The Infosys Utilities Blog seeks to discuss and answer the industry’s burning Smart Grid questions through the commentary of the industry’s leading Smart Grid and Sustainability experts. This blogging community offers a rich source of fresh new ideas on the planning, design and implementation of solutions for the utility industry of tomorrow.

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The Emerging Smart Grid for Water (Part 1)

'Smart Grid' is a terminology now well understood in the energy market, but largely not used in the water sector and networks are generally discreet, not in grids. There has been a number of articles on a water Smart Grid, with many of the ideas being discussed focus on transferring Smart Grid technology from the energy few sector. There is indeed a lot that the water industry can learn from other sectors, but there are a few key differences that need to be considered:

·        The water industry not only supplies a product (potable water), but also collects and manages a waste (sewage);

·         As water is stored, daily peaks and troughs in usage are far less important than in energy;

·         Conversely daily peaks and troughs in wastewater flows can have major impacts;

·         As stated above, water networks are seldom in grid arrangements, with each area (albeit sometimes very large) being discreet from other zones;

·         Network failures (leaks, blockages, etc.) can go unnoticed for some time;

·         Domestic smart water meters are battery powered, with sealed circuitry, so there is a balance between functionality and life.

I will cover some ideas for a water smart grid in a further blog to follow this one.

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