Buildings consume a significant portion of the overall energy produced. Over 20 percent of global energy production is consumed by buildings alone. In the U.S., buildings account for 40 percent of total energy production, and more specifically, buildings consume 70 percent of total electricity and 50 percent of total natural gas production. Thus, buildings are a significant and fluctuating load on the power grid that needs to be maintained. Furthermore, building energy usage surpasses other industries in many countries, and these numbers are projected to increase.
Distributed generation (DG) supplies green power from locally available renewable energy resources, but large scale DG in the distribution system may give rise to security and operational issues. Funded by the Chinese government, Tianjin University has developed a series of software, hardware and research platforms for microgrids which were widely adopted by demonstration projects in China.
Over the next five years, smart microgrids will play a growing role in meeting local demand, enhancing reliability, and ensuring local control of electricity. Dr. Massoud Amin, Chair of the IEEE Smart Grid Initiative, talks about some emerging developments and challenges the IEEE Smart Grid Initiative must address in 2015 and beyond to help make smart grid a reality.
In the age of smart devices, it’s time technology advances to our substations and allows maintenance and operations to leverage that technology to better understand their assets: condition-based maintenance. There are several pieces to making a condition-based maintenance successful as well as challenges to implementing and having a successful condition-based maintenance program. The potential benefits are there and leveraging technology is a step towards understanding our substation assets.