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Advantages of Smart Grid | Disadvantages of Smart Grid

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Smart Grid. It mentions Smart Grid advantages or benefits and Smart Grid disadvantages or drawbacks.

What is Smart Grid?

• The electric grid which is smart compare to traditional grid is known as smart grid. It detects local changes in power usage and react automatically without the need of human intervention.
• It allows two way communication between grid and consumers. It allows real time communication between consumer and utility so that consumers can tailor their energy consumption based on individual preferences such as price and/or environmental concerns.
• Smart grid is developed using modern digital communication technologies. Grid communicates with cellular tower in order to push vital parameters such as instantaneous power usage, cumulative power usage, maximum demand etc.

Smart Grid Architecture

The figure-1 depicts smart grid architecture which consists of smart meters, DCUs (Data Concentrator Units), communication medium (fiber, cellular, DSL) and Web servers etc. Web portal or web site is developed to allow monitoring of the entire smart grid system. DCU collects the data from individual smart meters which helps both electric company as well as consumers to understand the usage of power and varying load conditions.
Refer smart grid architecture >> for more information.

Benefits or advantages of Smart Grid

Following are the benefits or advantages of Smart Grid:
➨It reduces electricity theft.
➨It reduces electricity losses (transmission, distribution etc.)
➨It reduces electricity cost, meter reading cost, T&M operations and maintenance costs etc.
➨It reduces equipment failures due to automatic operation based on varying load conditions. Demand-Response reduces stress on assets of smart grid system during peak conditions which reduces their probability of failure.
➨It reduces sustained outages and reduces consecutively associated restoration cost.
➨It reduces air emissions of CO2, SOx, NOx and PM-2.5. Hence smart grid contributes to keep environment green.
➨It reduces oil usage and wide scale black-outs. Hence smart grid provides security to the people by providing continuous power.
➨Smart grid is capable of meeting increased consumer demand without ading infrastructure.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Smart Grid

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Smart Grid:
➨Continuous communication network should be available.
➨During emergency situation, network congestion or performance are big challenges in smart grid system.
➨Cellular network providers do not provide guaranteed service in abnormal situations such as wind storm, heavy rain and lightening conditions.
➨Some smart meters can be hacked which can be used to increase or decrease the demand for power.
➨It is expensive to install smart meter compare to traditional old electricity meter.

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