Digital Power Grid
Modernizing the system that operates our lives.
The electric grid is where the power is generated, transmitted, and distributed between different locations. I.e. your home, the grocery store, the business down the street, and everything in between.
Most of us don't really think about where our electricity comes from, solely that it does, and usually we focus on what it is powering in the end.
This rather selfish desire for power is actually leading us to be very exposed not just individually, but as a nation as well.
Why things need to change...
The current grid system was conceived over 100 years ago, and put into place over the past century. Many areas still resort to archaic technologies, and many power plants even use four decades old computers to run the operations.
We live in a digital age, but our infrastructure and systems are well behind. Not only is this dangerous for the sake of everything just breaking down (especially over time), but probably what is more pressing is the fact that our grid is very insecure.
The grid was designed for very simple needs for utilities, as most homes needed a few light bulbs and a radio. Now that our energy demands have exponentially increased and will continue to, there needs to be a stark improvement.
What is the problem?
The current power grid is a one way system, and throughout the whole process there are areas that can be flawed inherently. A prime cause for disruptive innovation, is the economy of electricity.
Almost everything we use is wasting energy. The archaic electrical grid we use now is over-pumping the electric flow with energy to our homes and devices. This is because the systems cannot tell what is needing the energy, so it just sends a whole bunch to make sure things are powered.
Think like using a firehouse for a shower.
The need for a digital system to understand, and allocate resources is exactly what we need.
This is how we solve it!
We must implement a smart-grid in the country, which allows for a two way communication between the start and finish electrical flow.
What are the steps towards this goal?
Firstly, modernizing the residential and commercial areas with sustainable technologies. Perhaps a Tesla power bank and some solar panels, or maybe more efficient HVAC systems and insulation. Think of this as the small scale micro-changes, that will facilitate the far greater macro-changes.
Especially towards the problem of the "one-way" aspect of the current grid system. Creating this "smart home" is something we are well on our way to doing, but by allowing the home owner to control energy production on their own property. There is a democratic evolution to the grid's dichotomy.
No longer are we paying for the electricity, for now if the grid is not producing as much or for whatever reason, now we can be PAID for generating electricity.
The Middle Man
A substation will collect data on how electricity is being used in the area, and will optimize the flow to a much greater extent than we have now. The digitization of the data analysis will allow for deeper automation of the operations for electrical providers.
One really useful way to think about substations, and various vector points of the power grid is the multi-use case. Meaning we can use those locations as 5G internet hotspots, perhaps focal points for big data storage, or just finding new innovative ways of reusing that same space.
All in all this revolutionary change is bound to happen, but we need to accelerate the innovation. If not for climate change, then for our own selfish gains for the improvement of our systems. Really there is no reason not to make these changes, however DO need to act in order for them to happen.
As a PolyInnovator I hope to help work on innovation issues like this, and facilitate a #MAKEACHANGE mindset in others!
Here are some links to interesting grid videos: