In this article, we will talk about high and low-voltage distribution grids. Let us first start with the basic structure of a power grid:
Basic Structure Of Power Grid
There are two types of grids:
- Transmission grids
- They offer high and extra voltage as part of the grid
- They come with an automated safety system and looped topology
- Distribution Grid: The medium voltage and low voltage grids have radial topology. While they have mostly automated safety systems, but they can also be manually operated. They have a redundant structure adjustment.
What Is A Smart Grid?
A smart grid is an electrical network powered by sophisticated communication and communication gathering framework. They are designed to monitor loads and all sources of power generation actively.
With the improvements in high and low voltage grids, it is now possible to bring more system reliability, stability, and efficiency for both high and low voltage. They also have a lesser environmental impact and better capacity to deal with small scale distributed power generation.
As the distribution grids get more robust, an increasing degree of smart technology implementation and a wide range of technological improvements are now possible. They are now also integrated with sophisticated communication systems that include sensors and power conditioning equipment. Additionally, they offer improved methods of transmission.
What Are Micro Grids?
Micro grids can be defined as autonomous systems or a cluster of macro-grids. They are designed to ensure local and affordable energy security for rural as well as urban communities and commercial players. They can be easily integrated into local renewable generation.
Benefits Of Micro Grids
- They provide reliability and security
- Improved integration of renewable sources of energy
- Increased participating from the end-user
- Availability of modular systems
Disadvantages Of Micro Grids
- They are costly
- They require local generation
- Face technological constraints
- They are only compatible with smart grids
Current Electricity Distribution Landscape
As per the current electricity distribution setup, consumers demand electricity to operate their appliances and electronic devices. There is no need for expertise requirements. On the other hand, the distribution company owns the distribution infrastructure and supplies electricity to the end-user. They necessitate a high-level of expertise to provide the services needed by the customers.
Smart Grid Electricity Distribution
For the distribution company, they supply the electricity to the end-user. Since they own the infrastructure, they are exposed to higher economic risks. The decision logic to supply electricity depends on the energy market at the grid level. Besides, they must balance the demand and supply at the consumer side.
EVDS And Power Grids
Let us now understand the relationship between electric drive vehicles (EDV) and power grids of high and low voltage types.
EDVs are equipped to supply power grids with the power when they are parked. They bring fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrid, or batter-electric vehicles. They perform several functions, such as:
- The battery in EVD is charged when the demand is low
- The battery can be discharged when required
- Fuel cells can generate power as per the requirement
- Plug-in hybrids are capable of working in all modes
While EDVs hold a promising future, autonomous vehicles may not gain traction until the next 20 years. However, once they become a reality, fewer EDVs would need to be connected to the grid. Therefore, there is little point in investing in such schemes as the EDVs are likely to decrease over a period of time.
However, if you are considering to upgrade to either high or low voltage distribution grids, first approach licensed professionals or leading providers who can help you determine your requirements, find the best solutions, and guide with installations!