Categories
EEE

Citycell

Executive Summery

CITYCELL is the first who provide mobile telecommunication facilities in Bangladesh. CITYCELL is a customer-driven organization whose mission is to deliver the latest in advanced telecommunication services to Bangladesh.  CITYCELL was received their licenses to start business in 1996.From beginning of their business they are trying hard for their development Now they have approximately 5 lacks subscribers. They gained success from the very beginning of their business and they work hard to continue their success.  Now today the main competitors of CITYCELL are, AKTEL, GRAMEEN PHONE, BANGLA LINK etc.

CITYCELL has many strongest sides but one of the strongest sides its customers service and relationship and so they always say “Because we care”. All of  the operator of the company work hard for the company’s objective so, soon it turned out to be a big hit.

Industry Classification

CITYCELL is a mobile telecommunication company. CITYCELL is a service oriented company. It also provides both products and services. The main competitors of CITYCELL’s are-

  1. Grameen Phone
  2.    AKTEL
  3.    Banglalink
  4.    TeleTalk.

The History of CITYCELL

CITYCELL (Pacific Telecom Limited) is Bangladesh’s pioneering mobile communications company and the only CDMA network operator in the country. CITYCELL basic strategy is coverage of both urban & rural areas. CITYCELL DIGITAL builds continuous coverage may vary from area to area depending on market conditions, the basic strategy of cell-to-cell coverage is applied throughout CITYCELL network. In Feb’1996 CITYCELL received licenses to start business operation.

Ownership Structure

CITYCELL (Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited) is a privately owned company with majority foreign ownership equity. Following lists the current owners of CITYCELL (PBTL):

  •        Sing Tel Asia Pacific Investments Pvt. Ltd. – 45%
  •        Pacific Motors Limited – 31.43%
  •        Far East Telecom Limited – 23.57%

Mission

CITYCELL is a customer-driven organization whose mission is to deliver the latest in advanced telecommunication services to Bangladesh. The company offers a full array of fixed and mobile services for consumers and business that are focus on unique needs of the Bangladeshi community.

Objectives

CITYCELL is focused on innovation and creating new ways for customers to stay in touch and to do business. City Cell’s is offering a wide range of competitive prepaid and postpaid mobile packages as well as Value Added Services such as – SMS and information based services.

CDMA

CDMA means Code Deviation Multiple Accesses. The main advantage of using CDMA cell-phone signals for reference clock purposes is that they work better inside buildings, thus often eliminating the need to mount the GPS antenna on the outside of a building. It’s provides following benefits-

  •       The latest technology of the world.
  •       Best voice quality.
  •       Data updated condition is far better than GSM.
  •        Maintenance cost is low.

RIM

 RIM (removable User Identity Module) card. CITYCELL s’ RIM cards come in 32k memory capacity that gives you more space to store your data. RIM comes to you with the added benefits of:

 Flexibility to change handset (RIM compatible CDMA handset) whenever you like.

Storing important phone numbers or SMS in the RIM card, which will be with you even when you change your handset (Portability of user profile and personal data)?

 The most secure environment for network connection and mobile e-services

SWOT Analysis

CITYCELL is a telecommunication company. It has number of strength, weakness, opportunities and threats.

S= STRENGTH

W=WEAKNESS

O=OPPORTUNITIES

T=THREATS

Strength and weakness are internal factors of an organization that which is controlled by organization.

Opportunities and threats are external factors of an organization which is not only dependents on that organization but also giving part took by the Government, culture, environment and so on.

Strengths of CITYCEL

  •       CITYCELL is the pioneer mobile company of Bangladesh.
  •       Call charge low from other competitors.
  •       Country- wide Network Coverage.
  •       Extended warranty for handset and accessories.
  •       Call to cash package.
  •       Discount on after sale service.
  •       All types of advertising promotion have made CITYCELL by them selves.
  •       Available One 2 One facility.
  •       International Roaming facility
  •       Special offers for corporate customers
  •       Widest worldwide coverage in more than 110 countries.
  •       Accounts holders can pay their bills over the internet, ATM card and cash card which is a type of scratch card.
  •       A group meeting can be held. Such as three people can talk at a time.
  •       The company operates 24-hours call centre with over 86 well trained operators to respond to customer requires.

Weakness of CITYCELL

      Network problem.

      When the customer desire they can not change their mobile set

      Facility limited. Such as:

  • Do not provide multimedia SMS.
  • Do not provide GPRS system.

Opportunities of CITYCELL

  •       M. Morshed Khan is the owner of CITYCELL who is a Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
  •       Large numbers of population in Bangladesh for business.
  •       Most of the businessman uses CITYCELL for there business.
  •       Many verity of product.

Opportunity Matrix 

Threats of CITYCELL

  •       Aggressive promotion strategy of competitors.
  •       Government regulation.
  •       Expensive campaigns of competitors.

Threat Matrix

After analysis SWOT we find some valuable information about CITYCELL Digital. Bangladesh is a developing country. We can easily choose which is better for us. CITYCELL Digital has some lack ages. Such as-

  •        Network coverage
  •        CDMA system
  •        Contradiction between RIM and SIM

If CITYCELL removes these defaults, we think they will be the leader of the cellular company in our country.

Network problem

Increase network over country

 

Do not provide GPRS

By provide GPRS

Do not provide Sim

By providing Sim.

Aggressive promotion strategy of competitors.

They also should use promotion strategy.

Government regulation

Overcome this regulation

Expensive campaigns of  competitors

Expensive campaigns of  competitors

 

 Product Life Cycle 

                  Stage of the Product Life Cycle

Sales revenue

Or

Profit

+

            0

(total industry sales revenue )

 

 

 

 

( total industry profit)

Introduction

Growth

Maturity

Decline

Marketing

Objectives

Gain Awareness

Stress

Differentiation

Maintain

Brand Loyalty

Harvesting,

 

Deletion

Competition

None

Growing

Many

Reduced

Product

One

More

Versions

Full

Product Line

Best Sellers

Price

Skimming

Or

Penetration

Gain Share,

Deal

Defend Share,

Profit

Stay

Profitable

Promotion

Inform,

Educate

Stress competitive

Differences

Reminder

Oriented

Minimal

Promotion

Place

(Distribution)

Limited

More

Outlets

Maximum

Outlets

Fewer

outlets

 

Porter’s Five Forces

Bargaining Power of Supplier

CITYCELL  is a Private limited company. Their competitor’s are Grameen Phone, AKTEL, Banglalink. They are related with foreign company like Sing- Tel Asia Pacific Investments Pvt. Ltd. Pacific Motors Limited,   Far East Telecom Limited. For this most of the raw materials they take from foreign countries. Motorola, Nokia, Dexian, Hisense, Utstartc.

 Bargaining Power of Customers

In BangladeshCITYCELL are in Oligopoly market. There are only four mobile company. But competition is very high. So the bargaining power of customer is high.

Threats of New Entrants

It was the first mobile company of Bangladesh. But day by day another three mobile company entered in to this business which is taken its place, and also much new company will enter in to business. They are in threats of new entrance.

 Threats of substitutes

Grameen Phone, AKTEL, Bangle Link provides many new packages. For this customer can get more benefit from them. As they are substitutes of CITYCELL the new packages are threats for them.

Threats of Competitive Rivalry between Existing Players

They provide after care service to employees as free mobile phone service, transportation service, short working hour service, many sponsor to the  employees as they can go to many events, foreign tour. CITYCELL provide many other facilities to employees which can differ them from others

BCG Matrix

In the BCG (Boston Consulting Group) matrix we find that company are evaluated with market share and market growth. There are four parts in BCG box. These are Stars marks, “?” Marks, Cash cows and Dogs. After analysis the packages of City cell we find that different packages goes under different category.

High market share + High market growth = STAR

Low market share + High market growth = “?” Marks

High market share + Low market growth = Cash cows

Low market share + Low market growth = Dogs

    Star

           “Aalap CLASSIC” goes under star category. Because market share and market  growth are both high.

    “ ?” Mark

     “Aalap Super” goes under “?” marks. Because market share is low and market growth is high.

     Cash Cow

 Market share of CITYCELL premium is low and growth is high. Cash cow needs some extra promotion to raise market growth.

   Dogs

 And last of all CITYCELL Telluler goes under dogs category. Because the market share and growth is both low. all Dogs needs diversification. It may need kick out from the market.

This different category needs different promotion

   Product/ Market Expansion Grid

Existing product + Existing market = Market penetration

New product       + Existing market  = Product development

Existing product + New market        = Market development

New product       + New market       = Diversification

  Market Penetration

Making more sales to current customers without changing its products.

   Market Development

Develop new markets for its current products.

   Product Development

Offering  modified or new products to current markets. Aalap Classic goes to product development.

   Diversification

 New products for new markets.

Value Chain

Value Chain is a tool for identifying ways to create more customer value. Michale Porter of Harvard has proposed this value chain. The value chain identifies nine strategically relevant activities that create value and cost in a specific business. These nine value creating activities consist of five primary activities and four support activities.

Inbound Logistics

They provide mobile with rim to customers. They collect their product as mobile phones of various companies such as Nokia, Dexian, Motorola etc. They collect these types of phones from abroad as their raw material. Mobile phone’s charger, the instruments of network coverage.

Operations

They reach their products name to their target customers by various way, like the use many media (TV ad, news paper, bill board, etc.)

Outbound logistics

They provide their products by the seller department and dealers.

Marketing and Sales

The have an own marketing department for their particular product. This department manages the whole marketing operations, such as- promotion segmentation, Distribution etc.

 Service

They have a service department. Which is open 24 hours customer services .

