Smart grids: How smart grids are becoming the future of energy

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"Smart grids: How smart grids are becoming the future of energy"

What are smart grids?

Smart grids, or intelligent grids in Spanish, are an electricity distribution system that integrates digital technologies to improve the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of the grid.

One of the main differences between smart grids and traditional electrical grids is that the former are bidirectional. This means that electricity can flow in both directions, allowing consumers to become producers.

Another key difference between a smart grid and a traditional electrical grid is the knowledge available about the grid and the interactions that occur between the grid and its users. While in a traditional electrical grid, the knowledge of the past, present, and future operating state of the grid was limited or nonexistent, in a smart grid, operators are able to know what is happening in the grid in real time to operate it efficiently and use historical behavior to simulate or predict future behavior and anticipate possible incidents. This is mainly due to the fact that, in a smart grid, the exchange between the user and the grid is not limited to electricity, but there is also an exchange of information. Smart grids also incorporate a control and monitoring system that allows grid operators to manage electricity demand more efficiently, helping to reduce energy losses and improve supply reliability.

Features of energy

Here are some of the most notable features of this type of grid:

  • Implementation of digital twins. Digital models of the distribution grid are generated from the information available in GIS systems, which allow the behavior of the grid to be emulated and used for different applications such as monitoring, simulation, and prediction.
  • Strict knowledge of the grid state:
  • Greater flexibility. One of the objectives of smart grids is to respond more quickly to any unexpected event or outage, an aspect that has been achieved thanks to automation and the implementation of ADMS systems.
  • Increased security. Smart grids help to ensure a more reliable, efficient, safe, and sustainable electricity supply, which represents an improvement in the service.
  • Safe decentralization of production. Consumers can consume energy through the distribution grid and, at the same time, generate it in their own installation, being able to store it in batteries or feed it back to the grid safely for other users to consume.

How do smart grids work?

The strength of smart grids is their communication and consumption control power. Management is carried out through two key points:

  • Digitalization of grid assets. Through telemanagement systems or network monitoring equipment, they allow the creation of observability points and the implementation of digital twins.
  • Control centers. This is responsible for exploiting all available information to manage decision-making and be able to intervene quickly and effectively if necessary.

Smart grids offer a number of benefits that make them a key technology for the future of energy. These benefits include:

  • Improved energy efficiency. It help to reduce energy losses and improve energy use efficiency.
  • Greater reliability. Smart grids help to ensure a more reliable electricity supply, even in the event of outages.
  • Greater sustainability. Smart grids help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the sustainability of the electricity system.

At Ingelectus, we are specialists in smart grids and offer comprehensive services that include consulting, design, management, or implementation of these grids. If you are interested in learning more about our solutions, please contact us.