Smart Grid Semiconductor Solutions
Adding more than intelligence to the grid
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Electric grid systems are the largest technical constructions in the world – but years behind compared with the innovations seen in other technical fields. The drive for an environmentally friendly, low-CO 2 world, higher quality requirements of modern industries and the rapid increase in energy consumption in emerging countries raise the need for new electrical smart grid solutions.
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The following three goals need to be reached with new smart grid systems:
- Reducing CO 2 emissions
- Balancing supply and demand of electricity
- Creating grid stability and security
To address all these topics, smart grids are necessary. A smart grid is an upgrade of our existing electrical grids with distributed local intelligence, security, efficiency and upgraded control capabilities. It provides solutions on how to transform our hierarchical electrical grid system into a de-centralized one.
Three Goals for the Future with smart grid semiconductor technologies
Smart infrastructures are becoming compelling as people’s habits have changed significantly over the last 20 years: More than half of the world’s population lives in cities today. The number of cities counting more than 1 million inhabitants almost doubled from 1990 to 2012 1 and is still growing.20 years ago the average energy consumed in homes was mainly used for “primary needs”, such as lighting, heating and cooking, whereas today an increasing amount of energy is consumed by appliances such as multimedia, communication and IT equipment. Those changes require radical rethinking of the way we utilize energy and imply a fast transition to smart cities – where energy for mobility, lighting and for citizens is properly and securely managed – and to smart homes which allow minimizing non necessary power such as power supply losses and standby power, and which enable renewable energies integration and demand/supply balancing.
Many ingredients are needed to enable the transition from the current infrastructure to a “smart” infrastructure: security, to prevent fraud and malicious attacks; intelligent devices, sensors and MCUs, to allow distributed control; efficient power semiconductors, to reduce power losses and offer the reliability needed by a critical service like energy.
Infineon and smart grid solutions:
Infineon is strongly engaged in the field of energy efficiency with a vast portfolio of semiconductor devices targeted to smart grids, cities and homes. The company has a specific focus on innovation to make sure up-to-date semiconductor products are always available to enable a fast modernization of the energy infrastructure: secure, reliable, efficient, cost-effective and easy-todeploy ICs and power devices. And as needs and requirements evolve rapidly, Infineon is in the best position to timely serve its customers with the best new smart grid technologies and components.