“How can we advance the grid into the 21st century?”
The grid as we known it is heavily outdated. When the grid was first conceived of a century ago, the users lived in heavily localized areas, and often only had a few electrical needs, often all electrical appliances could be counted on one hand. However, as just as how electrical technology has matured in an exponential fashion, so has the complexity of the systems, resulting in a strained communication with the grid. We now have dozens if not hundreds of vastly more complicated items being used, each carrying different power requirements, with more being added at a superfluous rate. This is causing grave impingements on our grid, which could lead to pure devastation. So how can we apply our engineering mindset to take our aging electrical infrastructure into the 21st century? Well, why not just implement a two way grid communication system, also known as a smart grid? The fundamental idea is that all electrical signals from this new grid will be monitored and regulated by computer technology. To illustrate, a smart grid will be able to analytically distribute the voltage of electricity to units that require more of it, while supplying less to less intensive units. A smart grid will also be able to integrate more efficiently the sinusoidal nature of renewable energy sources like wind and solar through this monitoring technology. Smart grids are a foresightful investment, and will truly be the technology of the future.