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What is The Grid - Visualization Maps

  1. May 28, 2013 #1


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    What is "The Grid" -- Visualization Maps

    As PF grows, so does the number of questions about the "grid". While I was searching the internet for an image of a sagging transmission line to use in another thread, I found this cool interactive map by NPR. I thought I'd post it for those curious.

    Visualizing The U.S. Electric Grid
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  3. May 29, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Here I was thinking it's the precurser to the Matrix...
  4. May 29, 2013 #3


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    I grew surrounded by such maps of Poland.
  5. May 29, 2013 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    The meaning is very confused right now. Power engineers like myself traditionally reserve the word grid for the high voltage transmission system, plus the power plants that feed it. Any point A in the grid is connected to any other point B by multiple parallel paths. A copper window screen is a good visual analogy. The NPR map depicts the transmission grid.

    The distribution system typically runs only one wire from the nearest substation to your street (except in some high density city centers which use a distribution grid). Thus power distribution and the customer loads are not grid like and thus not considered part of the grid.

    However, much recent publicity is about the smart grid. In this context they mean the entire power industry, especially power distribution and customer loads. It is almost the opposite to the original meaning. It drives me crazy. So, watch out for the context to interpret the meaning of grid.
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