Electric energy travels 186 miles in a millisecond. Supply meets demand nearly instantaneously over vast areas. Have we put these basic facts to work to best match our intermittent sources to the instantaneous demands of all who use electric power? We will revisit some first principles and imagine if and how we can do even better.
First principles have been at the foundation of every lasting technological and economic advancement. But what are those first principles? Can we even recognize them anymore through the guise of complexity that surrounds every process, standard, and transaction? Executives from diverse industries will discuss the fundamental principles that guide their decisions every day.
Almost everywhere you look—in protection, control, communications—there is a push to increase performance and accuracy. But there is also a push for simplicity and resiliency. Power systems move energy at the speed of light, but how can we account for today’s quickly changing dynamics and increased sensitivity? With ultra-fast traveling-wave relays and increasingly fast switching, communications, and breakers, how should protection and control change? We will explore new methods for increasing the speed and simplicity of protection and control so that we can get the most out of our power systems.
Moderator: Dr. Greg Zweigle R&D Engineering Director, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
In an era of intermittent sources and distorting loads, it’s time to think through metering anew. How are we measuring the value of balanced power flows, improved power quality, availability, and resiliency? We’ll discuss new approaches to placing a value on energy that reflect today’s changing power systems.
Engineering Communications for Demanding Power System Applications
Moderator: Rhett Smith Senior Product Manager, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
Power systems are moving at the speed of light—communications need to keep up. Let’s revisit how first principles shed light on faster and more dependable communications for critical infrastructure systems.
Moderator: Paul Robertson Senior Product Manager, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
Sometimes, it seems like cyber insecurity has become the new norm. How did we get here? What is fundamentally wrong with the technology, making it insecure? Traditional approaches focus on a find-and-fix approach. We’re told we can’t fight back, but are there ethical approaches to countering cyber adversaries? Can we move beyond today’s technologies into a world where security is designed in from the start? We’ll discuss how we can rethink our cyber networks and philosophies to eradicate insecurity.
Tremendous resources are being invested in smart grid, microgrid, and macrogrid projects, and the trend is accelerating. To date, has it been worth it? Are these projects paying back? We’ll discuss how we can best integrate sources and loads everywhere to measure, simplify, simulate, scale, improve, demonstrate, and accelerate the success of smart grids.
Putting First Principles to Work and Envisioning the Future
Moderator: David Costello, P.E. National Sales and Customer Service Director, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
Over 100 years ago, Samuel Insull had a vision for a vast distribution system stretching to all corners of the country—a cooperation leading to a cost of energy so low as to place it within the reach of all. Now it’s our turn. Where do we see the industry in 50 years? What’s going to change the world? And how can we apply first principles, right now, to start making that dream come true?