An article “No more computer overheating soon” in the Dallas Examiner quoted Syracuse University School of Information Studies COTELCO Research Fellow Janet Marsden about reengineering electric grids to eliminate overheating, reduce energy waste and lengthen computer life.

In the Radio program “The Promise of Tomorrow with Colonel Mason,”  Marsden talked about how homes and businesses will no longer use the traditional electric grid to access electrical power. Instead, homes and businesses will generate their own power much more safely and efficiently.

“We’ve continued to build on our original transmission and distribution technology and at this point in time, we’ve created a grid which is so complex that its’ unmanageable,” Marsden said. “What we want to look at is a different way to approach the energy delivery problem.”

Marsden foresees the development of technology that would allow buildings to be self sufficient, reducing the reliance on transporting energy with a traditional electrical grid system.

“If we think about our buildings and our structures…it becomes pretty obvious that one of the things we’re doing inefficiently is transporting energy 100s or 1000s of miles away and wasting energy unnecessarily,” Marsden said, adding that this waste is compounded by a lack of ability to store energy. “We over produce all the time to have enough for peak demand, but if you look at production that is available over time, we have more than enough power, we just don’t have it when we want it. The real challenge in sustainable alternative energy is storage.”

With new developments in battery technology, like the batteries used in hybrid cars, Marsden believes that buildings and structures will be able to generate and store their own energy, thereby decreasing energy waste by eliminating the need to transport it through the electrical grid. The systems she talks about would be built using the strengths of the environment, like using solar power or wind power where those resources are naturally abundant.

In addition, as the Dallas Examiner mentioned, Marsden talked about how utilities will be able to manage locally produced energy through “software designed radio networks,” or “cognitive radio networks.”

Marsden is a PhD Student at the iSchool and holds three master’s degrees in business, telecommunications and environmental planning. She is a full-time instructor in Information Technology at SUNY Canton and is currently studying alternative energy systems utilizing wireless grids and distributed generation for her dissertation.