Our Grids Need to Be Smarter



By smarter we mean responsive. We need electrical grids that can adjust the electric loads accordingly to energy demands. Stanford Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ram Rajagopal, is working towards that exact goal. His dream is to have a fully sustainable electric system that relies on the different patterns of consumers depending on their peak hours of electricity usage. Smart sensors would deliver energy where it needs to go during peak hours while storing energy in batteries and fuel cells when usage rates are low so they can be exploited later.

“If you buy your personal peak power off the general peak, you could save 20 to 70 percent on your electricity bill.”

Rajagopal is working on a system that relies mostly on sustainable energy (solar and wind) but the unpredictability of these resources is too much of a gamble. The solution is a relationship between consumers, utilities and regulators as well as thermal plants. Read the article here to learn more about it and how Rajagopal plans to bring his ideas to fruition.