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.