The Evolution of Smart Grid

Vipul Gore
President & CEO-Gridscape Solutions
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Vipul Gore
Headquartered in Fremont, Gridscape Solutions is a software provider that specializes in designing and developing a broad range of smart energy solutions for utilities, manufacturers and other enterprises.

The electric grid is the oldest global network reliably delivering electricity to consumers from suppliers for over 200 years. It consists of power producers, high-voltage transmission and distribution lines to transport energy and individual, residential or commercial energy consumers.

The power producers may be distantly located nuclear power stations, hydroelectric dam sites or new renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar panels or wind turbines. The transmission network includes long distance power lines and substations that usually provide step-down voltage transformers. Finally, electricity is consumed by commercial or residential customers in cities, towns and villages. The power plants are typically huge and capable of generating massive energy and hence the grid is typically organized in a sort-of ‘spoke and hub’ network that has fewer power plants and a large number of consumers. However, the renewable sources of power such as solar panels and wind turbines are changing this landscape and forming a truly distributed grid where the power source could be very close to the consumer.

Challenges and Issues

The current electrical grid is plagued with several issues as described below that necessitate an evolution into a ‘smart grid’ that is not only highly distributed but also cost-effective and efficient.

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