Creating a smart grid in the United States means automating and computerizing many of the monitoring and maintenance practices that are still conducted by electricity company employees. The electricity grid consists of wires, transformers, and other equipment that allows for the transfer of power from utility companies to their customers. Granting two-way digital-communication capabilities and access by sensors, such as power meters and fault detectors, to grid devices allows utility companies to monitor and control energy distribution much more efficiently, working from a central location and without needing to send workers to gather data. Transitioning to a smart grid will not only make the current electricity infrastructure more efficient, it will also allow for better integration of emerging alternative electricity sources like solar and wind power.
About the author:
Since 2001, Daniel Sheflin has been a vice president of technology automation control solutions at Honeywell in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Throughout his career, Daniel Sheflin has been involved in the development of important technologies, such as wireless sensors, and he has served as the chairman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s smart grid advisory committee.