By: Florida Power & Light
Source: Miami Herald
The Energy that Powers Your Life is now Smart, too
Energy companies are finding new ways to deliver better service using smart technology
It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have smart tech devices making our lives easier. From smart cars that drive themselves to smart home devices that you control on your phone — smart technology is everywhere and we’re using it in more ways than ever.
Smart technology isn’t only for your phone and home security system, major businesses and energy companies are getting on board, too. Energy companies and related device manufacturers are developing and deploying smart devices, systems and software applications to build a smart electric grid that operates more efficiently than ever before. For customers, that means more affordable and reliable electricity to power all the other smart tools in their lives.
3 ways utilities are making your energy smarter
Automated Smart Switches. You might notice these smart devices perched up high on the power poles, if you’re in Florida. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has already installed more than 40,000 of these and will continue installing thousands more. These are smart devices that help keep the power on and minimize the amount of people affected, if an outage occurs. FPL’s efficiency expert Margie Sweezer-Fischer explains: “The best thing about the smart technology in these switches is that it works remotely — allowing the switches to operate on their own to automatically reroute, or start and stop the flow of electricity if they sense a disturbance on the power line.” For example, common causes of power flickers — momentary power interruptions that last less than one minute — are tree branches or palm fronds that touch overhead power lines. These smart devices sense when that happens and automatically reroute or turn power off, isolating the problem so fewer people experience the outage. When the vegetation is cleared or the disturbance is gone, the switch automatically turns the power back on. These switches were put to the test during last year’s Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew. During both storms, these switches prevented a combined 143,000 customer outages — keeping the lights on even while tropical force winds affected Florida.