The benefits of the Smart Grid

Thu, 07/14/2011 - 5:31am
Walter Garcia-Brooks, Market Development Engineer Manger, TT Electronics / Optek Technology
Walter Garcia-BrooksThe benefits of the Smart Grid in the Unites States are endless, but among the most important benefits is the ability for the electricity supplier to adjust in real time to the user’s demand and in the future to perhaps influence demand. For example, excessive supply wastes millions of dollars because unused energy is floating in the grid. One way to minimize this inefficiency is by adjusting the supply, in real-time, to the demand. Also, during peak periods, utility companies meet the additional demand by switching-on additional power plants that otherwise remain off or on standby mode. This method is extremely costly to the utility companies but can be avoided if the consumer spreads the demand over to off-peak periods. By spreading the demand, utility companies can reduce the number of plants needed to meet the demand. The electricity consumer can make the choice to spread the demand because the cost of energy is usually less expensive during off-peak periods.

Smart meters are instrumental in interchanging energy and cost informationbetween utility companies and consumers.Most smart meters utilized various forms of communications; among those is an infrared optical port. To meet industry standards, the optical probe must utilized infrared optical components that provide high speed, precision on-axis coupling, ambient light interference protection andenhance operating temperature range with minimal degradation over time. TT Electronics/Optek Technology offers the industry’s most complete high quality and reliable infrared optical components that exceed the most stringent parameters required by smart meter manufactures.

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