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What types of technologies are used within a smart microgrid?


Galvin Electricity Initiative Microgrid Hub

At home:

  • Smart meters that allow for the two-way exchange of pricing, usage data and electricity.
  • Programmable smart appliances and devices that come on when the price of power reaches consumer’s desired price point.
  • User-friendly home energy control systems that allow customers to interface with the smart microgrid to automatically control every aspect of a home’s power usage.
  • Energy efficiency improvements that help consumers use less energy and ultimately save money on monthly electricity bills.

In addition to home technologies, at work:

  • Advanced energy control systems to make commercial buildings “smart.”
  • Advanced lighting technology with digitally programmable controls that are responsive to the cost of power, the number of occupants in a building and where occupants are located.
  • New heating and air conditioning technology that automatically adjusts building ventilation rates in real time based on occupancy, air quality, the cost of power or any other factors a manager chooses.
  • New electricity generation systems that can provide power to individual buildings and supply power to the entire grid.

Within the electricity distribution system:

  • “Smart” switches, relays and sensors that replace their outdated and inefficient predecessors to allow the smart microgrid to manage and distribute power more efficiently and reliably.
  • Redundant designs that provide a second source of power when recurring storms, ice and squirrels interrupt power.
  • Protected infrastructure installed underground or within structures.
  • Computerized controls that constantly scan for, and even anticipate, potential instabilities to correct problems before users experience any disruption in service.