Sunday, May 16, 2010

Andres Carvallo Speaks at UCLA Smart Grid Conference

Join UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center or SMERC ( and UCLA WINMEC ( for its fourth Smart Grid Leadership Forum. On May 17, 2010, this thought leadership forum will focus on Transmission and Distribution Electrical Power Grid in the United States and its modernization opportunity and accompanying innovations over the next 5 to 25 years into what is being now called the Smart Grid.

OPPORTUNITY - The Electric Utility Grid is approximately a hundred years old. The grid architecture is generally hierarchical with a smaller number of energy generation sources and a larger number of energy sinks or consumers. The electric grid was not primarily meant to incorporate stochastic and small renewable energy sources such solar energy from residential rooftops, nor was it meant to integrate demand response or to integrate smart devices or smart electric cars into the grid. Today, however, with the Obama administration having provided one of the largest grants totaling $3.4 billion earlier this year for modernization of the US electric grid, we have an unprecedented opportunity to define, architect and build this Smart Grid. This investment, coupled with industry match which is expected to be approximately $4.7 billion, will go into research, technology development, innovation, infrastructure, modernization, training, customer education, etc.

ARCHITECTURE AND MODEL - As a nation before we start to implement the Smart Grid, we need to define our vision of the Future Smart Grid. As part of this vision, we need to define an architecture for the Smart Grid. The "Smart" in "Smart Grid" needs to be understood and modeled as well. Is the "Smart" model like that of a Smart Phone, or the Internet, or even like a human being? For starters, we know that a Smart System is a closed loop system, incorporating concepts such as sensing, control, communications, information gathering and analysis. We also know that smart systems have the ability make decisions, to store information, to learn by experience, and, to self-adapt and self-heal. Moreover since we are dealing with energy as the essential entity that is being manipulated, its generation, movement, storage, control, consumption, reuse, routing, etc., are important considerations.

INNOVATION - The overwhelming excitement today in the energy transmission and distribution sectors is the innovation that can result from the investment and modernization of the grid creating a fundamentally new cyber-infrastructure. Other industries such as the mobile phone industry, telecommunications industry, computer industry and the music industry, have gone through a considerable and often unexpected technological and consumer change in the last 25 years. Twenty five years from now, the Electrical Power grid is expected to look very different, and a key question that is being raised is what type of innovative evolution will it follow - the iPhone from the mobile industry, or, Google from the Internet, or, perhaps an entirely new model? Also, what other entirely new innovations will it create or will it absorb some of the innovations from emerging sectors such as ZIgbee or RF-sensors from the wireless industry?

To register to attend -

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