Homeowners and utility companies have a strong desire to better track the daily usage of their power. Homeowners want to better understand how they can save money on their bills, and utilities want more granular data on load requirements so they can satisfy customer demand, and have the ability to sell off excess power to other utilities.
Enter Smart Grid technology. For those new to this term, it is a type of electrical grid that includes various operational and energy measurement capabilities, which include (but are not limited to) smart meters, appliances, and the transfer of their energy usage data for analysis and reporting. Aspects of this you may have seen already include remote control of household appliances and sensors monitoring energy devices such as air conditioners, furnaces and the like.
But the technology of communicating these numbers to both homeowners and utility companies requires strong wireless networks. Let’s focus on utilities, because this is where Nova Communications can help.
It starts with location. Whether you’re looking at a rural or urban environment for use of smart grid is the grounding force for what kind of technology you require. In urban and densely populated areas, for example, cellular networks are often chosen for relaying information back to utility companies in real-time – providing the data and information required to understand consumer behavior. In rural environments, WPAN and WIMAX networks often best match the communication requirements for utilities.
As power usage data is collected through these technologies, information can be relayed to a central hub for a better understanding of consumer power use. The more information gathered, the more ability there is for utilities to better manage the load requirements in areas throughout Canada, and as a result of these efficiencies can pass along potential savings and benefits to the consumer.
The devices used to relay this information are able to withstand the conditions utility workers face every day – rugged work environments, interior and exterior locations, and harsh temperatures. They provide the platform to handle the smart meter and automated metering infrastructure (AMI) technology, and can wirelessly transfer information – even in harsh Canadian weather.
Prior to having these smart grid networks, utilities had to build and maintain infrastructure to support peak loads across all regions. However, with more usage information, they can better distribute and share the loads. We’re hoping the efficiencies will be passed along to consumers.
With computer-based, remote automation of information through smart grid technology, communication and processing of information has become easier than ever before. From power plants, to homes, wind farms and more, smart grid technology offers a myriad of benefits to utility companies far and wide.
If you’re a utility company looking to take advantage of this technology and its use for better relaying and understanding your customer needs and demands, Nova has the vast knowledge for implementing networks across multiple technologies, including cellular, WIMAX, WPAN, SCADA, and beyond. Not only can we help you understand what technology you require, we can also implement this technology from start to finish.
Want to learn more? Contact us today.