ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 24th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Korea Tests Electrical Smart Grid

Here is something that would be a massive project to be undertaken in the US so it will be interesting to see what the feasibility of the smart grid is in a smaller country like South Korea:

After the country suffered a major power blackout last year and watched Japan turn away from the nuclear power it has relied on for decades, the focus is shifting from finding ways to generate large amounts of power to efficient management of power resources.

Enter the so-called smart grid. Korea is one of the few countries that has already adopted the concept and is testing the system out. However, some analysts argue that the government needs to be more aggressive in pushing forward the development of a smart grid system.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy first introduced a long-term plan for a digital system for electricity supply, dubbed the smart grid, in 2009. It’s set to announce a more specific five-year plan at the end of this month.

The larger framework will stay the same: efficient energy use and further commercialization of new technologies. The detailed plan will shed more light on how that will be done, including the development of battery systems with larger capacities that can store energy for homes and factories, according to the official at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

A smart grid is a digitally enhanced electrical grid that gathers, distributes and acts on information about both electricity providers and consumers in order to improve the efficiency of electricity services. It is supposed to minimize the waste or loss of electricity in the course of its delivery.

“Many people still are not familiar with the idea and it will take time for the system to be widely commercialized,” said Son Jong-cheon, director of the Korea Smart Grid Institute’s policy planning team. Currently, there is one town testing the technology on Jeju Island, and other small test centers across the nation.

The system will better predict energy demand of each type of consumer, including homes, office buildings and factories, and prevent the kind of blackout that occurred last September due to a spike in electricity demand.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

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    4:26 pm on May 24th, 2012 1

    Smart grid they need to clean up those over head electrical lines first. Have you every look up in any town or city and see the massive eye sore of some of the most ugliest amount of electrical wires routing all over the place across the streets back across the street, tack on the side of building with gas pipes and anything that cane be use for a tie down. Back in the day USFK put most of their electrical wires on base underground consequently made the bases look a lot more pleasing, I see the koreans have not learn anything about integrating public utilities into public and private spaces for cosmetic and less waste consumption.

  • simon chambers
    7:29 pm on May 24th, 2012 2

    I wonder if Korea has a permit system for building, electrical / mechanical / structural inspections ? They tear down an old building, put up something bigger, but never seem to take into account the old water system / sewer / etc.

  • Jinro Dukkohbi
    6:05 am on May 25th, 2012 3

    #1 (and 2) – actually anything that goes up here as new construction pretty-much has all of its electrical service underground. Sure, if you head up some of the old-time back-alleys and such, you will see the bird’s nest of tangled wires that you’re talking about, but as Korea goes out with the old, and in with the new, they are already putting that stuff underground. Even with the jumbled, tangled mess of wires still up in some places, it’s funny how you don’t experience frequent power outages during heavy storms (or even during monsoon season) like you do every time the wind blows strong in the states. We in the US could learn a thing or two about infrastructure upgrades from seeing what is happening here. I know, I know – it’s a lot easier to upgrade a landmass the size of Indiana vs. the vast country that is the US, but still – we need to start somewhere. Assuming you’re here in Korea, take a look a the above-ground power lines running along main streets the next time you’re out and about and see how often you can spot an 80-year-old looking, creosote-all-dried-out wooden power pole. I don’t think you’ll find one, unless you’re on most of the US Military installations here in the ROK – every one I’ve seen outside the gate is concrete – so, what’s that telling you…

  • simon chambers
    3:40 pm on May 25th, 2012 4

    In this neighborhood, it is totally like a wire mess / electrical / cable and since it’s an old neighborhood, totally inadequate water / sewer capability. There appears to be what I would call sump things, that you see the City come aloing and “clean out” on peoples property. Judging by the smell coming up through the pipes, it is rather ripe down there.
    But I digress, what about permits, inspectors, etc. In these old neighborhoods, parking is like a HUGE problem. I gather there is no need ( law ) to put in parking when you raze an old apt and build a new one ? The city has dotted yellow lines along the street side, which I think means no parking, since the street is so narrow, but that of course, doesn’t stop anyone. Occasionally the Dong office makes a trip through the area to ticket cars, but it’s really a feeble attempt.


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