The new grid

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Android phone control of smart home iPad control of smart home simple supply-demand matching

metering demo World Economic Forum smart grid video; EPRI N-2 event virtual power plant

the new grid[edit]

A generic overview of the new grid originally given for Riverport District with reference to some Lunenburg Region broadband problems.

"intersection of building, energy, vehicle and information technologies and the networks that connect them -- a dynamic relationship the GreenBiz Group calls VERGE. "[1]

  • water heaters as storage - pays you to let your heated water supply cool off a bit
  • refrigeration as storage - pays you to let your frozen-solid food thaw a couple of degrees
  • other household changes [2]
  • electric vehicles - drastically less to charge them off-peak

via US FERC head

    • dashboard innovation [3], e.g. Audi nVidia [4]
    • 300-mile e-cars for 2013 [5]

a (fun) video overview[edit]

the popular view[edit]

  • Stephen Wright's lightswitch [6]
  • Homer Simpson's windmill [7]


"Seeking a cheaper, alternate source of energy, the Simpsons put up a windmill generator in their backyard. But once Homer discovers that the windmill's surplus power is being sent back to the power grid (and therefore to the electric company), he refuses to be a part of anything that benefits "the man" and has their home removed from the power grid. This leaves the Simpsons completely dependent on the windmill, which proves to be an untrustworthy source of power: they only have electricity when the wind is blowing. The electricity comes and goes, thus having problems with the garage door, watching TV and playing the Zii. Bart climbs to the top of the windmill to spin it and prays to God to blow wind. Ironically, a huge windstorm blows into the Springfield area, giving the Simpsons electricity galore until the windmill is knocked out of commission. "


  • Big Bang Theory giving up control (via Halifax) [10]


  • A smart grid for intelligent energy use [11]
  • Smart grid symphony [12]

vehicle makers[edit]

appliance vendors[edit]

origins of the electric co-operative[edit]

  • 1900-35: modern AC grid created, Canada & US
co-operate to share run of the Niagara River 
    • final phase of this project to finish soon
    • NA private power companies fall behind Europe
    • 90% of French, German farms vs. 11% in the US
    • rural power costs 4x what urban power costs
    • private utility companies call municipal power "un-American", "Bolshevik", "an unholy alliance of radicals" [14]
  • 1935-52: most US rural co-ops (929 now) form
    • focus on universal service, reliable grids
    • telephone co-ops start up, some integrated
    • some states, all provinces make power public
    • by 1952 almost all US farms had electricity
  • 1952-1973: relatively stable, growing grid
    • focus on driving costs down, reliability up
    • business and government subsidize homeowners
    • fossil fuels cheap, begin to eclipse hydro
  • 1973-2003: power markets, privatization, end of "too cheap to meter" nuclear/hydro dream
    • very/too large scale hydroelectric projects
    • coal makes a comeback, SO2 markets regulated
    • N.A. governments get out of power generation
    • many local power utilities run fibre optics
  • 2003-2011
    • grid described as "most complex machine ever"
    • US undertakes a continent-wide grid overhaul
    • radical change to broadband and power policy
    • Americans reassert right to secede from grid
    • many successful and many failed, experiments
    • US falls from 4th to 16th in broadband (2001-6)
    • Japan covers 1/3 of cost of town/village fibre
    • private communications providers attack US municipal projects

"critics of Community Internet claim that cities are too "lazy" or inefficient... but municipalities have a long track record of successfully and efficiently operating power plants, sewage systems and subways... and [most] broadband networks... will actually be operated by private contractors... If these systems are destined to fail, why are the telephone and cable companies expending so much energy trying to stop them?" [15]

  • state of grid/broadband 2012
    • US rural co-ops repeat history by running fibre [16]
      • "co-ops lead the industry in penetration of advanced meter infrastructure (AMI)" 25% v 9% [17]

"30 percent of cooperatives with AMI/AMR have begun to integrate their metering systems with other systems such as outage management systems, customer information systems, and geographic information systems" - [18] "27 cooperatives in 12 states are participating in the Cooperative Research Network’s Smart Grid Demonstration Grant, supported by a $34 million matching grant from DOE."

