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Archive for the ‘Grid and Storage’ Category

GRID2.0: Power Struggles and Open Markets

28/04/2010 Leave a comment
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GRID 2.0 could be an chance revolutionize Society by catalyzing two critical resources…
Energy and Information!

People have been hearing more Mainstream Media buzz around Smart Grid or GRID2.0 initiatives. Some have even considered the finer points of the debates that have sprung out from the power struggles that are going on behind the scenes – mostly arising from the proposed methods and standards that would be applied to unify the current patchwork of disparate electrical transmission systems that we call “The Grid”. This need to get competing interests to actually cooperate on common initiatives is only one of the biggest challenges to overcome in leapfrogging over simple upgrades, and actually re-building our electrical distribution systems to meet the emerging needs of the 21st Century.

Some people will simply presume that these initiatives are just another example of the Corporate world wishing to cut it’s costs through new efficiencies, by updating equipment or infrastructure at the expense of Customers and Taxpayers. While this may well be true, the biggest opportunities (and risks to corporate hegemony) actually revolve around the emerging protocols and standards that threaten to democratize monopolistic hierarchies, open up delivery systems to smaller suppliers, and take full advantage of the enormous opportunities to fully optimize (and even automate) the basic economic principals of Supply and Demand with lightening fast methods based on remote sensing and network communications.
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GRID2.0: The Trouble with Electricity

22/04/2010 1 comment

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How could such a pervasive part of modern life still be so easily misunderstood?

Electricity is the invisible force at the very center of almost all the enabling technologies of our Modern world, and has filled this role for quite awhile now, so it might come as a surprise to many that it actually doesn’t operate anywhere near as well as it could, or should.  In fact, this incredibly powerful and pervasive amenity has actually been under increasing pressure and burden as a result of its poorly aging design concepts that are based in distribution principals set down well over a century ago, and which are now are in dire need of upgrading.

By looking at some of the ‘Smart Grid’ or Grid 2.0 concepts that have been getting renewed attention of late, we see all sorts of progressive ideas to better deliver a product that already travels to the Customer at the speed of light, but that is currently still often getting managed and brokered via analogue links and mechanical switches, along distribution systems that were never really meant to accept power, rather than distribute it…and that’s just where the shortcomings begin.

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GRID2.0 The Social Challenges of Energy

20/04/2010 1 comment


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Nothing serves to unite people and incite cooperation among ourselves quite like the assuring the basic necessities of Life. Among these basics, only food, water, and shelter rate higher than Energy on our list of survival needs, and since our industrialized world makes Energy a pre-requisite for these anyhow, perhaps it should take top spot by default…Unless we were to somehow revert back to an animal powered Agrarian Society that subsisted on local resources. Things being as they currently are though, out of all our currently available sources of heat, light, and power, none is more ubiquitous than the electrical energy grid that has clearly become a pre-requisite for Life as we know it.

In it’s longstanding role as an enabler for the technologies that modern civilization is based upon, the history of electricity also serves as a direct reflection of how Technology, Business, and even Politics have all interconnected over time to shape our world into what it is today. Therefore, it’s not at all surprising that the future of civilization is directly dependent on how well electricity will be ‘generated’ (with Renewable and Green sources coming online), ‘distributed’ (via an electrical grid that is long overdue for a major upgrade), and ‘consumed’ (by more ecologically aware and participative Consumers). In addressing the complex distribution challenges, radically new business models, and progressive technical opportunities that are currently being faced by our outdated electrical energy grids, we are also and in fact confronting the bigger social issues and technological opportunities that face our Society in general, and which will most certainly define the future of Modern Civilization. So what are the greater opportunities that can be realized at a time when Energy production, Distribution, and Consumption are all on the cusp of such radical change?

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GRID2.0: Why Upgrade?

19/04/2010 1 comment


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Our various electrical grids have been built, rebuilt, and patched up in an ongoing process that began when electric power first began to be generated well over a century ago.  Of course plenty of new power plants and transmission towers have been patched into the existing infrastructure since those early days, and the costs of maintaining these have been paid for (repeatedly) by ratepayers who would presumably like to benefit from these fully amortized assets (at least for awhile) before incurring any new costs, or adding to already enormous public debts. So why exactly should anybody be bothered to consider the staggering expenses of undertaking a major upgrade of our various electrical grids at this particular point in history?

Most people are in fact much more interested in the development of newenergy (re)sources, rather than in understanding the boring details of delivering existing electricity into our homes and commercial spaces, so why worry about the distribution of power in a ‘smart’ electrical grid, when the old grid seems to be doing an adequate job ?

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A New Mission…

26/11/2009 Leave a comment

You’ve discovered a Mission Category that still hasn’t been used yet…

If this notice is still appearing at the top of the page then this empty Mission Category is wide open to new explorations…

Feel free to submit any ideas for new Mission Profiles that you’d like to bring to our attention in the Comments fields below. If you’d like to propose your very own Mission, please make sure that you create a WordPress account for yourself (see the “Enlist Now” page for info), and then state your intent with a full summary of your Mission below with a comment entered via your WordPress account, in order that we can upgrade your access credentials.

From there we will create a Mission Profile Stub for you, and assign full Contributor privileges to your account, so that you can write/edit your new Mission Profile, as well as contribute to any other Mission Categories. Once your contribution is approved, you’ll have attained the role of Mission Specialist here at Environauts!

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If you’d like more info first, then feel free to review the “JOIN US” pages.

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