Smart Grid Proof?

Robert E. Seastrom rs at
Mon May 3 15:39:34 CDT 2010

"Mike O'Dell" <mo at> writes:

> it would be useful if the "smart grid" guys could
> explain what problem they are solving in any detail,

The real wins are power quality monitoring and automatic
connect/disconnect, the latter being absolutely excellent in places
like college towns and adjacent to military bases where there is a lot
of turnover, as well as places where you have a higher than average
number of deadbeats.  You still charge the $30 - $50 for flipping the
switch, but with no truck roll involved, the costs are minimal.

If you overlay your PQM data on top of your geodata for your
distribution network, it is possible to have a pretty fair conjecture
of what died as well as getting the truck within visual range of the
fault, before they even leave the yard.

I don't have a source for this, but when I was in the business a
couple of years ago it was asserted to me that something on the order
of half of residential power outages went unreported for four hours or
longer.  Given people's normal work hours (== empty houses) plus the
time of day that convective storms come through, this did not sound

As for demand shaving, I think the real benefits will be for new stuff
that stands to slurp up a lot from the grid (such as plug in hybrids)
rather than for cutting existing demand.  You really don't want people
coming home from work and plugging in their car at the same time that
the a/c is going full tilt and the stove is on.


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