This month, T&D World is kicking off a brand-new center of excellence devoted to Digital Innovations, sponsored by GE Grid Solutions. Our goal will be bringing the latest news about the digital technologies related to the energy sector part of our business and we’ll be looking into what makes them tick. This is an exciting time for the transmission and distribution infrastructure as we integrate sensors and self-monitoring systems into the system, allowing operators to have dynamic control of power flows. The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking the edge of the grid to the center of development as customers become prosumers, but it is increasing the need to control the Volt-VAR condition of the network. Digitalization is making those areas of the grid smarter and more flexible, but it is also making things a lot more challenging. We are going to investigate these digital technologies and see how we can be better prepared to interface with the digital transformation.
This center of excellence will give us a chance to do just that and more. For example, have you considered what is the difference between a SVC (static VAR compensator) and a STATCOM (static synchronous compensator) and how do you know which one to use? What if you want to install several close to each other – how do you control them? What is VSC (voltage source converter) technology and how is it different from LLC (line commutated converter) technology? Which technology is best or is one better than the other one? Can Volt-VAR optimization reduce losses? How to handle bidirectional power flows on the network? All these topics and many more will be explored in the next year. It should be an interesting time – hang on!