They have hotline 121 for CITYCELL and 011-121121 from any other phone. Open for Business 7 Days a Week Recently CITYCELL was again at the forefront of innovation by being the first operator to open its front desk operations 365 days a year at all of its Customer Service Canters in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.

Firm infrastructure

Firm infrastructure means- total transportation system, buildings, bank balance, man power, Physical structure, network tower.

  Human Resource Management

They have a high skilled and educated people who are working for the company to achieve their mission and objectives.

Technology Development

They develop their technology by using foreign technician. They use CDMA technology which is very up to date. They are continuously trying to make strong their network coverage.

Procurement

They collect their raw materials from abroad like Singapore, Malaysia, China, etc.

 Segmentation

Segmentation means division of a market into distinct group of customer. After introduce CITYCELL in 1996 they follow the mass marketing, because this time they ware the only one mobile company in Bangladesh. But now many competitors are coming in mobile phone market.

CITYCELL segment their market for “Aalap Classic” by following ways-

Demographic Segmentation

Demographic segmentation is mainly nation, age, income, nationality wise segmentation. Our product, CITYCELL “Aalap Classic” mainly segmented.

The main view of this product is to provide mobile facility in cheaper rate for all.

Geographic Segmentation

 “Aalap Classic” is geographically segmented by whole nationwide. There is no target wise segmentation. They segmented the product for all the regions and for all regions they spend same type of clarification.

   Behavioral Segmentation

Behavioral segmentation is benefit, occasion, and user status wise segmentation.

    Offer for Aalap Classic

    Effective segmentation

There are many ways to segment a market but all the segmentations are not effective.

Effective market segmentations are –

  •       Measurable
  •        Substantial
  •        Accessible
  •        Differential
  •        Actionable
  •       Measurable

Measurable means size and purchasing power. Here size is the number of customer and purchasing power is the buying capacity of consumer. City Cell provide the lowest cost price of product, so their segment is measurable and all types of customer are afford to purchase their product.

Substantial

The market segments are large or profitable enough to serve. Segment must be large enough to warrant a special marketing mix. City Cell is the pioneer of mobile company and they have number of customer approximately 5 lacks.

Accessible

Accessibility of product in the market that is called accessible. Product must be accessible to the segment. Segment can be effectively reached and served. Now almost all of the city in our country we can get the product of citycell.

 Differential

Different segment for different appeal. Segment must be respond differently to different marketing mix elements & action. City Cell provides:

Actionable

Effective programs can be designed or attracting and serving the segments or implement the marketing mix-

Product

    Price

    Place

CITYCELL distribute their product Aalap Classic all over the country.

    Promotion

CITYCELL segments their market for these reasons:

       To identify customers with similar needs and wants.

       To design separate marketing mix for separate segments.

       To satisfy customers.

Targeting

Targeting means among the segment we will find the attractive one to serve.

CITYCELL has targeted their customers into certain levels of measurement. Their package “Aalap Classic” is mainly targeted for all class people. They are offering this package at lowest price mobile connection with hand sets in the market. No competitor don’t give this type offer like them. They have given this package into target market to increase their market share.

Positioning

Positioning means occupying a clear and distinctive place in the mind of target customers.

Because We Care” this is the main positioning of CITYCELL. By this positioning they want to mean that they always care for their customer. They also try to provide all kind facilities for their customer.

As their product is “Aalap Classic” the main position of this product in the mind of target customers is call free. This is the cheapest cost product for all types of customers in the country. They want to make this position in their mind.

 The ways of differentiation positioning are –

  •        Product differentiation
  •        Service differentiation
  •        Personal differentiation
  •        Image differentiation
  •       Product Differentiation

Their product is totally different from other mobile companies because they are the only CDMA network operator in the country.

      Service Differentiation

They always offer mobile connection with hand sets, and give  1 year warranty with every hand set. They have a service department. Which is open 24 hours to give customer services.

      Personal Differentiation

They have a high skilled and educated people who are working for the  company to achieve their mission and objectives. Which makes them different from others.

      Image Differentiation

They  do a lot of things to increase their image such as- social welfare, give sponsorship to cultural program, sports, beatification, traffic rules, police control room’s phone numbers, etc.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is probably the most famous phrase in marketing. The elements are the marketing ‘tactics’. Also known as the ‘four Ps’, the marketing mix elements are product, price, place, and promotion.

CITYCELL provides both products and services, because it has various items which are tangible and it provides communication services for customer relationship which is intangible. So, CITYCELL is both product and service oriented company. In this reason CITYCELL work with three additional P’s, these are:

  •     People
  •     Physical Evidence
  •     Process

So we can say CITYCELL work with 7 P’s:

  •     Product
  •     Price
  •     Place
  •     Promotion
  •     People
  •     Physical Evidence
  •     Process
  •   Product

Everything is product which having utility. CITYCELL is telecommunication Company. It has different types of product. The product of CITYCELL basically divided in two parts.

Here, we discuss a specific product of CITYCELL, which felt in under the Prepaid line that is “AALAP CLASSIC”.

Levels of Product

   Core Product

Consists of all the benefits the product will provide for consumer. Here, the core product is –

   Basic/Actual Product

Consists of the physical good or delivered service those are providing for consumer. Such as Mobile, Rim etc.

   Expected Product

      All features of the product.

       30 second pulse from the first minute

       24 hour NWD and ISD facility

       Network coverage

      Augmented product

        Extra service with the product.

       TK 50 preloaded free talk time with 7 days validity

       1(One) year handset warranty

       Free T&T incoming during Super Off Peak hour

      (Till 25 th April 2006)

       No additional BTTB charge for local T&T outgoing

      (Till 25 th April 2006)

    Potential product

      A product which is not present in market.

Types of Products

Two types of product: (In terms of business)

Consumer Product

Consumer product means Product purchase for ultimate consumption. All types of packages those are provide CITYCELL for consumer that is consumer   product.

Types of consumer product are:

  1. Convenience products
  •       Staples products
  •       Impulse products
  •        Emergency products

2. Shopping products

3. Specialty products

4. Unsought products

  Product classification for Consumer Product

    Business Product

 Citycell provides many facilities to various companies in terms of increasing their sells. These types of product terms as a business product for citycell. In the police control room, rail office, traffic control room etc.

    Product Line

 All the product items of a company are called product line. There are four types of product line:

  •  Product Width
  •  Product Length
  •  Product Depth
  •  Product Consistency

Product Width

Number of product lines. There are two types of product lines. These are:

  •    Pre-paid
  •    Post-paid
  • Product Length

Total number of items. CITYCELL have many packages under its pre-paid and post-paid category. All the products goes under this product length.

POST-PAID PRE-PAID
Amar Phone Aalap Classic
Citycell Premium Aalap Super
Citycell Tellular Aalap Call Me
Shobar Phone Aalap 24

Product Depth

Size into variety.

 Product Consistency:

When same distribution channel use for all product that is called product consistency line. CITYCELL don’t use product consistency line.

Branding

Branding means a name, term, symbol, design, or combination there of that identifies a seller’s or company’s products and differentiates them from competitors’ products.

 CIYCELL uses its own brand. It’s brand name differs it from the other telecommunication company. Brand uses as a distinguish purpose for the company. A product’s success depends on the target market’s ability to distinguish one product from another. CITYCELL uses branding as these types of purposes. The marketing and management department of CITYCELL try to use the branding as the major tool in distinguishing their product from the competition.

A Brand can represent this entire feature. Such as-

  •        Attributes
  •        Benefits
  •        Culture
  •        Value
  •        Personality
  •        Users
  • Branding Strategy

There are four types of branding strategy-

  •        Individual name
  •        Blanket family name
  •        Separate family name
  •        Company individual name

Under the branding strategy city cell fall in Individual name strategy.

Individual name:  Individual products individual name.

Branding

       Branding Strategy Decision

  Packaging

Activity of designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.

Packaging used to just contain and protect the product.

  Factors to Consider When Making Packaging Decision

  •        Protection
  •        Visibility 
  •        Added Value 
  •        Distributor Acceptance 
  •        Cost 
  •        Expensive to Create 
  •        Long Term Decision 
  •        Environmental or Legal Issues

  Pricing

Price is the sum of all the values that consumers exchange for the benefits of having or using the product or service. In a m marketing mix without price all are cost and only price gives us revenue.

      Call charge for Aalap Classic

    Cost-Based Pricing VS. Value-Based Pricing

Citycell always tries to satisfy their customer by their pricing. For this they follow value-based pricing.

 Legal protection or blocked entries

Before 1996 after introduce city cell in to Bangladesh mobile market the govt. ruled that no mobile company did not enter the market of Bangladesh for one year. So in this time City cell charged skimming price.

Penetration pricing

Penetration pricing means price sensitive in market condition.

Citycell follows penetration pricing.

    Physicological Pricing

There are two types of  Physicological  Pricing such

as-

  •       Range Rate Pricing.
  •       Odd/Even Pricing.

Under this pricing strategy,  CITYCELL goes to

Range Rate Pricing Strategy.

  Place

CITYCELL Classic is our product. CITYCELL provide this product for all types of consumers through all over the country. As CITYCELL charged for CITYCELL Classic low price, generally low revenue earned people are their main customers.

 Marketing Intermediaries Used

Generally market intermediaries are used to making their product available in the market. As CITYCELL provide to consumer product and services. For this they also use marketing intermediaries to provide their product and services for consumer available in the market.

They provide channel 1 and channel 3. They have their own personal selling for this their customer can bye their product directly. Then they follow channel 1. When they want to provide their product to a long distance, then they follow channel 3, because they provide their product to the whole seller and then the retailer get product form them and customer buy product from the retailer.

 Channel function

Generally channel functions is done by the channel members, as whole seller and retailer.

