Overcoming smart city power problems

Power distribution provider REO UK has created an infographic outlining three ways to overcome problems with power quality in smart cities.

Smart cities, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milton Keynes, use digital, electronic and information technology (IT) to create an environmentally and economically sustainable community.

Although most of the technology that facilitates a smart city already exists, there are still many power quality challenges that must be overcome. These include the prevalence of harmonic currents in electrical networks, which require engineers to use harmonic mitigation technologies to increase grid efficiency, issues with electromagnetic interference (EMI) in medical environments.

The infographic also looks at electric vehicles and how the biggest challenge for autonomous vehicles is battery technology. While making a more powerful battery is an obvious solution to this problem, REO UK explains how reducing the weight of the car and its powertrain is more efficient.

“We can make significant changes to the world around us that not only improve the quality of our lives but also the environment,” explained Steve Hughes, managing director of REO UK. “When making changes, whether it’s to our infrastructure, healthcare systems or transport networks, engineers must ensure that power quality problems don’t hold us back.

“For example, with the British government announcing plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, it’s clear electric vehicles will be a prominent element in our smart cities. This means that design engineers must ensure that electric vehicles are able to operate reliably, which may involve the use of lightweight aluminium instead of copper-wound induction motor technology to overcome problems with battery technology.

“The infographic outlines some key considerations for electrical and design engineers to ensure that smart cities can become a reality. By drawing attention to small changes, such as reducing the weight of electric cars, manufacturers can eliminate power quality issues and can create an efficient and cost-effective mode of transport.”

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