Smart Grid – Future Electric Grid

Project and Seminar Material For Electrical Electronics Engineering EEE

Smart Grid – Future Electric Grid


Smart grid is referred to as “an automated, widely distributed energy delivery network incorporating the benefits of distributed computing and communications to deliver real-time information and enable the near-instantaneous balance of supply and demand. The smart grid brings the philosophies, concepts, and technologies that enabled the Internet to the utility and energy grid.”

Power grids now undertake a one-directional “broadcast” power from the central power generators to users. The smart grid concept entails routing power to users using two-way digital technology that enables the power grid to respond to a wide range of conditions at the users point, facilitating optimal energy usage, resulting in reduced cost and increased reliability and transparency. In this work, reasons why smart grid will replace our traditional grid is discussed.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

A “smart grid” is an electrical grid which includes a variety of operational and energy measures including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficiency resources. Electronic power conditioning and control of the production and distribution of electricity are important aspects of the smart grid.
Roll-out of smart grid technology also implies a fundamental re-engineering of the electricity services industry, although typical usage of the term is focused on the technical infrastructure

“Smart grid” generally refers to a class of technology people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation. These systems are made possible by two-way communication technology and computer processing that has been used for decades in other industries. They are beginning to be used on electricity networks, from the power plants and wind farms all the way to the consumers of electricity in homes and businesses. They offer many benefits to utilities and consumers — mostly seen in big improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid and in the energy users’ homes and offices.
For a century, utility companies have had to send workers out to gather much of the data needed to provide electricity. The workers read meters, look for broken equipment and measure voltage, for example. Most of the devices utilities use to deliver electricity have yet to be automated and computerized. Now, many options and products are being made available to the electricity industry to modernize it.

The “grid” amounts to the networks that carry electricity from the plants where it is generated to consumers. The grid includes wires, substations, transformers, switches and much more.

Much in the way that a “smart” phone these days means a phone with a computer in it, smart grid means “computerizing” the electric utility grid. It includes adding two-way digital communication technology to devices associated with the grid. Each device on the network can be given sensors to gather data (power meters, voltage sensors, fault detectors, etc.), plus two-way digital communication between the device in the field and the utility’s network operations center. A key feature of the smart grid is automation technology that lets the utility adjust and control each individual device or millions of devices from a central location.

The number of applications that can be used on the smart grid once the data communications technology is deployed is growing as fast as inventive companies can create and produce them. Benefits include enhanced cyber-security, handling sources of electricity like wind and solar power and even integrating electric vehicles onto the grid. The companies making smart grid technology or offering such services include technology giants, established communication firms and even brand new technology firms.

1.1 Objective Of The Study

The objective of this work is discus reason why smart grid which power supply system that combines information technology with power transmission to supply power to consumer, should be our future electric grid.

1.2 Scope Of The Study

Grids are designed to supply voltages at largely constant amplitudes. This has to be achieved with varying demand, variable reactive loads, and even nonlinear loads, with electricity provided by generators and distribution and transmission equipment that are not perfectly reliable.

Smart grid is the application of information technology, tools and techniques like smart meters, sensors, real-time communications, software and remote-controlled equipment into the electrical grid to improve grid reliability and efficiency.

The key additions to a smart grid compared to the traditional grid include:

  1. An intelligent monitoring system including a net metering system to keep track of all electricity flowing in the system
  2. Superconductive transmission lines to integrate renewable electricity such as solar and wind to the grid and ensure less transmission loss
  3. Internet protocol based smart grid communication technologies on home devices to maintain live and automatic communication between the utility service provider and the customer

1.3 Significance Of The Project

One positive factor of smart grid technology is that individuals can more accurately monitor and manage their energy use by checking their smart meters. Smart meters interact with the grid by sending energy consumption and production data back and forth, allowing consumers a real-time view of their energy use. In addition, smart meters allow utility companies to offer real-time pricing which provides consumers with an incentive to more effectively manage their energy consumption and save money.

Another way that a smart grid can benefit the environment is that renewable energy producers, such as solar plants and wind farms, can safely store or send excess energy back to the grid, improving the production and distribution of clean energy.

Implementing smart grid technology would also create a new job market of energy related products and services. For example, mainstreaming smart grid technology would require advanced energy monitoring software, individuals to install metering infrastructure as well as distribution and substation automation communication services.

1.4 Limitation/Problem Of The Study

One challenge is that completely rebuilding the existing electrical grid will be extremely time consuming and expensive.

Another concern is that the real-time pricing of smart meters may negatively affect particular industries. One example is that institutions, such as hospitals, are not able to change the temperature of their buildings as they must obey health regulations. As a result, institutions such as these will be heavily billed by utility companies, and these expenses may be carried over to consumers.

A third challenge of installing a smart grid is that utilizing the internet to provide real time grid data increases the risk of privacy and security breaches. One simulation found that malware experts could infiltrate one smart meter and spread the virus to 15,000 meters within a day, enabling hackers to remotely shut off power with the click of a button. These are some of the most serious challenges utility companies, consumers and the government must consider before modernizing our electrical network.

