the development, implementation, and use of this technology in business settings. One reason for this is that GIS have traditionally been developed, operated, and researched by people with ties, in one way or another, to geography and computer science.
This has naturally led to a greater research focus on the technical and cartographic principles related to capturing, representing, and displaying spatial data. As GIS have spread into other areas such as biology, forestry, geology, and similar scientific disciplines, research has similarly tended to focus on technical concerns associated with each of these disciplines.
Although the literature on GIS from these areas is rich, great potential exists for researchers from business and information systems to contribute to this stream of research, much more research is still needed to better understand issues such as how GIS should be managed in a business setting. What types of business problems it should be used for, how it compares to other types of information systems, and its overall effectiveness as a decision-making tool.