Criticism Of Smart Meter Roll
Citizens Advice said in August 2018 that 80% of people with smart meters were happy with them. Still, it had 3,000 calls in 2017 about problems. These related to first-generation smart meters losing their functionality, aggressive sales practices, and still having to send smart meter readings.
Ross Anderson of the Foundation for Information Policy Research has criticised the UK’s program on the grounds that it is unlikely to lower energy consumption, is rushed and expensive, and does not promote metering competition. Anderson writes, “the proposed architecture ensures continued dominance of metering by energy industry incumbents whose financial interests are in selling more energy rather than less,” and urged ministers “to kill the project and instead promote competition in domestic energy metering, as the Germans do â and as the UK already has in industrial metering. Every consumer should have the right to appoint the meter operator of their choice.”
In a 2011 submission to the Public Accounts Committee, Anderson wrote that Ofgem was “making all the classic mistakes which have been known for years to lead to public-sector IT project failures” and that the “most critical part of the projectâhow smart meters will talk to domestic appliances to facilitate demand responseâis essentially ignored.”
Historical Development Of The Electricity Grid
The first alternating currentpower grid system was installed in 1886 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. At that time, the grid was a centralized unidirectional system of electric power transmission, electricity distribution, and demand-driven control.
In the 20th century, local grids grew over time, and were eventually interconnected for economic and reliability reasons. By the 1960s, the electric grids of developed countries had become very large, mature and highly interconnected, with thousands of ‘central’ generation power stations delivering power to major load centres via high capacity power lines which were then branched and divided to provide power to smaller industrial and domestic users over the entire supply area. The topology of the 1960s grid was a result of the strong economies of scale: large coal-, gas- and oil-fired power stations in the 1 GW to 3 GW scale are still found to be cost-effective, due to efficiency-boosting features that can be cost-effective only when the stations become very large.
From 1970s to the 1990s, growing demand led to increasing numbers of power stations. In some areas, supply of electricity, especially at peak times, could not keep up with this demand, resulting in poor power quality including blackouts, power cuts, and brownouts. Increasingly, electricity was depended on for industry, heating, communication, lighting, and entertainment, and consumers demanded ever higher levels of reliability.
What Does A Smart Grid Do
The Smart Grid represents an unprecedented opportunity to move the energy industry into a new era of reliability, availability, and efficiency that will contribute to our economic and environmental health. During the transition period, it will be critical to carry out testing, technology improvements, consumer education, development of standards and regulations, and information sharing between projects to ensure that the benefits we envision from the Smart Grid become a reality. The benefits associated with the Smart Grid include:
- More efficient transmission of electricity
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
- Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
- Reduced peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates
- Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
- Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
- Improved security
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Smart Grid: Building A Wireless Connection
Despite the many incremental improvements that have been made to our electricity system since its inception, if George Westinghouse, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla examined the grid today, they would find a technology that operates in much the same manner as when they were alive. Certainly, the same wouldnt be true of Alexander Graham Bell if you presented him with a cell phone. Thats a comparison that speaks volumes about the lack of attention received by our electrical system and the fundamental need to bring our grid into the 21st century.
There are plenty of reasons why modernizing the grid is of paramount importance to this Administration. Along with creating tens of thousands of new jobs, a modernized grid will give consumers and businesses the information they need to reduce their energy consumption and better manage their energy bills. We can probably save about 20 percent of our total energy consumption just by being made aware of when and how we use electricity, and changing our ways accordingly.
Modernizing the grid will help us pave the way for the coming wave of electric vehicles so that the increase in electricity consumption wont overload the system. Smart grid technologies, tools and techniques will also help us reduce the risk of service interruptions of blackouts by giving utilities real-time information about the health of their power networks.
Flexibility In Network Topology
Next-generation transmission and distribution infrastructure will be better able to handle possible bidirectional energy flows, allowing for distributed generation such as from photovoltaic panels on building roofs, but also charging to/from the batteries of electric cars, wind turbines, pumped hydroelectric power, the use of fuel cells, and other sources.