      • EPB in Chattanooga first gigabit in the USA [19]
  • 2011-
    • 25% of US power moves through co-ops to 42 million people [20] in 16 million households [21] via 67,000 employees with $100B in assets [22]
  • Future
    • FERC has roadmap (IEEE 2030) for a new grid
    • regulators' attitudes to "smart grid" defined
    • US and state policies for broadband & power set
      • "Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that when people get feedback on their electricity usage, they make simple changes that save energy. Real-time information can also inform automated thermostats and appliances, enabling consumers to save energy and money automatically"
      • "every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption"
      • "Modernize the electric grid with broadband, making it more reliable and efficient."
      • "A more connected transportation sector can also promote safety, ease navigation, and enable tools to reduce distracted driving. Broadband can also incentivize mass transit by giving riders a more productive, connectivity-rich commute. The benefits of increased transportation connectivity, along with providing alternatives to travel through web conferencing and telecommuting, will reduce the time spent on roads, improve vehicle performance, and cut our carbon emissions." [23]
      • 2000+ town PPDs, 900+ rural co-ops included [24]

technologies and tactics[edit]

integrators ([edit]

  • innovating end to end with "5G" network, set-top box [25]

power and data on one cable[edit]

  • telcos (Bell Aliant ex MT&T) put both on cat3
    • telephone remains powered during power outs
    • lack of power hinders competitors (Eastlink)
    • no legal barriers to utilities doing the same
  • meanwhile, everyone is now using USB devices
    • phones, storage "sticks", speakers, headsets
    • even USB 3.0 restricted to 4.5 watts, < 10m
  • Apple Thunderbolt = 10 gigabit with 10m reach
    • like FireWire with 1G, makes 10G Ethernet cheap
    • 10G & 100G Power over Ethernet should replace
    • many powerline networks now coexist on one wire
  • IEEE P1905 integrates cat3 (phone), coax (cable), wireless (WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth, cell) and P1901

the old vs. new grid[edit]

Another video [28]

Mechanisms to reduce peak demand include time-of-use pricing, load management devices such as “smart” thermostats, load-shifting technologies such as energy storage, and peak-eliminating techniques such as distributed generation and thermally activated heating, cooling, and humidity control devices.

US FERC head [29]

  • water heaters as storage - pays you to let your heated water supply cool off a bit
  • refrigeration as storage - pays you to let your frozen-solid food thaw a couple of degrees
  • electric vehicles - drastically less to charge them off-peak

Economic benefits from demand: bidding range from about $80 to about $800 million annually, depending on the level of system need. Economic benefits from emergency demand response range from about $85 to more than $300 million annually.


Difficult Challenges for Power Delivery and Markets 1. Increasing transmission capacity, grid control, and stability 2. Improving power quality and reliability for precision electricity users 3. Increasing robustness, resilience and security of the energy infrastructure 4. Exploit the strategic value of energy storage 5. Transforming electricity markets 6. Creating the infrastructure for a digital society 7. Electric transportation 8. Technology innovation in electricity use: a cornerstone of economic progress 9. Advances in enabling technology platforms


future supplies?[edit]

the old vs. new car[edit]


drive train[edit]

  • future: Michelin active wheel
  • Volvo V60 plug-in diesel hybrid wagon, "31 miles on battery or 621 miles as a hybrid on a 215 hp, 5-cylinder turbo diesel engine.. 8-speed automatic transmission"


Typically 16" wide by 24" high, installed in a garage or outdoors, US$1,000 plus installation that averages $800 - Gizmag found US$1,475 for a Chevy Voltec (240V) to $2,200 for a Nissan LEAF Level 2 (240V) device. EV tax credits are usually available.

Vehicle batteries store many ampere-hours and because they move with the driver are an important battery storage system for homes.

the old vs. new home[edit]

    • "Internally, Sentec calls its operating system for meters "Breeze,"

[38] [39]

Android [40]


  • IEEE 802.11ad group is essentially a replay of a long standing conflict between two opposing camps in 60 GHz wireless technology.

On one side, the backers of the WirelessHD version of 60 GHz technology including a handful of consumer electronics giants" Hitachi, Fujitsu and others believed to include Sony and Panasonic "and startup SiBeam" which agreed to support WiGig. Versus "Intel, Atheros, Broadcom, Marvell and other dominant suppliers of today's Wi-Fi chips" who "want to establish a new version of 60 GHz technology." [41]

Qualcomm Atheros "has come up with a chip which is its first specialist video WiFi chip which use both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz, optimized for video, as well as a software hardware combination called Hy-Fi, which supports the combination of Ethernet, HomePlug AV and WiFi, where the system can choose any of the three routes to deliver video – effectively a seamless bridge which lets the video travel over the best HD route available at the time."

