Consulting-Specifying Engineer, November 2012 (Archived) — The continually evolving Smart Grid is becoming an automated, widely distributed power delivery network characterized by a two-way flow of electricity and information. As the Smart Grid grows, new technologies emerge that enable concepts to become reality. However, transformers are one of the Smart Grid’s weak spots because few of them have the ability to sense critical parameters such as voltage, current, and temperature; and few of them have communication capabilities. Transformers purchased today will likely be in service for more than 25 years and may not include the monitoring and communication capabilities that could be required within the next five years. Consulting and design engineers should be aware of the rapidly changing Smart Grid landscape and how it affects them and their clients.

Learning objectives:

  • The audience will how transformer technology is changing to facilitate bidirectional power flow in the Smart Grid.
  • Attendees will learn about solid-state transformers and their potential effects on Smart Grid operations.
  • Viewers will understand how utility infrastructure will need to change to accommodate solid-state transformers and bidirectional power flow.
  • Viewers will learn how monitoring of distribution transformer loading will affect the future Smart Grid.


  • Sam Sciacca, president, SCS Consulting, Winsted, Conn. — Sam Sciacca is an active senior member in the IEEE and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the area of utility automation. He has more than 25 years of experience in the domestic and international electrical utility industries. Sciacca serves as the chair of two IEEE working groups that focus on cyber security for electric utilities: the Substations Working Group C1 (P1686) and the Power System Relay Committee Working Group H13 (PC37.240). Sciacca also is president of SCS Consulting.
  • Chris Edward, electrical engineer, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Warrenville, Ill. — Edward is an electrical engineer at KJWW and has created designs for multiple renewable energy installations. He is a graduate of Purdue University and has served as an executive committee member for the Iowa/Illinois section of IEEE.

Jack Smith, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Pure Power, and CFE Media, LLC

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