1.5 Smart Grid Glossary

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI):

Advanced Metering Infrastructure is another term for smart meters—electricity meters that automatically measure and record usage data at regular intervals and provide the data to consumers and energy companies at least once daily. The opposite is Automated Meter Reading (AMR)—meters that collect data for billing purposes only and transmit this data one way, usually from the customer to the distribution utility.

Automated Meter Reading (AMR):

Automated meter reading (AMR) is a technology used in utility meters for collecting the data that’s needed for billing purposes. AMR, which works by translating the movement of the mechanical dials on a meter into a digital signal, does not require physical access or visual inspection. The data can be transmitted from the meter to the utility company by telephone, power line, satellite, cable or radio frequency.

Distribution automation:

Distribution Automation (DA) is a family of technologies including sensors, processors, communication networks and switches that can perform a number of distribution system functions depending on how they are implemented. Over the last 20 years, utilities have been applying DA to improve reliability, service quality and operational efficiency. More recently, DA is being applied to perform automatic switching, reactive power compensation coordination and other feeder operations/control.

Distributed generation:

Distributed generation (DG) refers to power generation at the point of consumption. Generating power on-site, rather than centrally, eliminates the cost, complexity, interdependencies, and inefficiencies associated with transmission and distribution. Like distributed computing (i.e. the PC) and distributed telephony (i.e. the mobile phone), distributed generation shifts control to the consumer.

Demand response:

Demand response refers to the capability of smart grid technologies to allow for reductions in electricity use targeted at times when demand is highest. These peak reductions can reduce the strain placed on the electrical grid and decrease the need for high-cost generation resources. Consumers participating in demand response activities are compensated for the service. When utility issues a call for demand response, consumers do not have to take an action; the utility can simply send a signal to smart-capable appliances that take action based on pre-programmed consumer preferences.

Demand-side management:

The term for all activities or programs undertaken by Load-Serving Entity or its customers to influence the amount or timing of electricity they use.

Dynamic pricing:

Dynamic pricing refers to the family of rates that offer customers time-varying electricity prices on a day-ahead or real-time basis.

Electric grid:

A network of synchronized power providers and consumers that are connected by transmission and distribution lines and operated by one or more control centers. When most people talk about the power “grid,” they’re referring to the transmission system for electricity.

Home Area Network (HAN):

A communication network within the home of a residential electricity customer that allows transfer of information between electronic devices, including, but not limited to, in-home displays, computers, energy management devices, direct load control devices, distributed energy resources, and smart meters. Home area networks can be wired or wireless.

Kilowatt hour (kWH):

A kilowatt hour is the amount of energy you get from one kilowatt for one hour. Electricity use over time is measured in kilowatt hours. Your electric company measures how much electricity you use in kilowatt hours, abbreviated “kWh”. A kilowatt is a unit of power equal to 1000 watts.


The amount of electric power delivered or required at any specific point or points on a system. The requirement originates at the energy-consuming equipment of the consumers.

On-peak hours:

Those hours or other periods defined by NAESB business practices, contract, agreements, or guides as periods of higher electrical demand.

Off-peak hours:

Those hours or other periods defined by NAESB business practices, contract, agreements, or guides as periods of lower electrical demand.


The period during which a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility is out of service.

Peak load:

The maximum load during a specified period of time.

Peaker plant/peak load plant:

A plant usually housing old, low-efficiency steam units, gas turbines, diesels, or pumped-storage hydroelectric equipment normally used during the peak-load periods.

Smart devices:

Typically an electronic device, generally connected to other devices or networks via different protocols such as Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, 3G, etc., that can operate to some extent interactively and autonomously.

Smart grid:

The “grid” refers to our nation’s electric power infrastructure. Smart grid is the application of information technology, tools and techniques like smart meters, sensors, real-time communications, software and remote-controlled equipment to improve grid reliability and efficiency.

Smart home:

The integration of a smart meter along with Wi-Fi enabled appliances, lighting and other devices that conveniently changes the way a family interacts with its home and optimizes home energy consumption.

Smart meter:

Smart meters, a common form of smart grid technology, are digital meters that replace the old analog meters used in homes to record electrical usage. Digital meters can transmit energy consumption information back to the utility on a much more frequent schedule than analog meters, which require a meter reader to transmit information.

Time of use pricing:

Time-of-use pricing (TOU) typically applies to usage over broad blocks of hours (e.g., on-peak=6 hours for summer weekday afternoon; off-peak= all other hours in the summer months) where the price for each period is predetermined and constant.

Variable peak pricing:

Variable Peak Pricing (VPP) is a hybrid of time-of-use and real-time pricing where the different periods for pricing are defined in advance (e.g., on-peak=6 hours for summer weekday afternoon; off-peak= all other hours in the summer months), but the price established for the on-peak period varies by utility and market conditions.

Smart Grid – Future Electric Grid

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