Posts Tagged: utilities
August 20, 2018
Falling demand for electricity threatens utilities Since steam ceded its position as the main provider of mechanical power to electricity in the early 1900s, there has been one stable relationship; as a country’s output and economy has grown, so too has its consumption of electricity. Thanks to the electrification of factories, by the 1920s, American manufacturing productivity soared to far greater heights than ever[…]
June 6, 2018
The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is set to grow exponentially. Primarily driven by the reduction in cost compared to the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) counterparts and generous government incentives to encourage users to switch to EVs. However, increasing the EV fleet puts pressure on global electricity demand. EVs operate via a battery that requires electricity to run. Therefore, the more EVs on the[…]
May 2, 2018
In the past, electric utilities were what economist would call natural monopolies, dominating all parts of the value chain from electricity production to retail supply. Energy service providers buy from a third party and sell electricity to individual households. While, energy marketers trade future contracts that enable power-hungry businesses to secure power at a fixed price, all of which has supported strong utility balance[…]
February 12, 2018
A number of threats to our nations electrical grid are in desperate need of an answer. Current threats are not solely from wartime risks such as cyber attacks, an EMP weapon or conventional weapons. Other threats to the grid may come from natural disasters or solar flares. Some risks that our grid is facing come from the growth of the grid itself, service reliability and matching generation to supply are also concerns. Public and[…]
January 22, 2018
Dreaming of Alternative Energy In 1901, Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla outlined his plans for wireless distribution of clean, free energy. His Wardenclyffe Tower on Long Island was but the first structure built to test his idyllic system upon a planned utopian community called Radio City. Alas financier J.P. Morgan pulled the plug on Tesla’s dream, concerned that energy consumption should not be free for[…]
January 17, 2018
A new electric vehicle workplace charging project is set to launch in Markham, Ontario, Canada. The ‘Alectra Drive for the Workplace’ project is a smart EV charging system which balances electricity needs to mitigate potential utility costs and provides an easy, accessible charging solution for employees which encourages the adoption of electric cars. Although the announcement is taking place in early 2018, much of the ‘ground-work’ for[…]
January 8, 2018
The principles of gamification have been applied in user-centric product and process design to influence participant behavior. Many of the applications have been in the form of software design or online marketing programs. But can these same principles, which have been used successfully in other areas, be applied to large challenges such as electrical load management across a utility’s grid?
October 11, 2017
It’s hard to imagine life on earth without electricity. In fact, electricity has become so ingrained in our daily lives, that it is pretty much impossible to imagine living without it. Power grid systems, a critical resource for any nation, ensure uninterrupted power supply to keep our homes, workplaces, and gadgets running. One of the major threats to the power grid is, which has[…]
September 4, 2017
Electric utilities are seeking solutions to problems resulting from clustered electric vehicle charging. Electricity generation is not an obstacle, instead it is at the local level, the so called ‘the last mile’, that the problem occurs. Local distribution grids are not built to accommodate the huge spikes in demand where electric cars will be particularly prevalent. Transformers, which connect every home and business to the power grid, are the most vulnerable and affected elements of the system. Most residential transformers serve between 10 and 50kVA of load, a single plug-in vehicle (PEV) with a 240V (Level 2) charging system consumes approximately 7kVa.
August 28, 2017
The market for electric vehicles (EV) is growing and is expected to reach 3.8 million by 2020. Tesla and other players are expanding the production of electric vehicles to meet the rising demand. The EV models are becoming more affordable as a result, which in turn fuels the adoption even further. The charging infrastructure has been growing along, often supported by local governments. But how will the shift to electric vehicles impact the grid? Are the utilities prepared to accommodate this extra load? What will happen to peak demand? And can the grid benefit from wider electric cars deployment?