Smarter Electrical Distribution 

By on

The other day I came across an article in Technology Review on the development of a smart transformer. A professor at North Carolina State University is developing a transistor based transformer capable of coping with both dc and ac and of directing power to where it is required. His idea is to shuffle power around the grid in the same way that the internet intelligently moves data around.

The interesting thing from this is that people are starting to address the way we move power around. There is a lot of talk about renewable energy such as solar and wind, but less talk in utilizing this on a large scale. One of the problems with renewable generation is that it is not continuous; you need the sun to be out for solar power to work. Contrast this with our consumption habits of wanting power available on demand twenty four hours a day. As reliance on renewable energy continues to increase this mismatch between generation and demand is going to get worse.

While the smart transformer may or may not be a component in future smarter distribution systems it is obvious that how we utilize power will need to change.


Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



Post Authorship

In 2011, with the introduction of it’s Panda search ranking algorithms, Google introduced tools for determining the original author of posts.  The intention...

Lithium Ion Battery

Over recent years the Lithium Ion battery has become popular in applications requiring high power densities with small weight and footprint.  Today Lithium...

IEC 61439 Verification Methods

The (relatively new) switchgear and control gear standard, IEC 61439 'Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies' has three methods which can be...

Cold Fusion (or not?)

Recently I have seen a few interesting articles on viable cold fusion; the combining of atoms at room like temperatures to create boundless energy. Now...

Frame Leakage Protection

While not as popular as it once was, frame leakage protection does still have some use in some circumstances.  In essence frame leakage is an earth fault...

Induction Motor Calculator

Just added a page to the tools, which will allow you to calculate the synchronous speed, slip and rated torque for an induction motor. Not a particularly...

Induction Motor Equivalent Circuit

Induction motors are frequently used in both industrial and domestic applications.  Within the induction motor, an electrical current in the rotor is induced...

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the study of coordinating electromagnetic fields give off equipment, with the withstand (compatibility) of other...

UPS Battery Sizing

Various techniques exist to enable the correct selection of batteries for UPS applications.  The procedure described below is one of the more common. ...

Generator Sizing & Operation Limits

When selecting a generator, there are inherent limits on the active and reactive power which can be delivered. Generators are normally sized for a certain...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note