National Institute of Standards and Technology
As the chief technology officer of Honeywell International’s Automation Control Solutions division, Daniel Sheflin guides a 5,000 member team in its product development efforts. Daniel Sheflin additionally serves as chairman of the Smart Grid Federal Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Appointed to the position in 2010, Mr. Sheflin guides a committee of diverse industry and technology representatives spanning the business, higher education, and professional organization sectors.
The overarching aim of the committee is to provide NIST with technical and strategic inputs that will assist efforts to maximize, modernize, and secure America’s electric power grid. In particular, long term efforts are underway to improve energy efficiency and stabilize electrical systems underpinning the grid via a Smart Grid structure. In selecting Mr. Sheflin to head the advisory committee, NIST recognized his experience within a company that has installed environmental and energy controls in more than 10 million buildings and 150 million residences worldwide.
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.
Smart grid technologies consist of a group of modernized electric utility systems that integrate computerized, automated, and remotely controlled capabilities. Using tried and true computer technologies that have seen widespread adoption in other industries, smart grid technologies have the potential to increase energy efficiency throughout the electrical grid, from power plants to end users.
Examples of smart grid technologies include hardware set up to communicate digitally with a central control facility. Sensors combined with automation enable utilities to monitor and adjust devices remotely. This makes it possible for the utility to examine usage, detect broken equipment, control voltages, and carry out many other functions in a more efficient manner. These technologies also promise to harden the grid against cyber-attacks and respond more effectively to the volatile output of energy sources such as wind and solar power to take advantage of their capabilities and mitigate their disadvantages.
About the Author
Daniel Sheflin has served as vice president of technology automation control solutions at Minnesota technology giant Honeywell for over 12 years. A former manager at General Electric, Daniel Sheflin takes a keen interest in smart grid technologies and served as chairman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Smart Grid Federal Advisory Committee.
Daniel Sheflin serves Honeywell Automation Control Solutions in his capacity as chief technology officer. Prior to his current position, he was vice president of automation control solutions with Honeywell and general manager of engineering with General Electric. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently named Daniel Sheflin to its Smart Grid Advisory Committee.
The smart grid is an envisioned electrical network spanning the United States that delivers energy efficiently and securely by using state-of-the-art technology. The smart grid has been characterized as combining the old-fashion energy infrastructure with the internet. However, NIST provides a more comprehensive definition, and refers to the smart grid as a modernized solution that allows for bidirectional energy flows and two-way control capabilities that enhance services. The current grid allows for a one-way flow.
The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act officially recognized the importance of the smart grid to national development and put the project on the fast track. Even with full government support, such a complex initiative will take years to complete.