      Marketing Channels Structure 

There are three marketing channels:

        1. Exclusive Distribution

        2. Selective Distribution

        3. Intensive Distribution

CITYCELL maintain selective distribution, because their product is special and with special brand name with selective intermediaries. Their main dealer is DIGI MOBILE.

  Conventional Marketing Channel Vs. a Vertical Marketing System

CITYCELL maintain conventional marketing channel. They  also maintain Vertical marketing system. Because The manufacturer of their product  provide that Straightly to the consumer by their selling center which is on17/2, Mohakhali C/A, Dhaka. First they provide it to the wholesaler. The retailers take products from the whole seller or CITYCELL ’s selling center .Customer take product from the retailer.

  Conventional Marketing Channel Vs. a Vertical Marketing System 

  Vertical Marketing System

There are three type of VMS such as-

  •     Administered VMS
  •     Corporate Systems
  •     Contractual Systems

CITYCELL mainly maintain contractual system. They follow administered VMS

  CITYCELL Network Coverage

Promotion

Marketing communication mix

    Advertising

Any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion  of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor.(print, broadcast, outdoor and others).

They do two types of advertising:

Major advertising channel

     Personal Selling

Personal presentation by the firm’s sales force for the purpose of making sales and building customer relationships.

     Sales Promotion

Short term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service.(sample, coupons, point of purchase and etc.)

     Public relation

Building good relations with the company’s various publics by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good corporate image and handling or heading off unfavorable rumors, stories and events.(press releases and special events).

     Direct marketing

Direct connections with carefully targeted individual consumers to both obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships.(catalog, TV,phone, internet , kiosk and others).

   Advertising Objectives in Relation to Stage in the Product Life Cycle

                            Stage of the Product Life Cycle
     Introduction Growth

Maturity

 

Decline

 

CITYCELL is in maturity level that’s why they do persuasive advertising and reminder advertising.

The Communication Process

Source

  • The marketer
  • The sender of the message

Encoding

  • Designing of advertisements, sales presentations,
    P-O-P displays, etc.
  • Translation of the message into symbolic form

Message

  • Actual advertisement that contains the intended message
  • Symbolic expression of the sender’s thoughts

Channel

  • Television, radio, print media, telephone, direct mail, etc.
  • Path through which the message moves to get to the receiver

Receiver

  • Person or groups of persons for whom the message is intended

Decoding

  • Process receiver uses to interpret the meaning of the message

Feedback

  • Marketing research, market share changes, sales reports
  • Attitude changes, purchase or non-purchase
  • Gauge of effectiveness of communication techniques

Noise

  • Interference at some stage in communications process
  • Competitive promotional messages
  • Misinterpretation of message or wrong receiver.

Steps in Developing Effective Communication

Step 1.  Identifying the Target Audience.

Step 2.  Determining the Communication Objectives Buyer Readiness Stages.

Step 3.  Designing a Message

Step 4.  Choosing Media

Step 5.  Selecting the Message Source (expertise, Trustworthiness, likeability)

Step 6.   Collecting Feedback.

CITYCELL generally follow the pull strategy.

 Setting the Total Promotion Budget

Affordable : Based on What the Company Can  Afford.

Percentage of Sales: Based on a Certain Percentage of Current or Forecasted Sales.

Objective-and-Task: Based on Determining Objectives & Tasks, Then  Estimating Costs Competitive-Parity: Based on the Competitor’s Promotion Budget.

CITYCELL follow mainly affordable and objective task method but some time follow all.

Five “M” of Advertising

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)

When all the promotion tools are used together to increase sells and profits that is called IMC.

CITYCELL follows the all the advertising tools. So  they follow the IMC.

People

For a company there are involve two kind of people. One is internal and another is external. Internal people are employees and external people are customers. They create interactive marketing.

Internal people: For internal people CITYCELL provide

following benefits-

  •    Training
  •    Motivation
  •    Divide working hour transportation
  •    Free mobile facilities
  •    Give some special facilities for foreign technician
  •    Employee can join the events which are sponsor by CITYCELL.

External people:

  •    mobile service.
  •    customer care.

Physical Evidence

Physical Evidence is Presentation, Grooming, and Interior Decoration of the company. There Physical Evidence is as follows:

  •    Employees behavior
  •    Well decorated office and customer care center.
  •    Bill statements
  •    Brushier
  •    News letter

Process

 Process is System, Data Management, and Time Management of an organization. There are two kinds of process.

  •    Standard process
  •    Complex process

Recommendation

CITYCELL (Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited) is Bangladesh pioneering Communication Company and only CDMA network operator in the country. They are operate their work with trained operator so customer are always satisfy with there service. CITYCELL has also a good reputation in the market which is also a forward advantage of CITYCELL. Their feature plan is increasing there customer and they are trying hard for this. That day is not away when they rock the telecommunication world. So enjoying the CDMA technology.

 Bibliography

Through the all marketing report we get help from various sources. We use our text book, search in the Internet and many source that gain data.

  • Marketing (9th Edition), Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong, Prentice Hall: India.
  • Marketing Management (11 th and 12 th Edition ),

     Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller.

  • News Paper         
  • www.citycell.com.org

Citycell

Categories
Architecture

A Study on Concrete

Concrete

Concrete is an artificial stone manufactured from a mixture of binding materials and inert materials with water.

Concrete = Binding materials + Inert materials + Water.

Concrete is considered as a chemically combined mass where the inert material acts as a filler and the binding material acts as a binder. The most important binding material is cement and lime. The inert materials used in concrete are termed as aggregates. The aggregates are of two types namely, (1) Fine aggregate and (2) Coarse aggregate. (Ref.l)

Fine aggregate

Sand and Surki are commonly used as fine aggregate in  Bangladesh.  Stone screenings, burnt clays, cinders and fly-ash are sometimes used as a substitute for

Sand in making concrete. The fine aggregate should not be larger than 3/16 inch (4.75mm) in diameter.

Coarse aggregate

Brick khoa (broken bricks), broken stones, gravels, Pebbles, clinkers, cinders etc. of the size of 3/16 to 2 inch are commonly used as coarse aggregate in Bangladesh. It may be remembered that 3/16 inch is the dividing line between fine and coarse aggregates.

 Functions of Aggregates in Concrete

The aggregate give volume to the concrete around the surface of which the binding material adheres in the form of a thin film. In theory the voids in the coarse aggregate is filled up with fine aggregate and again the voids in the fine aggregate is filled up with the binding materials. Finally, the binding materials as the name i the individual units of aggregates into a solid mass with the help of water.

Qualities of Aggregates

Since at least three quarters of the volume of concrete is occupied by aggregate. It is not surprising that its quality is of considerable importance. Not only the aggregate limit the strength of the concrete, as weak aggregates cannot produce a strong ‘concrete, but also the properties of aggregates greatly affect the durability and structural performance of the concrete.

Aggregate was though, originally viewed as an inert material dispersed throughout the cement paste largely for economic reason, yet it is possible, however, to take an opposite view and to look on aggregate as a building material connected into a cohesive whole by means of cement paste, in a manner similar to masonry constructions. In fact aggregates are not truly inert and their physical, chemical and sometimes thermal properties influence the structural performance of a concrete.

Aggregates are cheaper than cement and it is therefore, economical to put into the mix as much as of the former and as little of the latter. But economy is not the only reason for using aggregate; it confers considerable technical advantage on concrete, which has a higher volume stability and better durability than the cement paste alone. The coarse aggregate should be clean, strong, durable and well grades and should be free from impurities and deleterious materials, such as salts, coal residue, etc.

Classification of Concrete

There are mainly two types of concrete, Namely.

  1. Lime concrete and
  2. Cement concrete.

Lime Concrete = Lime + Surki + Khoa+Water

Cement concrete = Cement + Sand+Khoa + Water

Lime Concrete

Lime concrete consists of lime surki and khoa or stones in the proportion 1:2:5 unless otherwise specified. The khoa or stones should be soaked thoroughly in water before mixing. The lime and surki in required proportion are to be first mixed dry by volume on a clean watertight platform till the color is uniform. The requisite quantity of thoroughly soaked khoa or stones is then added and the whole again mixed very thoroughly.

Water is then added gradually and mixing is continued till a workable mixture is obtained. Concrete should be mixed in such a quantity that it can be utilized during the day it is mixed and the concrete which has been left overnight should not be used. The concrete thus mixed should be laid evenly in the position in which it is desired to be used. The common practice of throwing concrete in the desired position by the workers should be avoided. Concrete is to be laid in layers not exceeding 3 inch in thickness. Each layer is to be thoroughly compacted before the next layer is laid. Concrete is to be kept well wetted while setting and at least 7 days after the final layer is completed. Lime concrete is used mainly in foundation and in terrace roofing. (Ref. 1)

Cement concrete

Cement concrete is widely used in all important engineering constructions. It consists of cement, sand and brick khoa or stones of required size in the proportion 1:2:4 or 1:3:6 unless otherwise specified. The ingredients are measured dry separately by volume according to required proportion. In measuring cement, generally 90 Ibs will be taken as 1 cu ft. and hence 1 bag of cement (112 Ibs) equals 1.25 cu.ft. The khoa or stones are soaked thoroughly in water before use. The fine and coarse aggregates are mixed dry first on a clean watertight platform. The cement is then added and the whole is mixed thoroughly. When the coarse aggregate has been soaks thoroughly the approximate quantity of water is 4.5 gallons for one cu.ft of cement in a concrete of 1:2:4. The quantity of water should be such that the mixture would give a good workability. The concrete is to be prepared in small quantities which can be used within 45 minutes and any unused concrete after that time should not be used. In foundation works, the concrete is to be rammed properly till the water appears of top and on khoa or stone is left uncovered by mortar. In reinforced concrete work, the concrete is to be poke very thoroughly with steel rods of recommended size to get rid of voids and to ensure a good bond between concrete and the reinforcing steel. Sometimes a mechanical vibrator is used to minimize voids. As soon as the concrete has set the surface should be sprayed with water. The process of curing is to be applied for 28 days to attain its proper strength.

