Flashes of the Past, Lighting or Extinguishing Your Energy Future?
Esteban Fernández
Esteban Fernández
26/7/2023

Flashes of the Past, Lighting or Extinguishing Your Energy Future?

Flashes of the Past, Lighting or Extinguishing Your Energy Future?

Welcome to an exciting journey through the history and future of electricity! Today we will not only remember the titans of the War of Currents: Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, but to discover how their legacy lives on, beating at the heart of the modern electrical system and in the technological advances of institutions like our Center for Research and Innovation in Applied Power Technology (CIITAP).

The iconic intellectual contest of the 19th century, a battle of giants between Edison and the Tesla-Westinghouse team, gave us not only large-scale hydroelectric generation, symbolized by the monumental Niagara Falls power plant, but also our modern electrical system. This spectacular duel of titans, which put direct current and alternating current to the test, continues to light our way to a bright energy future. Join us on this exciting journey through the history of electricity and discover how the sparks of the past continue to ignite the present!

Today we will focus specifically on the electricity system. Consisting of generation, transmission, distribution, consumption, and the operation and control of the system, this fruit represents the true triumph and lasting legacy of the War of the Currents.

Have you ever imagined the electrical system as a human organism? Let me illustrate this analogy for you:

a) Generation: As our digestive and metabolic systems convert food into energy for our cells, generating stations transform natural resources into electricity.

b) Transmission and Distribution: Our arteries, arterioles and capillaries carry oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood from the heart to the body, similar to the lines that distribute electricity.

c) System Operation and Control: Just as our brain regulates body functions, an energy control center monitors and manages the generation and distribution of electricity to maintain the balance between energy supply and demand.

d) Consumption: Our muscles use glucose and nutrients to perform work, just as electronic devices consume the energy they receive to properly perform their functions.

With this analogy understood, we are in a better position to unravel the challenges facing the electricity industry today:

  • Imagine, for a moment, the health and nutrition challenges we face in our day-to-day lives. How do they compare to the energy supply issues in electricity generation? Just as a human body needs a balanced and healthy diet to function at its best, our electrical system requires a true energy transition, a 'dietary shift' to a more diverse and sustainable energy mix.
  • The inexorable passage of time leaves its mark on our body's arteries and veins, similar to how it affects electrical transmission and distribution lines. Just as our arteries can clog or weaken, our power grids can deteriorate, resulting in power losses and service interruptions. Here, the challenge is to maintain a robust and efficient power circulation system over time, which translates into optimizing a robust and up-to-date electricity system that integrates large-scale centralized generation with micro-grids and distributed generation to facilitate efficient and sustainable access to electric power.
  • And how do we handle energy 'circulation' problems, such as bottlenecks and demand variability? Our brain acts as the control and operation center of our body, maintaining the balance between energy supply and demand. In this sense, the solution is to have smart grids and clear and efficient regulations that allow a quick response to changing energy demands, in the same way that our body adapts to the different oxygen and nutrient demands of our muscles and organs.
  • Finally, how can we reconcile energy consumption with system sustainability? Just as our muscles consume the energy generated and distributed by our body, electronic devices use the energy they receive. Today, we face the challenge of Industry 4.0 and the intelligent management of energy storage, which is similar to managing our physical energy reserves to avoid inefficiency or depletion.

These and many more questions will be analyzed in our next articles, where we will delve into each part of the electricity system to better understand how to achieve an efficient energy transition, how to renew our system with smart grids, distributed generation and microgrids, and how to bet on responsible consumption through Industry 4.0 technology and energy storage.

At the Center for Research and Technological Innovation Applied to Power (CIITAP), we seek innovative answers and solutions to the challenges of the electricity system. We invite you to join our mission, learn more about us and even join our adventure. Visit our website for more details and join us on this innovation odyssey. Ready to get started? If you're interested, share your details with us. 👉 [CIITAP: Center for Research and Technological Innovation Applied to Power].

Let's never stop exploring, questioning and dreaming big! See you next time!

If you need more information about our products, we have a team ready to assist you. Send us a message and one of our experts will contact you.

Subscribe to our blog!

Sign up with your email address to receive monthly news and updates.

Recents articles

What are the differences between a STATCOM, an Active Harmonic Filter (APF) and an SVG?

What are the differences between a STATCOM, an Active Harmonic Filter (APF) and an SVG?

STATCOMs, APFs and SVGs are devices used in power quality management in electric power systems.

View more
What equipment can be considered part of the FACTS family?

What equipment can be considered part of the FACTS family?

These devices generally fall into two categories: voltage source-based controllers and current source-based controllers.

View more

Algunos de nuestros clientes