By now the record-setting temperatures in Los Angeles are likely known by everyone with a computer or television - an all-time high of 113 degrees and this record broke the thermometer! Wow! Due to the current unintelligent state of the electrical grid the best solution to dealing with this heat wave has been to ask consumers to turn off appliances in the afternoon and remind them to turn off the lights when they leave the room.
There has to be a better way - and there is. The smart grid is coming and when it does it will allow utilities and appliances and gadgets to work together in an automated fashion to ensure the dynamic nature of the grid is taken into account when heat waves and other "demand-generating" events take place.
For example, imagine if all bathroom hot water heaters and electric hand dryers in office buildings were able to temporarily shut themselves down when the grid is dealing with a stressful event? We would be able to better a difficult situation with little to no discomfort (to be honest some of the new electric hand dryers seem designed to blow out ear drums - so I may be in favor of disabling them for good).
Coincidentally, Los Angeles will see its second TMC* Smart Grid Summit this Monday, October 4-6, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
*Here is an excerpt of an article on the matter from respected analyst Jon Arnold who is a partner in the Smart Grid Summit:
From our vantage point, this is a great opportunity for southern California utilities to show what’s possible with smart grid, and if they manage things well, I’d like to think this will drive further deployment of their programs, and more importantly, accelerate adoption among other utilities who are still sitting on the fence. Of course, I only wish for the best and hope that the people living through this are inconvenienced as little as possible.
Let’s also hope that this doesn’t adversely impact anyone’s plans around our Smart Grid Summit, which will be right in the middle of all this next week at the LA Convention Center. Aside from being our biggest event to date, you’ll get to hear first-hand from local utilities, which no doubt will have top-of-mind thoughts about how they’re coping with these conditions.This event is the best place where global utilities, government agencies, service providers and makers of enabling equipment can come together to learn about the vibrant smart grid market - how to leverage it and how to potentially profit from it. Moreover, the valuable networking at this event cannot be duplicated anywhere else and if your area of focus has anything to do with smart power and energy, you have to come this conference next week.
You can register here and we look forward to seeing you. Oh, and feel free to wear light colors and lots of cotton.