Smart Grid: Installation and Construction Management Aspects for Electrical Contractors
A “smart grid” can be described as the integration of the electrical grid with the information technology/ communication system so it can effectively monitor and manage the generation, storage, transmission, distribution and consumption of electricity. The existence and growth of smart grids is greatly influenced by numerous initiatives that are being introduced in recent years. Different levels of government and industry have rolled out various types of initiatives to support making the electric grid “smart.” Various initiatives indicate great potential for substantial growth in smart grid related development and installation projects. These efforts will present opportunities for the construction industry, especially electrical contractors. In order for electrical contractors to take advantage of these opportunities, they need to be conversant with technologies associated with smart grid and their installation and construction management related aspects. This study explored smart grid technologies both currently available and emerging, and developed their installation work scopes and associated construction management aspects. The following five major smart grid technologies are discussed.
- Energy Storage Devices (ESD)
- Advanced Superconducting Transmission Cables
- Smart Substation and Smart Transformers
- Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
- Home Area Networks (HAN)
The installation and construction management aspects of each the above-noted technologies are analyzed under the following impact categories:
Impact on Overall Power System Design Location, Planning, Zoning and Environmental Considerations
- Product Procurement
- Product Installation
- Design and Construction of Supporting Components
- Construction Project Management
Finally, the analysis of each technology is presented in two sets of checklists: (a) checklists summarizing the above noted six impacts categories, and (b) checklist summarizing the work scope of electrical contractors.