Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2015


Kenny Phan

Course Title

Final Project Report

Course Number

ETM 549


The term ‘smart grid’ has been trending in the media for the last decade, but not everyone knows what is a grid and by what definition, it is called smart. We can think of smart grid as smart phones. In the term ‘smartphones’, a phone is the device that enables voice or video communications between users when they are not in the same vicinity. Therefore, to add the ‘smart’ characteristic, smartphones enable more functions than only telecommunications. Smartphones would have touchscreen interface, Internet access, app download, and game console [1]. Likewise, ‘the grid’ is the electric grid that contains a network of transmission lines, substations, transformers, and more equipment that deliver power system from the power plants to the power plug-in at your home or business. Now the question will rise that what makes a grid ‘smart’. The official website of smart grid provides a clear answer to this question: In short, the digital technology that allows for two-way communication between the utility and its customers, and the sensing along the transmission lines is what makes the grid smart. Like the Internet, the Smart Grid will consist of controls, computers, automation, and new technologies and equipment working together, but in this case, these technologies will work with the electrical grid to respond digitally to our quickly changing electric demand [2]. According to Professor Chandler, an adjacent Electrical Engineering professor at Portland State University, “society is now connected to the Internet” [3]. Chandler’s comment was in response to the smart grid technology development stage. Therefore, in the case of smartphones, the Internet is the main driver to develop this product. Likewise, Internet is a technology leaning on the Internet. Smart grid will allow interoperability between different firms in the power system such as interoperability between electric utilities and the households.


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