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IEEE: The expertise to make smart grid a reality

Interview with Mike Andrews

Mike AndrewsMike Andrews is a senior member of IEEE and a Region 6 Director. An active IEEE volunteer, he has served on the IEEE Public Visibility, GOLD, N&A, IB&SC and Awards committees. He has a strong commitment to STEM education programs and serves as president of the Smart Education Foundation, which created and promotes the SMART Competition.

In this interview, Mike Andrews discusses the importance of STEM education for high school students and describes the volunteer-led SMART Competition, which aims to increase understanding of smart grid concepts at the high school level. Mr. Andrews discusses the value of the competition to students and industry and invites IEEE members and societies to lend their support to the program.

Question: You are one of the founders of the SMART Competition for high school students. Could you provide a brief overview of the competition?

Interview with Hugo Bashualdo

Hugo BashualdoHugo Bashualdo is an IEEE Smart Grid Technical Expert and an authority on electrundefinedic utility distribution planning in the new Smart Grid era.

In this wide-ranging interview, Hugo Bashualdo discusses some of the planning and engineering challenges utilities are encountering as they incorporate Smart Grid technologies into their distribution systems. He has advice for addressing voltage and power quality problems, suggestions for creating strong business arguments for Smart Grid applications, and recommendations for maximizing the value of pilot projects. He also emphasizes the importance of communications systems planning, reviews of working procedures, and safety training of technical personnel.

Question: You work closely with utilities that are deploying Smart Grid technologies. What are the most important challenges utilities are dealing with today, and how can they address these challenges?

Interview with Massoud Amin

Massoud AminMassoud Amin, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. A senior member of IEEE, he chairs the IEEE Control Systems Society’s Technical Committee on Smart Grids, and serves as the chairman of the IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter.

In this interview, Massoud Amin articulates lessons learned one year after Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impacts on the eastern United States. Amin discusses broad, societal concerns, engineering challenges, consumer issues and grid modernization proposals from two affected utilities.

Question: What did we learn from Hurricane Sandy’s impacts on dozens of utilities and millions of people? Did smart grid play a role in reducing impacts and/or restoring power?

Interview with Anjan Bose

Anjan BoseAnjan Bose is an IEEE Smart Grid Technical Expert and an IEEE Fellow. He has received the IEEE Herman Halperin Electric Transmission & Distribution Award; the IEEE Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award; and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal.

Anjan Bose recently served as a senior advisor to the undersecretary of energy at the Department of Energy. He also served on DOE’s Grid Tech Team, which was directed to coordinate DOE’s Smart Grid research and develop a plan to accelerate grid modernization. In this interview, Dr. Bose discusses the need for a holistic approach to Smart Grid research. He calls for greater investment in grid-focused R&D and for a closer connection between government policies and the technologies that impact the grid.

Question: You recently completed your appointment as a member of the Department of Energy’s Grid Tech Team. Tell us about the team and its work.

Interview with Jim Parks

Jim ParksJim Parks, an IEEE Smart Grid Technical Expert, is a program manager in the Smart Grid department at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. He has held a central role in SMUD’s Smart Grid deployment and currently oversees the final stages of the Smart Grid implementation. He is also developing a long-term roadmap for SMUD’s Smart Grid programs.

In this interview, Jim Parks provides some of the latest success stories and research findings from SMUD’s Smart Grid deployment, which is nearly complete. He highlights the distinctive benefits the company is receiving from its advanced metering infrastructure, which reaches nearly 100% of the customer base. He also provides findings from smart pricing pilot programs in the residential sector, which gained significant customer participation and achieved important reductions in peak load.

Question: The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has nearly finished its Smart Grid deployment. We’re eager to learn about the installation, the impact on your business, and customer benefits, but could you first give us a general characterization of the project?

Interview with Shawkat Ali

Shawkat AliShawkat Ali is an IEEE Smart Grid Technical Expert, a senior member of IEEE and an active member of the IEEE Queensland Section. He is an authority in computational intelligence and its role in Smart Grid. He speaks frequently on these and related topics at IEEE conferences, serves on conference committees and regularly reviews papers for IEEE conference proceedings. He has also chaired IEEE international workshops on computing topics. He is a member of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society.

In this interview, Shawkat Ali explains how utilities can use computational intelligence for Smart Grid planning and optimization and to meet the industry’s complex security needs. He notes that utilities will need cloud computing technologies to store the vast amounts of data generated by Smart Grids, and that data mining tools will be needed to make effective use of this information. The Internet of Things, he says, will also play an important role in implementing and making efficient use of Smart Grids.

Question: What are the most important Smart Grid trends you are observing today, and how should industry and society respond to these trends?

Smart Grid Consumer Benefits

September 4, 2013

What is the so-called smart grid and how will it benefit consumers? Will a connected grid be more vulnerable to attack? Can we keep a connected grid more secure than the Internet? What is a smart self-healing grid? Can an intelligent grid help reduce carbon emissions? Will a modernized grid protect consumers’ privacy?

IEEE Smart Grid industry experts cut through the fear, uncertainty, and doubt about what’s to come with an intelligent grid and give us their reasoned responses to these questions and more.

Interview with James Gilb

In this interview, James Gilb offers his insights on Ethernet's involvement with smart grid applications and its numerous benefits, including bandwidth management and its wide availability. Gilb continues with his thoughts on the IEEE 802.24 Technical Advisory Group's relevance to the smart grid and his involvement with two other prominent IEEE groups: the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee and the IEEE 802.15 Working Group.

Question: Ethernet turns 40 this year. How is it used in smart grid applications?

Interview with Carl Imhoff

In this interview, Carl Imhoff provides an update on the five-year Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. He also describes a wide range of Smart Grid innovations, resulting from PNNL and other industry research, which utilities can consider now for their near-term and long-term strategic planning needs.

Question:The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project has been under way for three years now. Can you share some success stories or lessons learned with us?

IEEE Smart Grid Experts Roundup: AC vs. DC Power

A New Battle of the Currents

Advances in technology and the increase of devices that can generate or operate on DC power are again raising the debate over AC vs. DC power. Eliminating conversions from DC to AC and vice versa can greatly improve the efficiency of both the grid and the devices that can operate in a DC mode. Solar photovoltaic panels, batteries and fuel cells generate/store DC power, and residential, commercial, and industrial facilities are projected to increase DC electrical loads that do not require first converting to AC.

In developed regions of the world where the AC power grid is well established, it may not be feasible to change over large portions of the existing grid to DC. However, certain aspects of the grid, such as distribution primaries and secondaries may be candidates for a DC revolution. World regions where electric infrastructure is developing may have a greater opportunity to take advantage of the economic benefits of being able to adopt the latest innovations in DC energy production, transportation, and end-use technologies. 

With this in mind, several IEEE Smart Grid experts were asked to provide their input to the question:

"What do you see as the future of AC and DC power, relating to various world regions?"