Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Jeff Keuss

First Advisor/Committee Member

Donald Peter

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Melanie Plett

Keywords

smart grid, developing world, demand side management, distributed generation, cost, education

Abstract

A smart grid is the integration of communication and information technologies with contemporary power infrastructure to enhance load service and to incorporate continually evolving end-use applications. It is the latest advancement in the areas of power generation, transmission and distribution. It has advanced beyond the traditional grid structure at every stage; a smart grid is capable of incorporating distributed generation (DG) renewable sources and has improved transmission capabilities through implementation of technologies such as Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS). Through the addition of control technology in the distribution network a smart grid is able to implement “self-healing” and other methods to improve reliability of power supply. Enhanced interconnectivity also offers the option of microgrid development which can be accomplished more quickly and affordably than a large scale grid. The ultimate goal of this approach is to then connect various microgrids to establish a robust network. On the consumer’s side, smart devices are being developed which can practice load shifting to reduce demand on the grid at peak hours. One facet of this technology network is the smart meter, an enhanced metering device used by the consumer to practice demand side management through control technology and informed decision making. All of these characteristics make the smart grid more reliable, efficient, versatile, cost effective, interactive and environmentally beneficial than other systems. The goal of this paper is to first explore the characteristics of a smart grid system and to report on current work that is being done implementing these systems, particularly in developing countries. The latter half of the paper will then present a test for smart grid compatibility on a national level based on the necessary and beneficial preconditions for smart grid development. That test will then be applied to nations that lack a significant or reliable power generation and transmission system. The results of this test will determine specific regions which meet the criteria for both a high compatibility for smart grid development and a high demand for the solutions it offers. Those results will be synthesized into a proposal for future work, with the goal of broadening the global focus of smart grid development to include countries where millions of people still lack access to electricity in their cities and homes.

Comments

A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars Program, Seattle Pacific University.

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