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Power System Optimization by Honwing Ngan, Yongjun Zhang, Haoyong Chen

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Chapter 8Future Developments

Power systems are evolving toward the so-called smart grids. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “smart grid” generally refers to a class of technology that people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation. These systems are made possible by two-way communication technology and computer processing that has been used for decades in other industries. They offer many benefits to utilities and consumers—mostly seen in big improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid and in the energy users' homes and offices.

In much the same way that a “smartphone” these days means a phone with a computer in it, “smart grid” means “computerizing” the electric utility grid. It includes adding two-way digital communication technology to devices associated with the grid. Each device on the network can be given sensors to gather data (power meters, voltage sensors, fault detectors, etc.), plus two-way digital communication between the device in the field and the utility's network operations center. A key feature of the smart grid is automation technology that lets the utility adjust and control each individual device or millions of devices from a central location.

A smart grid is generally regarded as a necessary platform for renewable energy integration. Renewable energy integration focuses on incorporating renewable energy, distributed generation, energy storage, ...

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