Mixing concrete by band does not generally produce a good concrete. Where large quantity of concrete is required and also a very good quality concrete is desired, the mixing is done in a mechanical mixer. (Ref. 1

Advantage of concrete over other materials of construction

Followings are the advantage of concrete over other materials of construction:

•    Concrete is free from defects and flaws which natural stones are associated.

•    It can be manufactured to desired strength and durability with economy.

•    It can be cast to any desired shape.

•    Maintenance cost of concrete structures is almost negligible.

•    Concrete does not deteriorate appreciably with age.

 Segregation

Segregation can be defined as separation of the constituents of a heterogeneous mixture so that their distribution is no longer uniform. In case of concrete it is the difference in the size of particles and in the specific gravity of the mix constituents” that are the primary caused of segregation, but its extent can be controlled by the of suitable grading and water-cement ratio and by care in handling transporting placing of concrete. In concrete, there are two forms of segregation. First the coarse particles tend to travel further along a slope or settle more than finer particles. The second form of segregation occurring particularly in wet mixes is manifested by the separation of grout from the mix. With some grading where a lean mix is used, the first type of segregation may occur; if the mix is too dry; addition of water would improve the cohesion of the mix but when the mix becomes too wet, second type of segregation would take place

Bleeding

Bleeding (known also as water gain) is a form of segregation in which some of the water in the concrete mix tends to rise to the surface of freshly placed concretes. This is caused by the inability of the solid constituents of the mix to hold all of the mixing water when they settle downwards. Bleeding is a special case of sedimentation. It can be expressed quantitatively as the total settlement per unit height of concrete. As of bleeding result of bleeding the top of concrete becomes too wet and if the water is trapped by super imposed concrete a porous, weak and non-durable concrete will produced.

If the bleeding water is remixed during finishing of the top surface, a weak wearing Suffice will be found. This can be avoided by delaying the finishing operation until the Weeding water has evaporated. On the other hand, if evaporation of water from the jar face of the concrete is faster than the bleeding rate, plastic shrinkage cracking may result.

 Laitance

Laitance is the formation of a crust of squeezed out mortar on the surface of concrete. This is due to bleeding and bad workmanship. This produces a bad or weak concrete. For preparing watertight concrete, Segregation, Bleeding and Laitance should be very carefully avoided.

Hardening

Process of gaining strength by the mass of cement concrete is known as hardening.

Tri-Calcium Silicate hydrate first and responsible for most of early strength of concrete. Strength acquired during first 7 days is mostly due to hydration of Di- Calcium  Silicate…starts contributing strength after 7 days to a year.2.6.3 Setting Process of loosing plasticity is known as setting. Tri –Calcium Aluminates responsible for early setting of cement does not contribute any strength.

Tetra Calcium Alumino Ferrite….does not play any significant roll in setting and hardening properties. For delaying setting for 30 to 40 minutes add 1-3% gypsum powder in cement. Initial  setting of cement,45 min to 8-10 hours Final setting time,5 to 20 hours. Progressive hardening time ,24 hours to a year. Within 30 days 80-90% strength gain.

Admixtures 

In addition to the main components of concretes, admixtures are often used to improve concrete performance. There are admixtures to accelerate or retard setting and hardening, to improve workability, to increase strength, to improve durability, to decrease permeability, and to impart other properties of high strength concrete. The beneficial effects of particular admixtures are well established. Chemical admixtures should meet the requirements of ASTMC 494,“ Standard Specification for Chemical  admixtures for concrete.” (Ref.3)

 Workability of Concrete

The strength of concrete of given mix proportion is very seriously affected by the degree of its compaction ; it is therefore, vital that the consistency the mix be such that the concrete can be transported  placed  and  finished  sufficiently  easily  and without aggregation. A concrete satisfying these condition is said to be workable but to say uerely that workability determines the case of transportation, placement and finishing sand the resistance of concrete to segregation is too loose a description of this vital property of concrete workability can be best defined as a physical property which is the amount of useful external and internal works necessary to produce of compaction of concrete.

Another term used to describe the state or fresh concrete is consistency. In a simple language the word consistency refers to the firmness of a form of a substance or to the case with which it will flow. In case of concrete, consistency is sometimes taken to mean the degree of witness within limits. Wet concrete are more workable than dry concrete, concretes of the same consistency may vary in workability.

 Factors affecting workability

The main factor is the water content of the mix, expressed in pounds per cube yard of concrete. It

is convenient, though approximate, to assume that for a given type and grading of aggregates and workability of concrete. The water content is independent of the aggregate cement ratio. On the basis of this assumption the mix proportions of concretes of different richness can be estimated and the following Table 2.1 gives typical values of water content for different slumps and maximum size of the aggregates.

Workability is also governed by the maximum size of the aggregates their grading, shape and texture. Grading and water/cement ratio have to be considered together as a grading producing most workable concrete for one particular value of water/cement ratio may not be the best for another value of the ratio. In particular, the higher the water/cement ratio the finer the grading required for the highest workability. In actual fact, for a given value of water/cement ratio, there is only one value of the coarse/fine aggregates ratio that gives the highest workability.

Air entrainment also increases workability. In general terms, entrainment of 5 percent air increases the compacting factor of concrete by about 0.03 to 0.07 and slump by 1A to 2 inch but actual values vary with properties of the mix. Air entrainment is also effective in improving the workability of the rather harsh mixes made with light weight aggregates.

The reason for the improvement of workability by the entrained air is probably that air bubbles act as a fine aggregate of very low surface friction and considerable elasticity. f It is also claimed that the air entrainment reduces both segregation and bleeding.

Table 2.1: Approximate Water Content for different Slumps and Maximum sizes of Aggregates

Maximum Water content in Ib per cu yd. of concrete
Size of aggregates inch 1-2 inch slump 3-4 inch slump 6-7 inch slump
 

 

Rounded Agg. Angular Agg. Rounded Agg. Angular Agg. Rounded Agg. Angular Agg.
3/8 320 360 340 380 390 430
3/4 290 330 320 350 350 380
r/2 270 290 290 320 320 350
2 250 280 280 300 300 330
3 230 260 260 280 270 310

Measurement of Workability

Unfortunately no test is known that will measure directly the workability, numerous attempts have been made, however, to correlate workability with some easily measurable parameter. But none of these is fully satisfactory although they may provide useful information within a range of variation in workability. Water content for different size of aggregates is followed as per Table 2.1 as shown above.

Factors controlling properties of Concrete

The properties (Strength, durability, impermeability and workability) of concrete depend upon the following parameters (factors):

  1. Grading of the aggregates.
  2. Moisture content of the aggregates.
  3. Water/cement ratio.
  4. Proportioning of the various ingredients of concrete.
  5. Method of mixing.
  6. Placing and compaction of concrete.
  7. Curing of concrete.

Water/Cement ratio

In engineering practices, the strength of concrete at a given age and cured at a prescribed temperature in assumed to depend primarily of two factors:

  1. The water/cement ratio and
  2. The degree of compaction.

The proportion between the amount of water and cement used in a concrete mix is termed as the water cement ratio.

The water in the concrete does primarily the three functions:

1. To wet the surface of the aggregate,

2. To impart workability and

3. To combine chemically with cement.

When concrete is fully compacted, its strength is taken to be inversely proportional to water-cement ratio. It may be recalled that the water-cement ratio determines the porosity of the hardened cement paste at any stage of hydration.

Experiments have shown that the quality of water in a mix determines its strength and there is a water/cement ratio which gives the maximum strength to the concrete. It will be found that there is a certain percentage of water below which the water will not be sufficient to hydrate the cement. The use of less water than that required will not give workability and will produce porous and weak concrete. On the other hand if more water is used than that actually required, the concrete will be weak.

Flakiness Index

This test is based on the classification of aggregate particles as flaky when they have a thickness (smallest dimension) of less than 0.6 of their nominal size, this size being taken as the mean of the limiting sieve apertures used for determining the sieve fraction in which the particle occurs. The flakiness index often aggregate sample is found by separating flaky particles and expressing their mass as a percentage of the mass of the sample tested. The test is not applicable to materials passing a 6.3mm B.S Test Sieve and retains a 63 mm B.S Test Sieve.

 Fundamental considerations

Various factors which affect mix design criteria can be clarified physically exhibiting bitumen concrete pavement having varying bitumen content and various shape of the aggregate particle. The following figure-1 to fig-4 shows such physical exhibits.
Figure-2.1 shows a frame work of aggregate particle in a mix of crushed; graded aggregate which has been compacted. All the aggregate particles are in contact with one another. This frame work of aggregate particles has considerable to movement under superimposed load

Angular Compacted aggregate

Figure No:  Angular Compacted aggregate.

Rounded compacted aggregate Figure No: Rounded compacted aggregate

Fig-2.2 shows a frame work of rounded aggregate particles which have been compacted. This frame work has considerably less stability than that shown in fig-1. If the surface of the rounded particles is made rough to resist sliding of one over another, it can still offer certain resistance to movement. If the stone particles are smooth, the frictional resistance becomes very small and the compacted frame work of particles will have practically no resistance to movement. Rounded particle also practically have no interlocking. The sum of frictional resistance and interlocking comprises which is known as internal friction.

