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Smart Grid (6EE5A)

Smart Grid RTU Syllabus (../subject.aspx?id=3&code=6EE5A&unitid=1&topicid=0)

Introduction to Smart Grid

Smart Grid Technologies

Smart Meters and AMI

Power Quality Management

High Performance Computing for Smart Grid Applications

Resilient and Self-healing Grid

Extreme weather and other natural disasters can threaten lives, disable communities, and devastate
electric utilities’ generation, transmission, and distribution systems. The majority of outages result from
damage to the millions of miles of distribution lines. Utilities and their crews have continued to improve
disaster response, focusing on upgraded equipment, advanced communications, rapid deployment of
staged resources from their own and other utilities, and the systematic application of lessons learned.
However, customers’ expectations of service reliability have changed dramatically with the evolution of
the 24/7, digitally connected society. Even with enhanced response and heroic e orts by crews,
restoration that stretches to days, and in some cases weeks, is no longer acceptable.

The resilience of the grid is based on three elements: prevention, recovery, and survivability.

1. Damage prevention refers to the application of engineering designs and advanced technologies that
harden the distribution system to limit damage.

2. System recovery refers to the use of tools and techniques to quickly restore service to as many
a ected customers as practical.

3. Survivability refers to the ability to maintain some basic level of electrical functionality to individual
consumers or communities in the event of grid disturbance without complete access to the grid.

Improving the distribution system’s resiliency requires advances in all three aspects.

Resilient Electric Grid (REG) is an e ort to “keep the lights on” in the event of a power outage by
enabling distribution level power substations to share power with one another. The primary goal of REG
is to develop and demonstrate an inherently fault current limiting, high-temperature, superconducting
cable for increased electric grid resiliency. This technology o ers several bene ts, most signi cantly
allowing substations to interconnect to share power and assets without the risk of fault currents
cascading through the grid and causing damage.

A self-healing grid is a power system that could identify and x its own problems, without direct human
intervention. A self-healing grid uses digital components and real-time secure communications
technologies installed throughout to monitor its electrical characteristics at all times and constantly
tune itself so it operates at an optimum state. It has the intelligence to constantly look for potential
problems caused by storms, catastrophes, human error or even sabotage. It will react to real or
potential abnormalities within a fraction of a second, just as a military ghter jet recon gures itself to
stay aloft after it is damaged. The self-healing grid isolates problems immediately as they occur, before
they cascade into major blackouts, and reorganizes the grid and reroutes energy transmissions so
services continue for all customers while the problem is physically repaired by line crews.

A smart self-healing grid can provide a number of bene ts that lead to a more stable and e cient
system. Three of its primary functions include:

1. Real-time monitoring and reaction, which allows the system to constantly tune itself to an optimal

2. Anticipation, which enables the system to automatically look for problems that could trigger larger
disturbances; and

3. Rapid isolation, which allows the system to isolate parts of the network that experience failure from
the rest of the system, to avoid the spread of disruption and enable a more rapid restoration.

As a result of these functions, a self-healing smart grid system is able to reduce power outages and
minimize their length when they do occur. The smart grid is able to detect abnormal signals, make
adaptive recon gurations and isolate disturbances, eliminating or minimizing electrical disturbances
during storms or other catastrophes. And, because the system is self-healing, it has an end-to-end
resilience that detects and overrides human errors that result in some of the power outages, such as
when a worker error left millions of California residents without electricity in September 2011.

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