As various states around the country amp up the use of renewable energy sources, the structure of the electricity grid will continue to morph into a system that sustains more and more automation.
Blake Richetta and Olaf Lohr of sonnen Inc. wrote: “The challenges posed by the intermittent and unpredictable nature of renewable energy on the electricity grid are well documented and include the monumental task of connecting renewable generation, at the specific time that it is generated, with energy demand. Additionally, renewables put considerable strain on the electrical grid from a voltage and frequency regulation perspective.”
Distribution automation (DA) technologies surrounding smart grids have been around for a while and are continuing to advance as energy systems are increasingly being inundated with distributed resources. The increase in natural disasters creates a greater need for grids that are resilient in extreme weather events, making the need for distribution automation even more important than ever.
Designed to help predict energy demand and mitigate issues on the grid, DA brings together software, sensors, and switches, integrating diverse sources of electricity and identifying when events such as power outages occur.
As we plunge deeper into the fourth industrial revolution we’ll continue to see more and more energy automation as we shift from the simple digitization seen in the Third Industrial Revolution, to technology that will force companies to collaborate and reexamine business-as-usual.
What interesting trends or innovations are you seeing in distribution automation?