Correct proportion of bitumen in compacted load

Figure No:  Correct proportion of bitumen in compacted load

Fig-2.3 gives a diagrammatic view of a properly designed bituminous pavement. In this diagram the load from wheels of the traffic is carried directly by the frame work of stones. The frame work of stone is held in position by binding action of the bitumen. The open spaces between aggregate particles are not completely field with bitumen but air voids as indicated by white small circles are left. The void space should constitute from 2% to 6% of the total volume of the pavement.

Excess bitumen in pavement

Figure No : Excess bitumen in pavement

Fig- 2.4 shows a diagrammatic view of a bitumen mix having larger amount of bitumen than required. In this condition of the frame- work, the interlocking effect of the stone particles is destroyed and individual stone particles will just be floating. This condition results in bleeding, shoving, or rutting and therefore must be voided. This greatly reduces the traffic load carrying capacity of the road. To avoid such a condition at least 2% air voids must be present in the pavement.

Bitumen content if add just sufficient to act as binder may leave high volume of air voids.

In this condition the mix will still have good resistance to movement but high volume of voids is helpful in hardening of bitumen because of weathering, and may shorten the life of the pavement. On the other hand, low bitumen content may develop brittle pavement which ravel under the action of the traffic. To avoid undue hardening of the bitumen and raveling, the maximum limit of air voids may be restricted to 6%. However, in some methods of design, this limit is restricted to 5%.The volume of air voids is, sometimes,expressed by term percent density. This expression denotes the volume of solids. For instance a pavement with 97% density has 3% air voids.

For a specified grading and aggregate, percent density is function of the bitumen content in the mix and the degree of compaction. The pavements are normally designed at 96% to 97.5% density.

Percentage of voids in the pavement plus the percentage volume occupied by the bitumen is known as voids in the mineral aggregate (VMA). Single size aggregate has maximum value of VMA which may be as high as 35% to 40%. Poorly graded aggregate have VMA ranging from 20% to 35% while well graded have its value less than 20%. It is good to reduce the VMA to the lowest possible value, but through proper distribution of size of aggregate.

Value of VMA should not be reduced by using excessive 75 mic passing material i.e. filler. A well graded aggregate without excess use of 75 mic passing material, will normally give VMA value 15% in compacted specimen. Aggregate having value of VMA less than 10 should not be used, as such a low value can only be obtained through excessive use of mineral fill.

The amount of bitumen, required to produce a given percentage of voids in the mix is largely a function of the surface area per unit weight of aggregate, which is a function of the particle size.

This is the reason that the optimum bitumen content is larger for mixes with a small-top size aggregate than for a large top-size aggregate. Roughnc5s of the surface of the aggregate particle and the amount of bitumen it absorbs, also affect the amount of bitumen to some extent.

Concrete

Categories
EEE

Power Quality Aspects of Smart Grids

Introduction

There is at the moment no consistent definition of “a smart grid” or “the smart grid”. Different people use different definitions, and the definitions develop with time. In this paper, we will simply limit ourselves to a description, and not worry about a precise definition. The term “smart grid” refers to a way of operating the power system using communication technology, power electronic technologies, and storage technologies to balance production and consumption at all levels, i.e. from inside of the customer premises all the way up to the highest voltage levels. An alternative way of defining the concept is as the set of technologies, whatever they may be, that are needed to allow new types of production and new types of consumption to be integrated in the electric power system. The concept of “smart grid” was started from a number of the technology innovations in the power industry. It is a result of the new technologies applied in power systems, including renewable energy sources generation, distributed generation, and the latest information and communication technology. With the (technical and regulatory) developments of renewable energy generation technologies, the penetration level of especially wind power have becomes very high in some parts of the system. Similar developments are expected for solar power and domestic combined heat and power. However, the increase in intermittent, non-predictable and non-dispatch able energy generation puts highest requirements on power balance control, from primary control through operational planning. The traditional control and communication system needs to be improved to accommodate for a high penetration of renewable energy sources. The term “micro grid” is used to describe a customer owned installation containing generation as well as consumption, where there is a large controllability of the exchange of power between the micro grid and the rest of the grid. Such micro grids provide the possibilities of load-shifting and peak-shaving through demand side management. Consumers could use the electricity from their own sources or even sell electricity to the grid during the peaking periods, hence increase the energy efficiency and defer the investments in transmission and distribution networks. To perform demand response in a most efficient way, the market and system operation conditions need to be known. Smart meters / advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and two-way communication technologies can provide consumers and operators the information for decision making. The automation system of the traditional power system is still based on the design and operation of the system as it was decades ago. The latest developments in information and communication technologies have only found very limited implementation in the power system automation. One of the objectives of smart grid is to update the power system automation (including transmission, distribution, substation, individual feeders and even individual customers) using the latest technology.

Besides technology innovations, another important reason for smart grid is to improve the services in power supply to consumers. Through AMI (also known as “smart meters”), consumers are no longer passive consumers. They can monitor their own voltage and power and manage their energy consumption for example based on the electricity prices. Feedback on consumption is also seen as an important tool for energy saving.

 Balancing Production and Consumption

Any amount of production or consumption can be connected at any location in the power system provided the difference between these two remains within certain band. The unbalance between production and consumption at a certain location is provided by the transfer capacity from the rest of the system. The situation can be more complicated in meshed systems, but this is the basic rule. Traditionally, production capacity and consumption demand have been seen as independent of each other. So the traditional grid has been designed to cope with the maximum amount of production, and also with the maximum amount of consumption. This approach sets hard limits on both production and consumption. A “smart grid” that can control, or influence, both production and consumption would allow more of both to be integrated into the power system. To accomplish this goal, communication technology may be order to inform or encourage changes in production (i.e. generator units) and consumption (i.e. customers or devices). Most published studies propose some kind of market mechanism to maintain balance between production and consumption, but more direct methods are also possible, with either the network operator or an independent entity taking control.

Different methods are available to balance consumption and production while at the same time optimizing energy efficiency, reliability and/or power quality.

  • Physical energy storage, for example in the form of batteries or pumped-storage hydro. Such storage could be owned and operator by a customer (an end-user or a generator company), owned by a customer and operated by the network operator, or owned and operated by the network operator.
  • Virtual energy storage, by shifting of energy consumption to a later or earlier moment in time. Charging of car batteries is often mentioned, but this method of virtual storage can also be used for cooling or heating loads. It is important to realize that this approach does not result in energy saving, but in more efficient use of the generation facilities and the power system transport capacity. The total energy consumption may be reduced somewhat, for example by reduced losses, reduced average temperatures with heating systems (increased with cooling), and the ability to use more efficient forms of energy, but these are minor effects and they should not be seen as the main reason for introducing the new technology.
  • Load shedding, where load is removed from the system when all other methods fail. This method is available now but is rarely used in most countries.

Accepting the occasional small amount of load shedding may, in some cases save large investments in the power system. (In some developing countries, uncontrolled and inadvertent load shedding often occurs automatically during grid or generator overload, but this is a poor example of load shedding, and hopefully only a temporary situation.)Under-frequency load shedding, as used in almost all systems, can be seen as an extreme case of reserve capacity in the form of load shedding. This is not the kind of application that is normally considered in the discussion on smart grids. Curtailment of production: For renewable sources like sun and wind, the primary energy is usually transformed into electricity whenever it is available. But if generation exceeds consumption, renewable sources may be turned off, or curtailed. The term “spilled wind” is sometimes used to express this concept.

Shifting of production: for sources like natural gas (for combined-heat-and-power) or hydro power, the primary energy source can be temporarily stored, then used at a later time. Not using the primary energy sources will make it available at a later time.

 Power Quality

In the ongoing discussions about smart grids, power quality has to become an important aspect and should not be neglected. An adequate power quality guarantees the necessary compatibility between all equipment connected to the grid. It is therefore an important issue for the successful and efficient operation of existing as well as future grids. However power quality issues should not form an unnecessary barrier against the development of smart grids or the introduction of renewable sources of energy. The “smart” properties of future grids should rather be a challenge for new approaches in an efficient management of power quality. Especially the advanced communication technologies can establish new ways for selective power quality management.

Power quality covers two groups of disturbances:

variations and events. While variations are continuously measured and evaluated, events occur in general unpredictable and require a trigger action to be measured. Important variations are: slow voltage changes, harmonics, flicker and unbalance. Important events are rapid voltage changes, dips, swells and interruptions.

The actual power quality (i.e. the disturbance levels) results from the interaction between the network and the connected equipment.

All three areas are expected to see significant changes in the future. This means that power quality issues will also change with the consecutive development of future grids. The following comments shall give some examples for possible future developments in power quality.

Generating Equipment

The penetration of micro generation (typically defined as generation with a rated power of less than 16 A per phase) in the low-voltage networks is expected to increase continuously. In domestic installations this will be mainly single phase equipment based on self-commutating inverters with switching frequencies in the range of several kHz. Emissions in the range of low order harmonics can usually be neglected. The emissions shift into the range of higher frequencies, possibly between 2 and 9 kHz, where a serious discussion is needed on the choice of appropriate limits.

Furthermore micro-generation equipment will often be connected single-phase. This could increase the negative-sequence and zero-sequence voltage in the low-voltage grid. In weak distribution networks, existing limits could be exceeded rather quickly. Reconsidering the limits for negative-sequence voltages and introducing limits for zero-sequence voltage could be possible needed.

