1. Case Study 1: What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids? -Q Questions and Di i d Discussion i Assignment 1:Creating a website for team collaboration Review and Discussion Questions
Tutorial 1 14 / 09 /2011
Tutor’s Name: Simone Leon
1. Case Study 1: What’s the
Buzz on Smart Grids?
1. How do smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United States?
Current electricity grids do not provide any information about how consumers actually use energy. That makes it difficult to develop more efficient approaches to distribution. The current system offers few ways to handle power provided b alternative energy sources. With t ...view middle of the document...
That would allow them to make better decisions about using appliances like air conditioners and furnaces. They could potentially lower their energy bills. However, governments and energy companies need to help consumers overcome the intrusive feelings associated with the technology. Dashboard monitoring software must be easy for consumers to understand and use. Organizations: There are many disincentives for energy companies associated with smart grids. Operating budgets and profits would be severely impacted if consumers greatly reduced their energy consumption. Implementation costs would be extremely high, even with federal government assistance. Consumer backlash is already evident in the few experimental cases to date. Without properly structuring the implementation, that backlash could grow against the energy companies. Technology: Networks and switches for power management, sensor and monitoring devices to track energy usage and distribution trends; systems to provide energy suppliers and consumers with usage data, communications systems to relay data along the entire energy supply system, and systems linked to programmable appliances to run them when energy is least costly, are all expensive and time-consuming to retrofit into all the homes across the nation. Basically, the entire energy infrastructure would require retrofitting.
Case Study 1: What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids? continue… 3. What challenge to the development of smart grids do you think is most likely to hamper their development? y p p
Some challenges to the development of smart grids include: • Ch Changing th i f t t i the infrastructure of th entire electric grid across th nation f the ti l ti id the ti • Installing two-way meters that allow information to flow both to and from homes and businesses • Creating dashboards that are user-friendly •E t Extremely high costs of retrofitting th entire grid i f t t l hi h t f t fitti the ti id infrastructure, estimated t ti t d to be as high as $75 billion • Potential intrusiveness of new technology • Perceived and real loss of privacy • P t ti l economic i Potential i impact on energy companies t i
Case Study 1: What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids? continue…
4. What other areas of our infrastructure could benefit from ‘smart’ technologies? D t h l i ? Describe one example not listed in the case. ib l t li t d i th
One example that could benefit from “smart” technologies similar to the smart proposed electric grids is monitoring water usage in homes and businesses. Smart technologies could allow water utilities and consumers to • M it water flows much like electric usage Monitor t fl h lik l t i • Turn off lawn sprinklers during the heat of the day or based on predetermined schedules • Use monitors in lawns and around plants and shrubs to prevent over- or under-watering • Monitor evaporation rates • Monitor pools, fountains, and other water features for usage
Case Study 1: What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids?...