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Engineers from academia and industry will harness the power of control theory to help improve the way electric power grids are operated in San Diego and beyond in a new research laboratory that opened this month on the University of California, San Diego campus. Called SyGMA – for ‘Synchrophasor Grid Monitoring and Automation’ – the new industry-sponsored facility is located at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). Sometimes called ‘the hidden technology,’ control theory can be applied to keep large systems or grid infrastructures in balance. Cruise control systems in passenger cars and trucks are a good example of a control system – they are designed to calculate just how much fuel or electrical energy a vehicle needs in order to maintain a certain speed despite terrain changes. The San Diego Gas & Electric Sunrise Powerlink Project brings enough energy into San Diego from the renewable-rich Imperial Valley to serve 650,000 homes. The fiber optics will be used to monitor the thermal performance of the high-voltage cable system real time.
Fiber optics was included in the 6.2-mile, 230 kilovolt (kV) underground cable system design that is part of the 117-mile system. As part of engineering service, Black & Veatch designed a forced-water cooling system to be used where the underground transmission cable system reconnects with the overhead line. In a series of stories airing this week on Morning Edition and All Things Considered and published here on, we examine the costs, the politics and other challenges of upgrading the country's electricity grid. Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity is a $100 million project to create a new kind of electricity grid that can monitor and manage itself.
Ray Tuomey of Boulder, Colo., volunteered to have sensors installed on his heating and air conditioning unit and on his clothes dryer. Xcel Energy and GridPoint are installing batteries the size of a small refrigerator in customers' homes in Boulder, Colo.
The nation's electricity grid is facing some huge challenges a€” it's outdated and unprepared for increasing demand and a future that includes more renewable sources of energy.
The hackers appeared to conduct "extensive reconnaissance of the victim networks," possibly by first using malware introduced via phony "phishing" emails to snag usernames and passwords to access the facility remotely and hit their circuit breakers.
Smart grids create an opportunity to engage directly with customers (residential and commercial) in a two-way communication. Along with the Department Of Energy (DOE) stimulus funds that have been allocated to renewable energy generation and smart-grid technologies, there has been a rapid growth in the generation of electric power from renewable sources in the past decade. An expanded smart grid needs to take into consideration that renewable energy generation is intermittent and doesn’t produce stable and consistent power. The following up-coming events will focus on these questions and more, discuss the integration of large scale and residential technology, innovative business models, and investments and returns. Demand Response is one of the biggest payoffs in residential Smart Grid infrastructure, and companies are lining up to offer sensors, control systems, and services to help consumers take full advantage of intelligent energy systems.
More information: WCA was founded in 1994 and is a non-profit business league dedicated to providing education, connection, and community for companies, organizations, and individuals involved with wireless technologies. The current metering devices for generating, transmitting and distributing electrical information are vulnerable to failure.
A panel of experts, which include key players as well as investors in this massive enterprise, discuss the integration of both large scale and micro-scale technology, innovative business models, and giant investments and returns.

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Three things you and Peyton Manning should consider before a job changeSuper Bowl 50 is over and the Broncos fans are ecstatic that their champion quarterback, Peyton Manning, was able to win what may end up being his last professional football game. The most interesting jobs for people who love to travelDo you ever feel like packing your bags and going on a journey you will never forget?
Much the same way that these cruise control systems measure velocity and control the accelerator pedal, the SyGMA lab collects and analyzes data from a device called a synchrophasor, which monitors conditions on power transmission lines.
In addition, the SyGMA lab will have access to the same computational tools that SDG&E uses to simulate the dynamic behavior of electric microgrids. The 117-mile, 500,000 volt electric transmission line links San Diego to the Imperial Valley, one of the most renewable energy-rich regions in California. The silver box on the utility pole is about 12 inches by 15 inches, and it's one of several thousand points where data is collected, then sent to computers that run the grid. The devices can store excess wind or solar energy, and then release it later when the customer or the utility needs it. In a weeklong series, NPR is examining the state of the nation's electricity infrastructure. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. There are so many routes nations take in order to answer this energy shortage crisis – nuclear power, energy storage and the like. Smart grids don’t just mean the replacement of old meter readers and an automated data collection system that the utility companies utilize for billing purposes.
Furthermore, in the next 10-20 years, the increase in renewable energy generation will affect the U.S. This fact influences grid capacity, grid integration, intermittency issues, and the need to balance demand response.
Failures may include faults at power stations, damage to power lines, faults at substations, malfunctions at parts of the transmission and distribution system, or overloading. Yet, while the load-leveling model has been proven in the industrial and commercial markets, the model for residential consumers has yet to be proven.
The organization promotes education, networking, and exchange of non-proprietary information, works to increase awareness of wireless capabilities in Silicon Valley, and draws a broad spectrum of companies, from multinational corporations to start-ups. The need to revamp this outdated technology is apparent, especially in an age of renewable energy.
This includes currents, voltage, and specific properties of electricity such as frequency, phase angle, and real and reactive power flow. The completion of the project in 2012 was the result of a rigorous, five-year environmental review and permitting process. The temperature information collected by the fiber optics provides first-hand cable insight. This will eliminate a choke point by using water chillers, circulation pumps and control instrumentation.

By using the sensor technology, he discovered his air conditioning unit was using a little bit of power, even though it was turned off. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. Even in the Gold Coast, I always hear this topic being discussed in local newspapers and discussion forums.
How to choose a reliable and scalable smart grid system that will provide customers with accurate real-time information on their energy? Can residential low-cost energy capacity through large-scale peak shaving and load smoothing become a reality or are we simply chasing a dream?
This process was followed by 18 months of construction of both overhead and underground transmission infrastructure. That's because when it comes to electricity, not much has changed since Thomas Edison fired up the first commercial power grid in lower Manhattan on Sept. For instance, they aimed to keep important servers inoperative by remotely disconnecting their "uninterruptable power supplies," which would normally keep the computers running even in a blackout.
The attackers managed that by accessing an internal management program for those power supplies. The well-planned strike, which blacked out more than 225,000 people, hit three regional electronic power distribution companies within 30 minutes of each other on Dec.
A utility in Ohio failed to trim a few trees, causing a surprise outage that rolled across the region.
Mansoor's group predicts that without big changes, the grid will become increasingly unreliable within just a few years. In addition, the report states that three other organizations, some involved with unspecified Ukrainian "critical infrastructure," also appear to have been hacked — but didn't suffer overt impacts to their operations. That's because keeping a grid running is a delicate balancing act a€” to avoid outages, the amount of power you put in must equal the amount taken out. With difficult-to-predict demand on one side and difficult-to-predict production on the other, it could be almost impossible to manage the grid manually in the future. With data points all along the system, computers can then manage the grid much faster and more efficiently than humans could. The local utility, Xcel Energy, has upgraded much of its network in the city and is in the process of installing new meters that also will give customers and the utility a lot more information about how and when energy is used. And the utility will be able to tap into electricity stored in customers' plug-in electric hybrid cars during peak demand times. Imagine every home, business, utility pole and substation in the country, and you start to get a sense of how much this undertaking will cost.

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