In many places today, the electrical power grid is being operated using traditional SCADA software, where feedback on the grid’s condition is provided once every two seconds. On the old grid of yesteryear, this would have been adequate, since grid disruptions were minor and power generation was easily controlled at a singular power generation facility. Today’s grid is significantly different. It is dynamic, supported by distributed and intermittent energy resources such as rooftop solar and has unpredictable and mobile loads due to elements such as electric vehicle charging.
The 21st century grid requires a faster and more precise monitoring system. Fortunately, the tools for such a system already exist, and in many cases are already at least partially deployed. First developed in the 1980s, phasor measurement units (PMUs) have been broadly deployed on power transmission networks but are underutilized. This existing technology can be leveraged by software enhanced by artificial intelligence to process the rich data stream that PMUs provide.
For an introduction to the concept of PMUs, read: Managing the Grid with your Eyes Shut
For a more technical dive into the capabilities of PMUs as they relate to precision grid control, download our white paper: Understanding the Real Value of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs)