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Smart Grid

Lee Layton, P.E.

Course Outline

The Smart Grid course is divided into seven sections. The first section deals with the concept of a self-healing grid.  In the second section we look at how the future grid will motivate consumers to be an active grid participant and will include them in grid operations.  Next, we look at how to make the grid more resistant to attack

The fourth section looks at how the future grid will provide the level of power quality desired by 21st century users. In the fifth section, we look at how the future grid will accommodate all generation and storage options.

Next we investigate how the future grid will enable markets. Finally, we review how the modern grid will optimize its assets and operate more efficiently.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

After taking this course you should,

Intended Audience

This course is intended for electrical engineers and others who want to understand how the future smart grid may benefit the United States economy.

Benefit to Attendees

This course will help the reader stay abreast of the future of the electric utility industry and the industry moves to a new robust, interactive, energy delivery system.

Course Introduction

Throughout the 20th century, the U.S. electric power industry has served our nation well, providing adequate, affordable energy to homes, businesses and factories.  This state-of-the-art system has brought a level of prosperity to the United States unmatched by any other nation in the world. But a 21st-century U.S. economy cannot be built on a 20th-century electric grid.

Many agree there is a need for major improvements in the nation’s power delivery system and that advances in key technology areas can make these improvements possible.  The Modern Grid, as defined by the DOE, sets the foundation for a transition that will focus on meeting the six key goals: The grid must be more reliable, the grid must be more secure, the grid must be more economic, the grid must be more efficient, the grid must be more environmentally friendly, and the grid must be safer.

It is believed that achieving these goals will result in a “Smart Grid” that will exhibit the following seven characteristics;

  1. The grid will heal itself.
  2. It will motivate consumers to be an active grid participant and will include them in grid operations.
  3. The future Grid will resist attack.
  4. The future Grid will provide the level of power quality desired by 21st century users.
  5. The future Grid will accommodate all generation and storage options.
  6. The future Grid will enable markets to flourish.
  7. The Modern Grid will optimize its assets and operate more efficiently.

These seven characteristics describe a grid that is generally more resilient and distributed, more intelligent, more controllable and better protected than today’s grid.

Advancements in large, centralized generating stations and higher capacity, more controllable transmission lines will continue to be needed and will complement the benefits of shifting to a more distributed grid model. This vision will enable the future grid to benefit from better utilization of the transmission and distribution systems and active involvement by end users to meet the 21st century needs of consumers and society. Significant opportunities exist to apply modern communications, computing technologies and advancements in materials to achieve this future grid vision.

Course Content

This course content is in the following PDF document:

Smart Grid

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

We have just reviewed the seven broadly defined characteristics of a new, modern, smart, grid for the electric utility industry.  Using these characteristics as a guideline – and moving to the future vision for each characteristic – should enable the present electric grid to transition to the modern grid.  Once attained, the modern grid will be more reliable, more secure, more economic, more environmentally friendly, and safer.  This transaction will take time – and money – to accomplish, but it holds promise of continuing to be the backbone of the economic system in the United States.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.