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  • Grid Modernization

Navigating the Grid: Challenges in Grid Modernization

Dheerendra Panwar Lalit Lopez Dheerendra Panwar Lalit Lopez

Sat, 10 Feb 2024 04:57:37 -0000

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The electric grid is transforming. The traditional grid consisted of electricity generation concentrated at one location, transmitted over long distances, and distributed to consumers. In recent years, with growing share of renewable power generation and the increasing electricity demands by electric vehicles (EVs), we have witnessed the grid evolve from being unidirectional, static, and passive to becoming multidirectional, dynamic, and active. Therefore, electric utilities are exploring ways to modernize their substations to support the exponential growth of EVs and renewables.

Grid transformation has its challenges:

  1. Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) management for system reliability
  2. EV charging and energy storage, distribution, and management
  3. Interconnection of varied devices, applications, and systems
  4. Incompatibility of existing legacy systems with modern systems
  5. Cybersecurity, data, and asset security

Substation modernization challenges can usually be categorized into three main categories: CapEx, Resources, and Time.

CapEx: Justifying the investments

Resources: Right skill set and training

Time: Regulatory approvals and deployment process

Grid modernization demands efficient orchestration of edge workloads for real-time decision making in energy distribution. This shift to edge computing offers a disruptive opportunity, enhancing grid reliability and unlocking data-driven insights. 

The future substation platform will serve as a communication hub, seamlessly orchestrating smart devices and applications, and redefining the energy landscape for a resilient and intelligent power grid.

Dell offers a wide range of software choices for various applications and IoT technologies, providing great flexibility. Dell solutions are fully compatible with all the communication protocols used in modern substations. The platform has built-in cybersecurity features, ensuring secure device onboarding and zero-touch functionality. The platform also offers mission-critical monitoring and control, which helps organizations easily comply with regulatory requirements. 

Dell is partnering with electric utilities to help consolidate their IT assets, secure energy infrastructure, and build a sustainable world for future generations.

Learn more about Dell Validated Design for Energy Edge.

Read our blog on Grid Modernization.

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  • Edge
  • Energy

Empowering the Future: Understanding, Motivating, and Achieving Electric Grid Modernization

Dheerendra Panwar Lalit Lopez Dheerendra Panwar Lalit Lopez

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 13:57:00 -0000

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Read Time: 0 minutes

The electrical grid is a critical infrastructure of our society that delivers reliable electricity to homes, businesses, and industries. Many challenges are posing threats to grid reliability, including: 

  • The infusion of an ever-increasing volume of Distributed Energy Resources (DER).
  • The surge in Electric (Vehicle (EV) adoption and demand for electricity. 
  • Environmental regulations, cyber threats, and natural disasters. 

As a result, power grid architectures are changing and being modernized to overcome these challenges to maintain the grid to be resilient and reliable.

What is Grid Modernization and Why is it Important? 

Grid Modernization refers to the process of upgrading and improving the infrastructure of an electrical grid system in response to changing energy needs and technologies. With the strategic importance of the grid, these improvements are critical as they improve the grid’s flexibility, reliability, efficiency, sustainability, and cybersecurity. This process requires a digital transformation, with the integration of hardware and software, along with the deployment of innovative technologies and solutions. 

Modernization enables:

  • The large-scale adoption of renewable distributed energy sources, such as solar, wind, and so on.
  • The integration of battery storage and microgrids for enhanced flexibility.
  • Improved reliability with smart fault detection and outage management.
  • Improved efficiency with power quality management enhancements.
  • Enhanced cyber resiliency.
  • Grid modernization can also enhance customer satisfaction and foster innovation.

How are Electric Utilities Embarking on their Modernization Journey?

Electric utilities understand performance outcomes and metrics and are implementing solutions for grid flexibility and customer engagement to achieve a more reliable and resilient grid. 

Some of the solutions and technologies utilities are adopting to kick off their grid modernization journey are:

  • Substation modernizationReplace legacy systems with virtualized functions on a standardized infrastructure that supports grid flexibility, resilience, and security. 
  • Distribution Automation (DA)Enables remote monitoring and control of distribution assets.
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)Provides real-time data on electricity usage and quality.
  • Smart invertersSupports bidirectional power flow between distributed energy sources and the grid.
  • Demand Response (DR)Incentivize customers to reduce or shift their electricity consumption during peak periods.

By harnessing the power of cutting-edge technologies and strategic planning, electric utilities are paving the way for a future where reliable, affordable, clean, and cost-effective energy can be a reality. 

Utilities are positioning themselves to meet the evolving needs of their clientele and society by embarking on this transformative journey. Learn how Dell Technologies is working alongside electric utilities and partners in their journeys to help empower the future, secure our energy infrastructure, and build a brighter and more sustainable world for generations to come. 

Learn more about Dell Validated Design for Energy Edge



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