Smart cities are built with infrastructures that facilitate changing technology. The use of IoT devices in electricity grids is forming the basis of a smart grid. Interactive AI technology is one of the building blocks of this new system. Automation software is playing a major role in the transformation to a smarter ecosystem. A smart infrastructure is designed for easy integration with new technology. And since the rate of technological change is accelerating in the 21st century, it's crucial to use an infrastructure that supports next-gen developments.
Here, we’ll delve into some background on smart grids, why they should be used over conventional grids, and how they are improving cities around the world.
Reasons for a New Grid
The conventional electricity grid system has been in place now for roughly a century. Even though these grids still seem to work well at delivering power, their wiring and other components wear out over time. Since the equipment eventually needs to be replaced, cities would have two options: continue to fix their current systems or implement the next generation of smart grids that can also support clean, renewable energy. A smart grid is designed to support the shift from traditional fossil fuel energy to sustainable alternatives.
Key Smart Grid Advantages
One of the most cost-effective advantages to smart grids is that they significantly reduce maintenance costs. By simply monitoring performance data from IoT devices, analysts can eliminate waste in the system. Managers can also use the data to make quick decisions in real-time. By knowing peak usage times, utilities can allocate resources accordingly.
Here are other key advantages to developing a smart grid ecosystem:
- Cleaner energy solutions that reduce harmful greenhouse gases
- Lower energy bills for consumers
- Better data collection for local government
- More efficient solutions for transportation and parking
- Reduced wasted energy and water
Smart grid systems additionally integrate well with newer, more efficient batteries. By monitoring peak load times, the system can automatically make adjustments for optimizing energy efficiency. They can reduce the strain on the traditional grid by shifting power distribution between conventional and renewable energy sources, which helps to reduce the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere.
Traditional grids won't be able to serve future populations that are expected to grow in the next few decades. Smart grids can lower utility bill costs for consumers by integrating their energy use with renewable sources, while allowing them to monitor their consumption in real-time through their devices. Additionally, one of the technical advantages of modern grids is that they can automatically switch to backup power in the event of a blackout.
Also, in smart cities, smart sensors connected to smart grids can help commuters find parking spaces easier and faster, hence improving traffic congestion problems. Technologies like these can also alert drivers of accidents or other issues that might affect road conditions.
Modernizing the Grid Better Prepares Cities for the Future
Ultimately, smart grids can make life easier for citizens, businesses, and municipalities alike. The combination of smart technology and renewable energy reduces costs for both consumers and large corporations. Smart meters contribute to utilities preventing water losses associated with leaky pipes. And by tracking various systems, smart technology allows emergency services to respond to calls faster, which saves lives.
Many cities are shifting to smart grids to prepare for expanding populations and higher demand for energy in the future. Smart technologies allow them to deliver energy more efficiently than conventional grids. Transitioning to a smart grid ecosystem will help advance cities, utilities and communities alike.
To learn more about how smart technologies enable smart cities, check out our technology guide.