> Edwin Liu, PhD
> The Smart Grid

> Dr. Edwin Liu, Vice President of Strategy Initiative and Smart Grid,
> Quanta Technology, has more than 26 years of experience in
> consulting, research, and development on power system analytics
> and integration, both in industry and academia. Throughout his career,
> he has been with universities, software vendors, utility and consulting
> companies - focusing on applying state-of-the-art technologies to
> energy utility and industry. His expertise is on smart grid, information
> integration, power system optimization, electricity market modeling,
> energy and emission management, automation, technology innovation,
> and business strategy.  At Quanta, Edwin is responsible for business
> initiatives in the smart grid and energy management areas, including
> analytical applications, automation, and integration.  He is actively
> involved in the California smart grid projects.  Dr. Liu is an IEEE
> Fellow. Before joined Quanta Technology, he worked for Siemens, Pacific
> Gas and Electric Company, Bechtel, and was a member of the start-up
> management team of Nexant.

> Dr. Liu will give an overview of smart grid, and its applications to
> power generation, transmission, distribution, and consumers.  He will
> also address the implications of smart grid on energy efficiency as
> well as demand-side management.  Most importantly, how do the
> smart grid activities affect you, as energy consumers.

Dr. Liu began by explaining that the Obama vision is to construct a 21st Century system by 2030. This will have smart supply (meaning power from renewables as much as possible [much more than now] with no waste), smart transmission (meaning visibility of where bottlenecks are and complete transparency for the utility and customers), and smart consumption (meaning the right amount of power with no waste and full visibility to the user).

A key component of this will be DG, (Distributed Generation, mostly consisting of wind, water, and solar) which will require smart meters that can account for this, as well as time of use metering. There are meters that do this now, but the Advanced Meter Interface (AMI) they are calling for will also add features that allow people to monitor their appliances for waste.

A big concern is that if plug in hybrid vehicles take off they will require a huge upgrade to the electric grid. Each car represents half again the load of a typical suburban house. If 10% of cars become plug in, that will be 600 Giga Watt Hours of additional load. Right now transformers that step down the voltage for neighborhoods are sized for the normal loads of today. They will overheat if that much additional load is added.

Dr. Liu showed us a picture of the smart garage of the future. It included photo voltaic panels on the roof, a smart meter, smart appliances, energy storage, a place to plug in the car, and a user interface so the residents will be able to get feedback on their carbon footprint. Smart appliances are ones that can wait until low demand times (late at night) to run, and have sensors to know to stop when the work is done. There is much work being done on the energy storage system, but it's not well defined yet. Dr. Liu gave us the impression there is lots of money being invested to make it happen.

Tian Harter