Classic grids were designed for one-way flow of electricity, but if a local sub-network generates more power than it is consuming, the reverse flow can raise safety and reliability issues. A smart grid aims to manage these situations.
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Other Challenges To Adoption
Before a utility installs an advanced metering system, or any type of smart system, it must make a business case for the investment. Some components, like the power system stabilizers installed on generators are very expensive, require complex integration in the grid’s control system, are needed only during emergencies, and are only effective if other suppliers on the network have them. Without any incentive to install them, power suppliers don’t. Most utilities find it difficult to justify installing a communications infrastructure for a single application . Because of this, a utility must typically identify several applications that will use the same communications infrastructure â for example, reading a meter, monitoring power quality, remote connection and disconnection of customers, enabling demand response, etc. Ideally, the communications infrastructure will not only support near-term applications, but unanticipated applications that will arise in the future. Regulatory or legislative actions can also drive utilities to implement pieces of a smart grid puzzle. Each utility has a unique set of business, regulatory, and legislative drivers that guide its investments. This means that each utility will take a different path to creating their smart grid and that different utilities will create smart grids at different adoption rates.
Lg Announces New Smart Grid
A new series of smart appliances just announced by LG will–in addition to having smart grid connectivity–communicate with each other over the network, as well as connect to owners’ smartphones and tablet devices, giving them control over a wide range of energy-saving and diagnostic functions–bringing the kitchen to the forefront of the Internet of Things.
The technology, known as “Thinq,” was recently profiled on Engadget,
At the center of Thinq is the concept of an intelligent WiFi grid built around a smart meter enabling home owners to schedule the oven cook time, washing machine cycle, and refrigerator defrost at the most cost-effective or convenient times.
Thinq appliances show daily, weekly, or monthly reports detailing each appliance’s energy consumption. Naturally, you can access daily totals from your smartphone or tablet as well.
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The Smart Grid Compared To Traditional Electricity Grids The Essence And Differences
Traditional electricity grids had almost no storage capabilities, they are demand-driven and have a hierarchical structure. In an electricity network voltage is gradually lowered so the electricity can be used by these different consumers: from transmission voltage levels to distribution voltage levels to service voltage levels .
Typically, a distinction is made between transmission and distribution , where different wiring and cabling systems come in the picture. The purpose of an electrical grid is to make sure that electricity is always provided when and where needed, without interruption and herein lie many challenges where a smart grid can already offer solutions/answers.
Given the complexity and the multiple challenges that can arise such as the consequences of severe weather conditions, damage by wildlife, human sabotage and other external factors and internal factors managing a grid is very complex and a dedicated field for experts who also need to consider the choices regarding energy regulations and initiatives by governments.
In smart grids, self-healing capabilities enable to automatically detect and respond to grid problems and to ensure quick recovery after disturbances.
The electricity market, the consumption of electricity, regulations, demands of various stakeholders and the very production of electricity are all changing. So, smart grid initiatives exist across the globe, albeit sometimes with different approaches and goals.
To Reduce Emissions And Carbon
Not only does an IoT-based smart grid system provide intelligence, visibility, control and communication into the energy consumption process. Smart grid enables green energy adoption at a wider scale.
First of all, together with reduced wasted energy come reduced emissions. Secondly, smart grid architecture allows including renewables into the network, which makes clean energy sources more accessible for people.
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What Is A Smart Refrigerator And Is It Worth It
ByMike Prospero26 March 2019
A connected refrigerator can tell you when its door has been left open or if you’re running out of milk, but are these conveniences worth the premium?
What if your refrigerator could tell you if its door has been left open, or it’s running out of ice? What if you could ask it while you’re at the grocery store if you need to get more eggs or milk?
Those are some of the features available with “smart” refrigerators that are connected to your smartphone via the internet. This guide will help show what smart refrigerators can do, how much they cost, who makes them and if they’re worth it.