"Atheros has to win over home gateway manufacturers to use these chips, as well as get Consumer Electronics business to incorporate the 60 GHz element inside their boxes"


Qualcomm goes head to head with Broadcom on powerline networking [43]

appliance technologies[edit]

  • Best Buy selling home energy [44]
    • GE says "a typical household with GE's Nucleus™ and a smart meter or whole home sensor could save $55 in annual electricity costs (assumes $0.1065/kWh). With variable rate electricity pricing and smart appliances such as Brillion™-enabled devices, an energy manager like GE's Nucleus™ could help reduce total household electricity use by up to 15% per year, or up to $170 in annual electricity costs. " [45]

line monitoring[edit]

"Grid-Friendly Appliance Controller - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a device, based on the gate array chip, commonly found in cell phones, that monitors line frequency, detects dips, and provides the means to trip a load in a graceful manner. Installed in refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters and various other household appliances, this device would monitor the power grid and turn appliances off for a few seconds to a few minutes in response to power grid overload. By triggering appliances to turn on and off at different times, this device could help control power oscillations that occur in different parts of the grid. Grid Friendly™ appliances reduce some of the load on the system to balance supply and demand."


  • IEEE 2030 - smart grid standards for 2030


  • "5G" e.g. hybrid network [48]
    • IEEE 802.21 - arbitrary handoff
    • IEEE 802.11u - unknown user authentication

"Watt?" I would imagine...[edit]

  • electricity will be more expensive
    • except when it isn't (high wind, low use)
  • new demands to pump heat, charge EV
    • new supplies (wind, solar, tidal, sewage).
  • simpler wiring, e.g. for LED lighting
    • AC power-and-data cable charges cars
    • more DC power-and-data cables (PoE)
  • amazing efficiency opportunities
    • you'll pay more to waste, be paid to save
    • dynamic pricing ("bidding") inevitable
    • "demand response" (shutting things off)
  • the bandwidth is worth more than the power
    • AES-128 and -256 is "HTTPS://" equivalent
    • very secure on a wired low-latency network

the businesses[edit]

  • CHP = "Waste" heat in homes
  • WOLF = wide open load following

"a microgrid, by covering a relatively small area, can more readily implement smart grid technologies and utilize net-metering concepts within the microgrid. The microgrid draws its energy from microturbines (using natural gas or fuel oil as fuel sources) and fuel cells. While implementations vary, microgrids typically generate less than a megawatt of electricity.

    • "Perhaps the most significant advantage of a microgrid is its ability to use waste heat through combined heat and power (CHP). In the traditional centralized model of electrical generation, large utilities have waste heat that causes environmental concerns and disposal problems. Some new combined-cycle power plants use the excess heat for additional generation, pushing efficiency up to the 80% mark. CHP programs take these innovations, localize them, and then implement them on a smaller scale. In a microgrid, a CHP system can reuse the waste heat from electrical generation for things such as space heating, domestic hot water heating, sterilization, space cooling, and refrigeration through absorption chilling. Older generation facilities typically cannot employ CHP technologies to make use of the waste heat."


bottom lines[edit]

  • 2001 Brookings Institution study estimated the

widespread adoption of basic broadband could add $500 billion to the U.S. economy, create 1.2 million new jobs per year.

  • 2010 FERC estimates of economic benefits from demand bidding range

from about $80 to about $800 million annually, depending on the level of system need. Economic benefits from emergency demand response range from about $85 to more than $300 million annually. [50]

  • 2011 Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal - Epstein, Harvard


    • NY Academy of Sciences, 7 Feb 2011
    • "Each stage in the life cycle of coal—extraction, transport, processing, and combustion—generates a waste stream and carries multiple hazards for health and the environment. These costs are external to the coal industry and are thus often considered “externalities.” We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually. Many of these so-called externalities are, moreover, cumulative. Accounting for the damages conservatively doubles to triples the price of electricity from coal per kWh generated, making wind, solar, and other forms of nonfossil fuel power generation, along with investments in efficiency and electricity conservation methods, economically competitive. We focus on Appalachia, though coal is mined in other regions of the United States and is burned throughout the world."
  • So: Add broadband + remove coal = US$1 trillion/year + new industries + employment
  • Obama Administration US National Broadband Plan and FERC Smart Grid Plan does just this
    • 929 US rural electric cooperative utilities supported (new ones in CO, CA especially) [52]
  • Canadian provinces do not have, and cannot have, any response other than to adopt these
    • NL, NS, PE, NB, Ontario are part of Eastern Interconnection with most of the USA
    • pro-Tar-Sands and pro-coal forces are generally losing at the state and utility level
    • the first incident in which a Canadian grid triggers wide US outages will be disastrous