The current electric grid was built in the 1980s and it is designed for utilities to do deliver electricity to the consumers’ home and then bill them once a month. This grid is limited one-way interaction and makes it difficult for the grid to respond to be ever changing and rising energy demands of 21st Century. In order to overcome these problems the Smart Grid was introduced where we have two-way dialogs where electricity and information can be exchanged between utility and customers. A Smart Grid is an intelligent electricity network where suppliers may implicitly control home appliances to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply. It represents developing a network of communications controls, computers automation and new technologies and tools working together to make the grid more efficient more reliable more secure and greener.
There are many benefits associated with the Smart Grid like:
- More efficient transmission of electricity
- Smart Grid has a lot of societal benefits like- sustainable energy, reduction in carbon emission and improved customer services like such as proactive bill alerts and flexible bill dates.
- Cost of service (operational and capital cost savings)
- Reduced peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates
- Reliability of power supply
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
The aim of this research group is to develop a friendly user interface which will enable us to manage the smart home area network of a Smart Home, that is a key element of a Smart Grid and also integrate the renewable energy systems, with cost effective exploitation of the renewable energy potential, into the Smart Grid. Managing the smart home area network means decreasing the grid losses and increasing the overall efficiency of the house. It also means that we will have an impact on the reduction of the CO2 emission. One of the aims is also a collaboration with the energy industry and minimizing the dependence on the foreign resources.