It Companies Disrupting The Energy Market
Smart grid provides IT-based solutions which the traditional power grid is lacking. These new solutions pave the way of new entrants that were traditionally not related to the energy grid. Technology companies are disrupting the traditional energy market players in several ways. They develop complex distribution systems to meet the more decentralized power generation due to microgrids. Additionally is the increase in data collection bringing many new possibilities for technology companies as deploying transmission grid sensors at a user level and balancing system reserves. The technology in microgrids makes energy consumption cheaper for households than buying from utilities. Additionally, residents can manage their energy consumption easier and more effectively with the connection to smart meters. However, the performances and reliability of microgrids strongly depend on the continuous interaction between power generation, storage and load requirements. A hybrid offering combining renewable energy sources with storing energy sources as coal and gas is showing the hybrid offering of a microgrid serving alone.
As a consequence of the entrance of the technology companies in the energy market, utilities and DSO’s need to create new business models to keep current customers and to create new customers.
Focus on a customer engagement strategy
Create alliances with new entered technology companies
Renewable energy sources
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How To Choose The Best Smart Light Switch For You
Smart light switches vs. smart light bulbs vs. smart plugs
First thing to consider is whether you need a smart light switch or a smart light bulb. The difference is, with a smart light bulb, you can control the bulb itself with your phone, rather than the switch. Because of this, smart light bulbs are a good option if youre just trying to control a single light. If thats the case, weve rounded up the best smart light bulbs to help you choose.
Smart light switches are a better option if you have lots of bulbs though or multiple rooms you want to control. They also tend to be much more cost efficient than splashing out for lots of smart light bulbs.
If youre old school and your home is lit via floor and table lamps, then one the best smart plugs is likely the best option for you. You simply connect your lamp straight to it, and then the smart plug into your wall socket, no wiring involved! Smart plugs tend to be less expensive than smart light switches as well.
Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Z-Wave?
Smart light switches usually connect to your internet via Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, or Zigbee. Through Wi-Fi, your switch links to your router, whereas Z-Wave and Zigbee use smart home hubs. While the latter options mean you will need to purchase a separate hub, it does mean you will still be able to use the smart light switch when the internet is down.
Smart home connectivity
How To Install A Smart Light Switch
Unlike most smart home devices, which merely require you to plug them into an outlet, installing a smart switch involves replacing a current in-wall switch. Since few, if any, light-control products include professional installation as part of the package, you will need a basic understanding of electrical work, which includes turning off the circuit breaker. For full wireless access, you then replace the entire existing unit with the smart switch by attaching all the wires to the new switch, including the neutral wire.
Smart switches are often bulkier than their traditional counterparts, however so if they don’t fit in the electrical box properly, you may need to get a new box, which is probably a job for an electrician. Similarly, some older homes don’t have the right wiring, so an electrician is a good idea here, too. Finally, some smart switches won’t work if you have multiple switches controlling a single light .
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Broadband Data Communications Over Mv Powerlines
Power line communications are an attractive technology to transport the smart meter aggregated information acquired by home area networks, without the elevated cost and implantation time required by the well-known solutions based on wireless and optical fibers. Indeed, as a neighborhood area network, the broadband power line appears as a good candidate for data communication due to the already installed and pervasive power distribution infrastructure .
The PLC idea emerged in 1838, when a remote measurement system was proposed to monitoring battery levels of sites far from a telegraph system. The first carrier frequency system began to operate over high-voltage lines in the frequency range of 15500 kHz for telemetry applications in 1922. The first system designed to work over MV and low-voltage electric networks was used for remote switching of public lights and tariff changes in 1950, employing a carrier frequency between 100 Hz and 1 kHz in a one-directional communication established via control signals . Later, bidirectional narrowband communication systems were designed for applications such as control and telemetry of electronic devices, dynamic tariff control, load management, and load profile recording. Nowadays, the PLC technology has been enhanced, bringing improvements in transmission speed, security, and service quality, providing high performance transmission for broadband services such as video streaming, internet, and cloud access .