SAIEE? What does that stand for? Smart grid? What does that mean?
Between the 23 – 25 February I was given the opportunity at attend the a conference hosted by the South African institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) which had a strong focus on Smart grid “A Smart Grid is an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected to it – generators, consumers and those that do both – in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies”
During the conference we were treated to talks from the father of smart grids professor Massoud Amin, Director of the technological leadership institute at the university of Minnesota , Mr Lee Strogner, President of the Vincula group that specialises in the internet of things IoT “IoT is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.” Professor Qing-Gou Wang of the Institute of intelligent systems (IIS) located at our very own University of Johannesburg based in Auckland Park, the institute of intelligent systems solves complex challenges in society and industry where big data is available, the institute forms partnerships with industry, government and communities to resolve challenges for the economic benefit of the country
Over the three days we were thrown into a world of smart technology and how we as a country can improve the delivery of services to customers, improve on our technology and by using smart technology and managing our infrastructure more efficiently. How we could manage big data and how it is managed and services delivered in places like India.
Speakers and panel discussions covered topics mentioned below
- How to save ageing Assets : Holistic and result orientated asset management – S. Massoud Amin
- How do we manage SA’s ageing Generation, Transmission and distribution Infrastructure – S. Massoud Amin
- Achieving Performance Excellence in Electricity service – Kurt Yeager
- Moving away from central power, Asset management evolves as micro grids play various roles – S. Massoud Amin
- How to save Aging assets – S. Massoud Amin
The South African power industry faces many challenges, from poor performing networks, a shortage of generation capacity to significant infrastructure backlog and an aging workforce, according to the DBSA (Development bank of South Africa) the key challenge facing the industry is aging infrastructure, smart grid technologies are a group of technologies that are being used by utilities to deliver electrical systems into the 22nd century using computer based remote control and automation. The key focus of smart grid technologies is to improve reliability, flexibility, accessibility and profitability and support trends to more sustainable energy supply.
The traditional challenges of distribution systems, reliability and resilience of supply and energy security remain, new realities and introduce another set of constraints. Embracing evolving distributed generation technologies and maintaining infrastructure while managing customer concerns around rising electricity cost cause further level of complexity, Utilities should continuously be transforming using digital technologies and managing infrastructure, by continuously transforming to help utilities understand the implications of the new energy world.
The attached presentations articles cover the topics covered at the conference.
- What is smart grid
- Toward standardization of advanced metering infrastructure in South Africa
- Cyber security
- Smart network solutions of South Africa
- Economic viability of SG systems
- Next generation telecoms for utilities
- Asset performance management
- Eskom AMI lessons (Smart meter project)
- Smart metering within gated communities
- The role of smart transformers within distribution systems
- Accelerated Environmental stress test procedure for smart electricity meters
- Building a better connected Smart Grid
- Secured Smart grid for AMI
- Analysing security and privacy of deployed smart meter systems
- Powerline communication in the SA residential metering environment
- Legislation and regulatory policy regarding smart grids
- Tangible benefits of recovery of revenue
- Adaptive Protection for medium voltage feeders
- Effective resource management systems for local voltage support
- Smart grid maturity model assessment
- Domain mapping in the utility environment
- Visibility and control of LV networks in low income areas
- Scaling down a small island control
- Flexible, Extendable, Scenario – Driven Hybrid Grid models and an approach to international collaboration in expanding and extending grid modelling for smart grid development
- Possibilities for use of smart grids
- Using Smart Grids for improving the reliability performance of medium voltage networks
- Design and Implementation of a power line carrier
- Smart Solar energy mini grid for rural electrification
- How to facilitate the integration of renewable energy local grids
- Optimized daily scheduling of photovoltaic wind systems with pumped hydro storage
- Case study on the introduction of Smart grids within municipalities
- Small distribution grid model of residential housing clusters incorporating embedded generation.
Attending the conference gave me a new outlook on electricity generation and distribution, how we can better manage our current solutions and better plan for the future. South Africa has the ability to work smarter not harder to deliver smart electricity for future generations.
In closing I urge all companies to get involved in utilities, metering, Information technology, electricity and all budding engineers to please attend these conferences because when it’s over your smarter and yes on the grid of change. – Kamal Ramjee