 Consumer Equipment

The introduction of new and more efficient technologies is the main driver for changes in consumer equipment. One widely-discussed example is the change from incandescent lamps to energy saving lamps. Compact fluorescent lamps are at the moment the main replacement for incandescent lamps, but they are probably only an intermediate step before the LED-technique will become widely accepted. Seen from the network, each of the new lamp technologies results in the replacement of a resistive load by a rectifier load. The fundamental current is reduced significantly whereas the harmonic currents are increased. High penetration together with high coincidence of operation may lead to an increase of low order harmonics. Several network operators fear an increase of especially the fifth harmonic voltage above the compatibility levels. Discussion is ongoing in IEC working groups about the need for additional emission requirements on new types of lighting of low wattage. The same would hold for other improved (energy-efficient drives) or new (photovoltaic, battery chargers for electric and hybrid cars) equipment.

As mentioned before, such limits should however not result in unnecessary barriers against the introduction of new equipment. Alternative paths, like an increase of the compatibility levels for some higher harmonics, should at least be considered.

 Distribution Network

The short-circuit power is an important factor in power quality management. Under constant emission a higher short circuit power results in a better voltage quality. Today the short-circuit power is mainly determined by the upstream network. In the IEC electromagnetic-compatibility standards reference impedance is used as a link between compatibility levels (voltages) and emission limits (currents). In future grids with high penetration of generation significant differing supply scenarios may be possible, from supply by a strong upstream network to an islanded (self-balanced) operation. This may lead to a significantly higher variability in short circuit power than today. Thus the approach based on fixed reference impedances may be inadequate or the use of high emitting loads may only be acceptable for certain operational states of the network or only in conjunction with power quality conditioners (owned by a customer, by the network operator, or by a third party).Due to the continuous decrease of resistive loads providing damping stability issues may become important for low-voltage networks too. In conjunction with increasing capacitive load (the EMC filters of electronic equipment) resonance points with decreasing resonant frequencies as well as lower damping can appear.

 Power-Quality Monitoring

Growing service quality expectations and reduced possibilities for grid enforcements make advanced distribution automation (ADA) an increasingly necessary development for network operators and the next large step in the evolution of the power systems to smart grids. The management of the distribution system is mainly based on the information collected from the power flows by an integrated monitoring system. This enables real-time monitoring of grid conditions for the power system operators. It also enables automatic reconfiguration of the network to optimize the power delivery efficiency and to reduce the extent and duration of interruptions. The basic part of the monitoring system infrastructure is based on sensors, transducers, intelligent electronic devices (IED) and (revenue) meters collecting information throughout the distribution system.

A number of network operators have already proposed that the smart grid of the future should include:

  • Network monitoring to improve reliability
  • Equipment monitoring to improve maintenance
  • Product (power) monitoring to improve PQ

In order to achieve these goals, the actual distribution system infrastructure (especially meters and remotely controlled IEDs) should be used to gather as much information as possible related to network, equipment and product (i.e. power quality and reliability) to improve the distribution system overall performance.

Among the most important ADA operating systems, that a smart grid will include, it can be mentioned:

  • Volt & var control (VVC)&Fault location (FL)
  • Network reconfiguration or self-healing

Network operators with an ambitious energy efficiency program have focused on two targets:

  • Capacitor banks installation
  • Voltage control

There is also another important goal: to reduce the duration of interruptions. To answer to these challenges, pilot projects are being conducted on conservation voltage reduction and fault location based on power quality related measurements provided by IEDs and revenue meters.

The VVC system requires a permanent monitoring of the voltage magnitude (averaged over 1 to 5 min) at the end of the distribution feeder and the installation of switched capacitor banks. Besides that, the monitoring allows the detection of power quality disturbances such as long-duration under voltages and overvoltage, and voltage and current unbalance.

Basically, the voltage regulation system at the substation is replaced with an intelligent system that uses network measurements to maintain a voltage magnitude for all customers within the acceptable upper and lower limits. The VVC system also analyzes the reactive-power requirements of the network and orders the switching of capacitor banks when required. An important goal is to prevent potential power quality problems due to the switching operations of capacitor banks. Another goal was to evaluate the joint impact of the VVC system and voltage dips occurring on the grid.

The results of the study indicate that the impact can be quantified by two effects:&Increasing number of shallow voltage dips is expected. Voltage reduction from 2 to 4% is obtained due to VVC system. Added to this is the voltage drop due to the fault: drops of 6 to 15% (not counted as dips) become drops of 15 to 12% (which are counted as dips).&Equipment malfunctioning or tripping: the joint contribution of the VVC system and the disturbance brings the residual voltage level below a critical threshold, around 75% of the nominal voltage for many devices.

Fault location is based either on a voltage drop fault location technique that uses waveforms from distributed power quality measurements along the feeder or on a fault current technique based on the measurement of the fault current at the substation. According to the average error in locating the fault with the first technique was less than 2%, in terms of the average main feeder length. An accurate fault-location technique results in a significant reduction in the duration of (especially) the longer interruptions.

The information collected by the fault-location system can also be used for calculating dip related statistics and help to better understand the grid behavior. The third application, network reconfiguration or self-healing, is based either on local intelligence (belonging to major distribution equipment controllers) or on decisions taken at the power system control center, which remotely controls and operates the equipment used for network reconfiguration (recloses and switches).The impact of these applications on the distribution network and its customers is permanently evaluated. The infrastructure belonging to ADA systems can be shared by a power-quality monitoring system capable of real time monitoring. Depending on the type of ADA application or system, the monitoring can be done either at low-voltage or at medium-voltage level. In the first case monitoring devices may belong to an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and in the second case they may belong to the distribution major equipment itself.

The smart grid will allow a continuous power-quality monitoring that will not improve directly the voltage quality but will detect quality problems helping to mitigate them.

 Different Power-Quality Issues

Emission by New Devices

When smart grids are introduced, we expect growth both in production at lower voltage levels (distributed generation) and in new types of consumption (for example, charging stations for electric vehicles, expanded high-speed railways, etc.). Some of these new types of consumption will emit power-quality disturbances, for example harmonic emission. Preliminary studies have shown that harmonic emission due to distributed generation is rather limited. Most existing end-user equipment (computer, television, lamps, etc.) emit almost exclusively at the lower odd integer harmonics (3, 5, 7, 9 etc.), but there are indications that modern devices including certain types of distributed generators emit a broadband spectrum. Using the standard methods of grouping into harmonic and interharmonic groups and subgroups below 2 kHz will result in high levels for even harmonics and interharmonics. For frequencies above 2 kHz high levels have been observed for the 255-Hz groups. An example is shown in Fig. 5.3: the spectrum of the emission by a group of three full-power converter wind turbines, where 1 A is about 1% of the rated current.

The emission is low over the whole spectrum, being at most 5.5% of the nominal current. The combination of a number of discrete components at the characteristic harmonics (5 and 7, 11 and 13, 17 and 19, etc.) together with a broadband spectrum over a wide frequency range, is also being emitted by other equipment like energy-efficient drives, micro generators, and photo-voltaic installations. The levels are not always as low as for the example shown here. The existing compatibility levels are very low for some frequencies, as low as 5.2%.Harmonic resonances are more common at these higher frequencies so that any reference impedance for linking emission limits to compatibility levels should be set rather high. Keeping strict to existing compatibility limits and existing methods of setting emission limits could put excessive demands on new equipment. The measurement of these low levels of harmonics at higher frequencies will be more difficult than for the existing situation with higher levels and lower frequencies. This might require the development of new measurement techniques including a closer look at the frequency response of existing instrument transformers. The presence of emission at higher frequencies than before also calls for better insight in the source impedance at these frequencies: at the point of connection with the grid as well as at the terminals of the emitting equipment.

 Interference between Devices and Power-Line-Communication

Smart grids will depend to a large extent on the ability to communicate between devices, customers, distributed generators, and the grid operator. Many types of communication channels are possible Power-line communication might seem an obvious choice due to its easy availability, but choosing power-line communication could introduce new disturbances in the power system, resulting in a further reduction in power quality. Depending on the frequency chosen for power-line communication, it may also result in radiated disturbances, possibly interfering with radio broadcasting and communication. It is also true that modern devices can interfere with power-line-communication, either by creating a high disturbance level at the frequency chosen for power-line communication or by creating a low-impedance path, effectively shorting out the power-line communication signal. The latter seems to be the primary challenge to power-line communication today. So far, there have been no reports of widespread interference with sensitive equipment caused by power line-communication, but its increased use calls for a detailed study.

 Allocation of Emission Limits

When connecting a new customer to the power system, an assessment is typically made of the amount of emission that would be acceptable from this customer without resulting in unacceptable levels of voltage disturbance for other customers. For each new customer a so-called emission limit is allocated. The total amount of acceptable voltage distortion is divided over all existing and future customers. This assumes however that it is known how many customers will be connected in the future .With smart grids; the amount of consumption will have no limit provided it is matched by a similar growth in production. This continued growth in both production and consumption could lead to the harmonic voltage distortion becoming unacceptably high. Also the number of switching actions will keep on increasing and might reach unacceptable values. One may say that production and consumption are in balance at the power-system frequency, but not at harmonic frequencies. Another way of looking at this is that the system strength is no longer determined by the maximum amount of consumption and/or production connected downstream, but by the total amount of harmonic emission coming from downstream equipment. This will require a different way of planning the distribution network.

 Improving Voltage Quality

One aim of smart grids is to improve the performance of the power system (or to prevent deterioration) without the need for large investments in lines, cables, transformers, etc. From a customer viewpoint, the improvements can be in terms of reliability, voltage quality or price. All other improvements (e.g. in loading of cables or transformers, protection coordination, operational security, efficiency) are secondary to the customer.

