A Special issue on the Internet of Things
Although the Internet of Things may sound like a meaningless abstraction to describe our undoubtedly connected world, it describes a future of pragmatism. It is true that we used to see scientific fields, application domains, and technology advances as belonging, commonly, to a narrow framework of operation, each with little to no interaction across other technical areas of interest. This is no longer the case. Our daily routines as living beings (sleeping and eating, for example), our driving patterns, our professions, our social interactions, our hobbies – everything -- may be quantified and interpreted to, through, and by our interactions with technology. In the simplest setting of the smart grid, personal devices, such as cell phones, smart watches, and the like, can signal our routes from our offices towards our homes, igniting a sequence of actions. If these actions are scheduled and handled properly (from a technical point of view), they can accommodate our preferred quality of life while preventing traffic on public roads, and effectively reduce the energy demand for providers. Thanks to IoT, this intertwined reality can be made possible.
The articles in this special issue were edited by renowned smart grid industry experts and scholars Geev Mokryani, Jose Medina, and Pardis Khayyer.
By Clinton A. Vince and Jennifer Morrissey
In a decade or so, people may look back on the current time as an era of "smart". We have had "smart" devices for several years – phones, TV’s, cars, power grids, etc. Now we are moving towards the "Smart Cities." But what does this mean?
By Don Rankin
Historically, utilities are slow to adopt new technology and for good reason. Utilities have some of the most expensive infrastructure requirements of any industry. Infrastructure that has to be repaired regularly and replaced periodically. Full replacement costs for even a mid-size utility can top a billion dollars, so utilities tend toward infrastructure investments that have low risk. A new technology that fails early can result in large financial losses, loss of customer confidence and a public relations nightmare for the utility.
By Mirrasoul J. Mousavi and James Stoupis
Digitalization in electric distribution systems is perhaps the most significant trend in the evolution of smart grids. Distribution systems have been undergoing the transition to the automation control paradigm since the beginning of the digital era in the late sixties. Nevertheless, the scope of work has been mostly limited to substations and mainlines because of the focus on engineering economics and reliability considerations.