A Smart Grid is an intelligent electricity network. Unlike the older, ordinary grid system, the Smart Grid monitors can respond to changes in the outflow of electricity. This means that the provider is able to calibrate the consumption of electricity in the grid in order to achieve economical and eco-friendly ends.
Monitors located in the transmission, distribution and consumption elements across the grid send information from electricity users back to the source which then responds by either reducing or increasing power to the area. Significantly, alternative or ‘green’ power sources can be integrated into the system in order to compensate for conventional appliances which might be disabled in the interest of load shedding.
A good communications infrastructure is indispensable to the successful operation of any Smart Grid. It is the capacity to send signals back and forth across the grid that renders the system so intelligent, sensitive and adaptable. Smart Grid Communications thus need to be well-made, resilient and enduring.
Key to the success of a Smart Grid communications system is its capacity to withstand difficult climactic conditions. Electric utility substations are often beset by bad weather including rain, snow and hail, and as a result, the equipment housed in these needs to be hardy.
The Smart Grid, capable of monitoring its own health and adjusting the distribution of electricity throughout the network, is a leap forward in science terms. However, as with much modern technology, it is still plagued with elemental problems. In order to function, a hard-wearing communications infrastructure which can withstand weather of all kinds is, without a doubt, a necessity.