Improvements in reliability and price are discussed in detail in several other papers and beyond the scope of this paper. The only voltage-quality improvement expected to be made by smart grids in the near future would be a reduction in longer-term voltage-magnitude variations. In theory, both under voltages and over voltages might be mitigated by keeping the correct local balance between production and consumption. For rural networks, overvoltage and under voltages are the main limitation for increasing consumption and production. These networks should therefore be addressed first. The same balance between “production” and “consumption” can in theory also be used for the control of harmonic voltages. When the harmonic voltage becomes too large, either an emitting source could be turned off, or a harmonic filter could be turned on, or a device could be turned on that emits in opposite phase (the difference between these solutions is actually not always easy to see). Smart grid communication and control techniques, similar to those used to balance consumption and production (including market rules), could be set up to reduce harmonic emissions. This could be a solution for the growing harmonic emission with growing amounts of production and consumption. Micro grids with islanding capability can, in theory, mitigate voltage dips by going very quickly from grid-connected operation to island operation. The presence of generator units close to the loads allows the use of these units in maintaining the voltage during a fault in the grid.

 Immunity of devices

Simultaneous tripping of many distributed generators due to a voltage-quality disturbance (like a voltage dip) is the subject of active discussion .This problem is far from solved. As a smart grid attempts to maintain a balance between production and consumption, mass tripping of consumption could have similar adverse consequences. This should be further investigated. Simultaneous tripping of many distributed generators due to a voltage-quality disturbance (like a voltage dip) is the subject of active discussion. This problem is far from solved. As a smart grid attempts to maintain a balance between production and consumption, mass tripping of consumption could have similar adverse consequences. This should be further investigated.

 Weakening of the Transmission Grid

The increased use of distributed generation and of large wind parks will result in a reduction of the amount of conventional generation connected to the transmission system. The fault level will consequently be reduced, and power-quality disturbances will spread further. This will worsen voltage dips, fast voltage fluctuations (flicker) and harmonics. The severity of this has been studied for voltage dips. The conclusion from the study is that even with 25% wind power there is no significant increase in the number of voltage dips due to faults in the transmission system.

 Summary

The new technology associated with smart grids offers the opportunity to improve the quality and reliability as experience by the customers. It wills however also result in the increase of disturbance levels in several cases and thereby introduce a number of new challenges. But these new challenges should definitely not be used as arguments against the development of smart grids. However they should attract attention to the importance of power quality for the successful and reliable operation of smart grids. New developments need new approaches and perspectives from all parties involved (network operators, equipment manufacturers, customers, regulators, standardization bodies, and others).

Power Quality

Categories
EEE

The Role of Electricity Infrastructure in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Smart Grid

Introduction

Most of the world’s electricity system was built when primary energy was relatively inexpensive. Grid reliability was mainly ensured by having excess capacity in the system, with unidirectional electricity flow to consumers from centrally dispatched power plants. Investments in the electric system were made to meet increasing demand—not to change fundamentally the way the system works. While innovation and technology have dramatically transformed other industrial sectors, the electric system, for the most part, has continued to operate the same way for decades. This lack of investment, combined with an asset life of 47 or more years, has resulted in an inefficient and increasingly unstable system. Climate change, rising fuel costs, outdated grid infrastructure, and new power generation technologies have changed the mindset of all stakeholders:

  • Electric power causes approximately 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and utilities are rethinking what the electricity system of the future should look like.$Renewable and distributed power generation will play a more prominent role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Demand-side management promises to improve energy efficiency and reduce overall electricity consumption.
  • Real-time monitoring of grid performance will improve grid reliability and utilization, reduce blackouts, and increase financial returns on investments in the grid.

These changes on both the demand and supply side require a new, more intelligent system that can manage the increasingly complex electric grid.

Recognizing these challenges, the energy community is starting to marry information and communications technology (ICT) with electricity infrastructure. Technology enables the electric system to become smart. Near-real-time information allows utilities to manage the entire electricity system as an integrated framework, actively sensing and responding to changes in power demand, supply, costs, quality, and emissions across various locations and devices. Similarly, better information enables consumers to manage energy use to meet their needs. According to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, “Just as a robust information economy was triggered by the introduction of the Internet; a dynamic, new, renewable energy economy can be stimulated by the development of an electranet or Smart Grid.

The potential environmental and economic benefits of a Smart Grid are significant. A recent Pacific Northwest National Laboratory study provided homeowners with Smart Grid technologies to monitor and adjust the energy consumption in their homes. The average household reduced its annual electric bill by 17 percent. If widely deployed, this approach could reduce peak loads on utility grids up to 15 percent annually, which equals more than 177 gigawatts, or the need to build 177 large coal-fired power plants over the next 27 years in the United States alone. This could save up to $277 billion in capital expenditures on new plant and grid investments, and take the equivalent of 37 million autos off the road.

 Opportunities for Improvement

A technology-enabled electric system will be more efficient, enable applications that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve power reliability. Specifically, a Smart Grid can:

  • Reduce peaks in power usage by automatically turning down selected appliances in homes, offices, and factories.
  • Reduce waste by providing instant feedback on how much energy we are consuming.
  • Encourage manufacturers to produce “smart” appliances to reduce energy use.
  • Sense and prevent power blackouts by isolating disturbances in the grid.

The main applications of a Smart Grid include:

  • Smart Grid Platform: Automating the core electricity grid

Connecting all relevant nodes in the grid is important to collecting information on grid conditions. Whereas in the past, information was gathered only in the high-voltage grid and parts of the medium-voltage grid, a comprehensive view of grid status now is becoming increasingly important. Grid losses in all areas can be identified and renewable generation sources that often feed electricity into previously unmonitored areas can be better managed. The increasing complexity of managing the system efficiently also requires integration of decentralized decision-making mechanisms in other words, integrating intelligence into the grid. As a result, grid management can be optimized and outages can be significantly reduced.

  • Grid Monitoring and Management: Using collected information

Expensive power outages can be avoided if proper action is taken immediately to isolate the cause. Utilities are installing sensors to monitor and control the grid in near real time (seconds to milliseconds) to detect faults early. These monitoring and control systems are being extended from the point of transmission down to the distribution grid. Grid performance information is integrated into utility companies’ supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to provide automatic, near-real-time electronic control of the grid.

  • Integrated Maintenance: Optimizing the lifetime of assets

Middle to long term, collected information can optimize the maintenance strategy of grid assets. Depending on utilization, age, and many other factors, the condition of assets can differ significantly. The traditional maintenance strategy, based on defined cycles, is no longer appropriate. Assets can be monitored continuously, and critical issues can be identified in advance. Combined with new communication technologies, information on critical asset conditions can be provided to field technicians to make sure problems are fixed in time. This new way of doing maintenance can significantly increase the lifetime of assets and avoid expensive outages.

  • Smart Metering: Real-time consumption monitoring

Today’s electricity prices on the wholesale market are extremely volatile, driven by demand-and-supply situations based on capacity, fuel prices, weather conditions, and demand fluctuations over time. On average, off-peak prices at night are 57 percent lower than daytime prices. Consumers, however, typically see a flat price for energy regardless of time period. Driven by the regulator, some utilities are now starting to replace traditional mechanical electric meters with “smart meters,” allowing customers to choose variable-rate pricing based on time of day. By seeing the real cost of energy they are consuming at that moment, consumers can respond accordingly, shifting their energy consumption from high-price to low-price time periods by turning off appliances. This load shifting and load shedding has the joint benefit of reducing consumer costs and demand peaks for utilities.

  • Demand-side Management: Reducing electricity consumption in homes, offices, and factories

Demand-side management works to reduce electricity consumption in homes, offices, and factories by continually monitoring electricity consumption and actively managing how appliances consume energy. It consists of demand-response programs, smart meters and variable electricity pricing, smart buildings with smart appliances, and energy dashboards. Combined, these innovations allow utility companies and consumers to manage and respond to the variances in electricity demand more effectively.

– Demand Response: During periods of peak energy usage, utility companies send electronic messages to alert consumers to reduce their energy consumption by turning off (or down) non-essential appliances. In the future, alert signals will be sent automatically to appliances, eliminating the need for manual intervention. If enough consumers comply with this approach, utility companies will not need to dispatch an additional power plant, the most expensive asset they operate.3 To increase the number of consumers who comply, utility companies may offer cash payments or reduce consumers’ electric bills.

– Smart Buildings with Smart Appliances: Buildings are becoming smarter in their ability to reduce energy usage. Traditional, stand-alone, complex systems that manage various appliances (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and lighting) are now converging onto a common IT infrastructure that allows these devices to “talk” to each other, coordinating their actions and reducing waste. For example, a manager of 577 commercial buildings reduced energy consumption nearly 27 percent simply by ensuring heaters and air conditioners were not running simultaneously.

– Energy Dashboards: Consumers will reduce their energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions if they see how much they are producing personally. Online energy dashboards provide real-time visibility into individuals’ energy consumption while offering suggestions on how to reduce consumption. Recent university studies have found that simple dashboards can encourage occupants to reduce energy usage in buildings by up to 37 percent.

  • Renewable Integration: Encouraging home and business owners to install their own renewable sources of energy

– Micro generation: Some homes and offices are finding it more cost-effective to produce electricity locally, using small-scale energy-generation equipment. These devices include renewable devices such as photovoltaic, and solar thermal as well as non-renewable devices, such as oil- or natural-gas-fired generators with heat reclamation.

Micro generation technologies are becoming more affordable for residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Depending on the technology type and the operating environment (location, utilization, government or state subsidies), they can be competitive against conventional generation, and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, widespread adoption of these technologies still requires public support and further technology development. Micro generation technologies, combined with a Smart Grid, will help consumers become an “active part of the grid,” rather than being separate from it—and will integrate with, not replace, central generation. In addition, a Smart Grid would allow utilities to integrate distributed generation assets into their portfolios as “virtual power plants.”

