What is Smart grid technology? Overview and advantages of a smart grid.

smart grid

Nowadays, we are very familiar with the word ‘Smart grid’. However, the majority of the people do not have the basic knowledge about what a smart grid is. Just because the word ‘smart” is attached to it, most people assume that it is something relevant to smartphones or smart TVs. It is not relevant but the concept of it may come from that. Have you ever heard the word “Grid”? If yes, then you must know that it has something related to electricity. Actually, the term ‘Grid’ refers to the ‘Electrical Power Grid’ which describes the complete network of transmission lines, transformers, and distribution substations along with all the accessories, that are used for supplying electricity from the Power generation Plant to consumers and commercial load center.

If we consider the history of The grid then we observe that the first power grid was established in 1885-1895. Yes, it took almost 10 years to build a power grid. For the efficient functioning of the grid, digital technology has been introduced in the Electrical grid system. So coming to the main point, What exactly a Smart Grid Technology is?

In this section, We are going to explain the complete overview of Smart Grid Technology. In simple words, a Smart Grid can be defined as a smart electrical network that combines electrical systems and smart digital communication technology. It is a self-sufficient electrical power network system which are based on digital automation technology for monitoring, control, and analysis within the supply chain.

It performs two-way communication between power suppliers and consumers. A smart grid is capable of controlling electrical power from multiple and widely distributed generation sources, like wind turbines, solar power plants, and many more.

overview of smart grid

In a traditional electrical grid system, the power suppliers will only know the power failure issues when consumers call them and file a complaint. But in the case of a smart grid system, if supply fails and any fault appears then the service provider will automatically respond to the affected area. Because the components of a smart grid provide enough data to them. i.e. they can collect information from the power transformer, main transmission, and distribution system and finally, to the home supply meter.

A Smart Grid should include the following upgrades

  • There should be fully automated and integrated two-way communication between all the components of the grid system.
  • Automatic controlling of power at each and every point of an electrical network.
  • Auto-detection and correction of faults.
  • There should be increased total system efficiency and security to ensure clean, safe, and quality power.
  • Advance management panel and updated supporting software.
  • Accurate measurement and sensing technology

Smart Grid Components

Smart Grid components are a group of intelligent appliances and heavy equipment that play an important role in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electrical energy. These appliances are smart enough to understand the working and how to utilize them.
Smart Grid Components

Intelligent Appliances

Intelligent appliances become capable of deciding when to consume energy based on customer pre-set values. This can reduce the electricity generation costs by reducing peak loads of plants. For example, a temperature sensor is used in thermal stations to control the boiler temperature according to predefined temperature levels.

Smart Energy Meters

The smart energy meters provide two-way communication between power suppliers and consumers. It automates billing data collections, detects system failures, and sends the repair team much faster to the fault location. As soon as the system has any faults or power failure the service provider is notified immediately.

Smart Substations

Substations are installed for monitoring and controlling of critical and non-critical operational data such as power status, power factor performance, circuit breaker operation, security, transformer status, etc. Smart substations are necessary for splitting the electricity flow directions according to the need. Smart substations require large and very expensive equipment to operate, which includes transformers, capacitor banks, circuit breakers, network-protected relays, current and voltage measuring devices, switches, and several others.

Integrated communication system

An integrated communication system is the key to smart grid technology. It must be fast and accurate to meet the real-time needs of the system. Depending upon the need, many different technologies are used in smart grid communication like Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA), and Energy Management System (EMS).

Phasor Measurement Units (PMU)

Phasor measurement is a technology that can help to maintain stability in the power grid. PMU is a device that is used to measure the electrical waves on an electricity grid using a common time source for synchronization. PMU is also referred to as Synchro-phasor. Synchrophasors collect the data from various locations of the grid to get a coherent picture of the whole network by using GPS technology and transmit it for analysis to central locations.

Advantages of  Smart Grid

A smart grid performs lots of smart work. so the Advantages of the smart grid are as mentioned below.
  • The smart grid provides better power management technologies through its integrated systems. This provides a better user interface.
  • It has also provided a better protective management system in case of emergency.
  • It also provides better supply and demand management.
  • It has reduced Carbon emission Technology.
  • Better Quality power.
  • Lower cost of operation, maintenance, and management for both utility and consumers.
  • It provides more efficient and improved security and protection.
  • It has also provided the convenience of reading meters remotely. Meter readers will not have to appear physically to check the meter readings. It will all be done through IT resources.

Applications of Smart Grid

These are the Applications of the smart grid.
  • Quick recovery after any disturbances in the transmission network.
  • Reduction of generation cost.
  • Reduction in peak demands.
  • They improve the adeptness of transmission networks.
  • They possess the ability to integrate other renewable energy sources through distributed generations and micro-grids.


The disruption of electrical power supply these days is a very common problem facing the majority of people. Also due to malfunction in the feeder or main distribution lines, the entire system will be out of the system and the efficiency of the industries will go down.

However, the smart grid system has the ability to secure the system to deal with these emergencies because they have the ability to automatically reroute in case of any fault in the system. Smart grids not only provide links between consumers and utilities, but they also facilitate users to handle their electricity usage systematically as if we use a digital payment system from anywhere at any time.

In a well-organized case, power management will reduce costs. One of the interesting applications is the smart meter. With the help of Smart Meter, we do not need to wait for a full month to get the electricity bill, but we can read and get the data online on a daily basis. Obviously, it will save money for consumers and electricity, which will provide financial support to the country. Coming to the precautions because this system has automation tools and protocols as well as a wide range of technical data and tools. So the most important thing is to ensure that the system is well-established because in the deployment of this technique, Loophole will not be there. So Smart Grids will bring revolution in the electricity sector globally.

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Hey, I'm Satish Gupta an Engineer by profession and blogger by passion. I am writer and founder of this blog, Here I publish contents related to Electrical and Electronics Engineering..

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