The one thing that all consumer electronics have in common whether they are small like cell phones or as big as a home theater system, they all depend on electricity. This electricity runs through a grid that for the most part was created more than fifty years ago when the population was almost half of what is today. The amount of electricity being used has also increased along with the population. In order for the electric grid to keep up with the increase usage it must become smarter and more manageable.
Today’s power grid is a dumb grid. It simply sends electricity to homes and business it doesn’t provide any information to the consumer or the power company. There is nothing on the grid that can report a problem in an area or at a location. Meters have to be read by a meter reader that go out to the location and they only tell you how much electricity was used at the location. It doesn’t tell you what was using the electricity and if something may have a problem. As more electricity is required, it is important to be able to control where it is going and reroute it when necessary, this requires what is called a Smart Grid.
This week at CES 2011 there will be a half day conference on Saturday Jan 8 of consumer electronics, electric utility, government and research sectors to discuss the future of the Smart Grid. How it can be better explained to the public, in order to counteract false rumors and fears. How the use of Smart Grids and meters can serve to lower electric bills and service specific locations and areas more efficiently. The following people will be speaking at the session which is being put on by Clasma Events Inc, the Smart Grid Home
- Brian Markwalter vice president of technology and standards, Consumer Electronics Association
- Dr. George Arnold national coordinator for Smart Grid interoperability, National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST)
- Jason Few president, Reliant Energy and many more.
LG is expected to launch a full range of smart appliances at CES, these appliances use the LG THINQ(TM)Technology this technology allows the consumer to diagnose, and adjust their electricity usage in a way that makes sense to their needs.
Despite some resistance the Smart grid has to be the wave of the future, unless the grid becomes smarter we can expect to see more outages and brownouts as the grid is unable to handle the load.