  • Vehicle-to-Grid: Until recently, pumped water storage was the only economically viable option for storing electricity on a large scale. With the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electro cars, new opportunities will change the market. For example, car batteries can be used to store energy when it is inexpensive and sell it back to the grid when prices are higher. For drivers, their vehicles would become a viable means to arbitrage the cost of power, while utility companies could use fleets of PHEVs to supply power to the grid to respond to peaks in electricity demand.

Potential Impact

Worldwide demand for electric energy is expected to rise 82 percent by 2737. This demand will primarily be met by building many new coal and natural gas electricity generation plants. Not surprisingly, global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to rise 59 percent by 27377 as a result.

Building a technology-enabled smart electricity grid can help offset the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in three different ways.

 Reduce Growth in Demand for Electricity Consumers

– Enable consumers to monitor their own energy consumption, with a goal of becoming more energy-efficient

– Provide more accurate and timely information to consumers on electricity variable-pricing signals, allowing them to invest in load-shedding and load shifting solutions—and to shift dynamically among several competing energy providers based on greenhouse gas emissions or social goals.

Power Utility Companies and Regulators:

– Broadcast demand-response alerts to reduce peak energy demand and the need to start reserve generators.

– Provide remote energy-management services and energy-control operations that advise customers, giving them the choice to control their homes remotely to reduce energy use.

– Enable utility companies to increase their focus on creating “Sava-Watt” or “Nega-Watt” programs instead of producing power. These programs are effective because offsetting a watt of demand through energy efficiency can be more cost-effective and CO2-efficient than generating an extra watt of electricity.

Equipment Manufacturers:

– Encourage building-control systems companies to standardize data communications protocols across systems, eliminating proprietary and nonstandard protocols that inhibit integration and management.

– Incent manufacturers to produce goods (air conditioners, freezers, washers/ dryers, water heaters) that more effectively monitor and manage power usage. For example, a refrigerator and air-conditioner compressor could communicate to ensure they don’t start at the same time, thus reducing peak electricity demand.

– Enable and encourage electrical equipment manufacturers to build energy-efficiency, management, and data-integration capabilities into their equipment.

Building Architects & Owners:

– Take an integrated approach to new building construction, incorporating smart, connected building communication technologies to manage and synchronize operation of appliances, to turn off lighting in rooms not in use, to turn on reserve generation when price-effective, and to manage overall energy use.

 Accelerate Adoption of Renewable Electricity-Generation Sources

– Encourage home and building owners to invest in highly efficient, low-emissions micro generation technologies to supply some of their own energy and offset peak demand on the electric grid—thereby reducing the need for new, large-scale power plants

– Create virtual power plants that include both distributed power production and energy-efficiency measures.

– Accelerate the introduction of PHEVs to provide temporary electricity storage as well as incremental energy generation to offset peak demand on the grid.

 Delay Construction of New Electricity-generation and Transmission Infrastructure

– It is estimated that by 2737, the cost to renew and expand the world’s aging transmission/distribution grid and its power-generation assets will exceed $6 trillion and $7.5 trillion, respectively. Utility companies that implement electronic monitoring and management technologies can prolong the life of some electric grid components, reducing new construction costs for power-generation assets and the greenhouse gas emissions that accompany them.

Current Initiatives

Practically speaking, most of the technologies required to create a Smart Grid are available today. Forward-looking utility companies are already offering demand-response technologies that, for example, detect the need for load shedding, communicate the demand to participating users, automate load shedding, and verify compliance with demand-response programs. Many utility companies are also implementing large numbers of smart electric meters to offer variable pricing to consumers and to reduce manual meter-reading costs.

Major building automation companies, such as Johnson Controls, Siemens, and Honeywell, all have smart building solutions that integrate their various HVAC systems. Several competing communication protocols (BACnet, LONnet, oBIX), however, are still vying to become the standard through which all building devices can intercommunicate. This inability to agree upon a common industry standard has delayed the vision of connecting every electric device and spawned several middleware and gateway companies, such as Cimetrics, Gridlogix, Richards Zeta, and Tridium. As expected, many white goods manufacturers, including GE, Whirlpool, and Siemens, are making appliances that can connect to a building’s network.

In addition, several public and private organizations have implemented energy consumption dashboards. Typically, these are custom-designed internally or provided by small software integrators. Oberlin College has a good example of an online energy dashboard showing energy consumption at its college dormitories.

A variety of companies, ranging from Honda Motor Company and GE Energy to micro generation Ltd. and Blue Point Energy are developing micro generation devices. A host of technology companies provide technology required to make the Smart Grid “smart,” including Current Technologies and BPL Global for broadband-over-power line, Silver Spring Networks and Cell net for RF wireless communications, and many other small and specialized companies.

So far, however, nobody has been able to define an industry architecture that spans the entire Smart Grid from high-voltage transformers at the power plant down to the wall sockets in homes and offices.

 Role of Utility Companies

Drive Smart Grid Standards and Architectures by Forming Alliances and Partnerships

Many utility companies are now reaching out to other utility companies to learn from their findings and share ideas. In addition, strategic partnerships, both within and outside the utility industry, are being formed. Utility companies should also partner more closely with energy regulators to determine their current position on recapturing costs through tariff increases, while at the same time evaluating how to influence policies to accelerate their own Smart Grid investment plans.

 Evaluate Smart Grid Solutions and Vendors

Utility companies should start by understanding the costs related to developing the Smart Grid, including carbon pricing, grid upgrades, raw energy, and the indirect cost of competition from other utility companies offering energy-efficient services. Once these costs are understood, utility companies should estimate the economic impact Smart Grid solutions could have on their profits. This exercise will help utility companies quantify the effect of the Smart Grid on their bottom line.

Role of Government

While the technologies for Smart Grid solutions are mainly available today, the real challenge to accelerating adoption stems from the various industries that need to work together to create a viable, integrated system. For example, Smart Grid requires utility companies to work with IT companies, and building owners to work with energy technology companies. Bringing together their various perspectives to design and build complex systems often proves difficult. Given this complexity, the role of government is to create working organizations and policies to incentivize open partnerships. Government can play four key roles to accelerate Smart Grid adoption:

1.  Develop cost-recovery mechanisms that allow utilities to include investments in their regulated asset base. Some European countries already incentivize new investments by increasing the return on regulated asset base by 1 to 2 percent above the standard return in the grid tariff.

2. Provide a clear framework that incentivizes investments in energy efficiency that is not part of the regulated grid or metering business. Solutions for demand-side management decrease energy consumption and, therefore, CO2 emissions. Just as utilities must pay for CO2 emissions in some countries, there should be a system in place for receiving CO2 credits based on investments in energy efficiency. Similar frameworks are already in place in Italy and France (“White Certificates”).

3.  Quickly develop critical communication standards. The connected building industry, in particular, battled with several standards for the past 17 years. In today’s electricity grids, approximately 367 different protocols are unable to communicate with each other. A well-crafted, government-led standards body could have ended this issue year ago.

4. Increase transparency and flexibility in the electricity market, giving consumers the ability to purchase electricity from the most efficient provider.

 Role of the ICT Industry

There are several imperatives for the ICT industry to help accelerate adoption of the Smart Grid:

• Partnering for Systems Integration: From an ICT perspective, building the Smart Grid is a fairly straightforward technical challenge most of the core technologies exist and have been proven. The real challenge, however, is integrating the various technologies into a single, working solution. It is a significant systems integration challenge to tie various devices, constituencies, and telecommunications protocols together seamlessly. No single company has the capabilities to implement the Smart Grid; each industry brings a piece of the solution. The challenge, especially for ICT companies, is to stop operating as “islands.” Rather, they need build the alliances and partnerships required to ensure their technology fits into the larger, cross-industry ecosystem that constitutes the Smart Grid.

• Increase Risk-taking: In a recent discussion with technology companies, Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, said that because Smart Grid ideas are evolving so quickly, technology companies must become more comfortable with taking risks and applying their technologies to new applications. Rather than wait for the perfect IT solution or comprehensive standard to be developed, companies should expedite taking their solutions to market for testing and vetting.

• Companies Make Markets; Markets Don’t Make Companies: Large, successful, established companies often pursue a “fast follower” strategy, waiting for the market to be proven and many customers to be identified. This often makes sense before investing significant R&D resources. The Smart Grid, however, may evolve in a way that makes the fast-follower strategy undesirable. The core technology and communications standards that will enable widespread Smart Grid adoption are currently being developed. Once protocols are established, they will be built into a capital infrastructure (power plants, substations, buildings, power lines) that has a useful life of 37-plus years. This is a much longer than the traditional ICT solution lifecycle. Once Smart Grid standards are set, they will be around for a while. Woe to the company that finds itself on the wrong end of that solution.

 Summary

Rising fuel costs, underinvestment in aging infrastructure, and climate change are all converging to create a turbulent period for the electricity industry. To make matters worse, it’s becoming more expensive to expand power-generation capacity and public opposition to new fossil stations particularly coal-fired stations—is increasing. As a consequence, reserve margins for system stability have reached a critical level in many countries. As utility companies prepare to meet growing demand, greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation may soon surpass those from all other energy sources. Fortunately, the creation of a Smart Grid will help solve these challenges.

A Smart Grid can reduce the amount of electricity consumed by homes and buildings, significantly reduce peak demand, and accelerate adoption of distributed, renewable energy sources all while improving the reliability, security, and useful life of electrical infrastructure.

Despite its promise and the availability of most of the core technologies needed to develop the Smart Grid, implementation has been slow. To accelerate development, state, county, and local governments, electric utility companies, public electricity regulators, and IT companies must all come together and work toward a common goal.

The suggestions in this paper will help the Smart Grid become a reality that will ensure we have enough power to meet demand, while at the same time reducing greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Electricity Infrastructure