A smart grid is widely accepted as being a digital, self-healing energy system that delivers electricity or gas from the energy source, including renewable energies, to the points of consumption. It optimizes power delivery and facilitates two-way communication across the grid, enabling end-user energy management, minimizing power disruptions and transporting only the required amount of power. The result is lower cost to the utility and the customer, more reliable power and reduced carbon emissions.
There are a number of reasons why smart grids have attracted so much interest and investment. Enhancing the existing power grids by adding intelligence and digital communications:
- Increases reliability and power quality
- Improves responsiveness
- Increases efficiency
- Handles current and future demand
- Potentially reduces costs for the provider and consumer
- Provides the communication platform for new applications
Smart grids apply to four key areas in particular:
- Smart metering
- Building automation
- Electric mobility
- Renewable energy sources
All these are functionally linked by advanced subsystems, including power conversion modules, communication protocols and energy storage systems.
As a world-leading semiconductor manufacturer, STMicroelectronics has been actively involved in smart-grid technologies, products and applications from the earliest days, and offers a large product portfolio for smart grid needs