Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smart electric grid of the future is in development

24.09.2003


Plans are underway to test new system



The nations current electric grid system will not work in the future with solar and wind farms providing substantial but intermittent power over long distances.

By 2050, it will take between 15 and 20 Terawatts (TW) of electric power to supply the North American economy. A little under 7 TW is currently used, with most of that consumed in the United States. The "Smart Electric Grid of the Future" must be able to efficiently and securely deliver this two- to three-fold-increase in power to all corners of the continent, in addition to being invulnerable to security breaches, attacks, natural disasters, and mechanical failures. The country can ill afford more blackouts like August 14, 2003.


Researchers at Columbia University have assembled a national team of scientists, technologists, security and intelligence experts to spearhead development of this "Smart Electric Grid"-a lean and efficient electrical delivery system that can meet the future energy and security demands of the nation.

Dr. Roger N. Anderson and Albert Boulanger from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a member of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, along with colleagues from Rice University’s Center for Nano Scale Science & Technology, the Texas Energy Center, and the Texas Superconductivity Center, have developed the framework for a "Smart Electric Grid," and plans are underway to test their system in Texas as well as the Northeast.

"We plan to integrate new technologies with the public policies, economic incentives and regulation changes that will be required to produce the new electric power system. The plan calls for a National Test Bed to put designs and innovations to practical use. A smarter and more capable system is essential to the future of economic growth and vitality for all of North America, and we intend to build the demonstration projects that will show the way to the future grid" said Anderson.

The technologies that the Columbia Team are working on will smartly control the complex system associated with the continent’s vast electrical power grid, which must interconnect 200 million asynchronous house, block, community, business, industry, town, and regional generation, transmission, distribution and storage systems.

In the immediate future, vast new renewable energy sources from wind, solar, and geothermal power generation must be added to gas, coal, hydroelectric and nuclear sources of the present. The new "Smart Electric Grid" must improve efficiency by 50% or more in order for this power technology revolution to be affordable.

In addition, it must be far more sophisticated from a computerized control standpoint in order to deal with unpredictable and time-varying green power sources such as giant wind and solar farms located thousands of miles from metropolitan users. Distributed generation and local power storage at consumer and manufacturing sites must be designed and tested to further fortify Grid stability and safety from terrorism, as well as better defend it from the usual weather and mechanical outages.

Columbia feels it is imperative that the development of the new Smart Grid system be a top National priority and that it be open to continual innovation unlike the current electricity system with its limited Research and Development budgets.

Relevant Lectures:

"Our Energy Challenge"
September 23, 2003, 7:30 p.m. in the Low Library Rotunda, Columbia University
Nobel Laureate Richard E. Smalley, Rice University

"Shocked by the Dark"
October 30, time tbd, Davis Auditorium, Columbia University
Dr. Roger N. Anderson, Columbia University

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a member of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, is one of the world’s leading research centers examining the planet from its core to its atmosphere, across every continent and every ocean. From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, environmental hazards and beyond, Observatory scientists provide the basic knowledge of Earth systems needed to inform the future health and habitability of our planet. For more information, visit http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world’s leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment, and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines-Earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences-and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through its research training and global partnerships, it mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world’s poor. For more information please see http://www.earth.columbia.edu.

Mary Tobin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/
http://www.earth.columbia.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects
15.12.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake
12.12.2017 | Duke University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>