Discourse about the challenges of technology development in three examples

Although the dominant view to technology is optimism, but there are some evidences that casts doubt it. Here are three examples that demonstrate this point :

1- Changing the models (curves) of  supply – demand: Studies show that use of the CFLs in the UK has led to increased power consumption in lighting sector. This situation can be explained by economic theory of  “William Stanley Jevons” . According to this theory, technological change leads to changes in the supply and demand curves. In other words, the demand curve of  lumen (lighting flux) changes due to the cheaper price of the lumen so that the final consumption increases. Thus, the electric utilities which switch from incandescent lamps to CFLs and LEDs lighting technology to reduce power consumption in the coming years, will be quite disappointed.

2- Changes in construction presuppositions: About two month ago, when the IEEE-519 2014 standard was published, electrical equipment manufacturers and  power system operators were amazed; because the limit of THDV increased from 5% to 8% to respond the development of renewable generation technologies. Thus a large variations in the design and manufacturing of electrical equipment in order to improve the electromagnetic compatibility, expected. Also it can be predict that meters manufacturers in the worldwide create more pressure on IC manufacturers to change their energy measurement model based on IEEE  1459–2010 standard. This standard follows the instantaneous power theory of Alexander Eiegeles Emanuel instead of  the of  Bodeanu’s power theory. With this action of IEEE power quality work group, it can be expected that the limit of THDV  increase to 20% until 2020. With such amount of harmonic distortion, the overall philosophy of the design and operation of power systems,  in the demand, generation, transmission and distribution sides will change.

3-Information overload: Smart grids is based on data more than anything else. The role of  the data in engineering systems can be analogized with the role of vitamins in biological systems. Excessive data, beyond the management capability of these systems, transforms to the load of system and prevents the flexible performance of it. The cost of building and maintaining data centers, as well as cyber security for information systems is very high and so the lack of value-added production makes these systems useless overload. Thus, the development of smart grids without having an effective strategy in benefiting from value-added  (such as improving utilization  and increase the life of electrical equipment), may tends to electric utilities bankruptcy.

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The role of attitudes in science

Author: Farhad Yazdi

When we review the history of science, We find it full of achievements , discoveries and inventions that have been obtained simultaneously by multiple people. But in most cases, only one of them has all the honors. An outstanding example of such is “data  transmission by radio waves.”  When  i talk about radio, probably every one remembers the Irish-Italian scientist Marconi…

But perhaps not surprising that the English scientist named Lodge and Indian scholar named Chandra Jagadysh earlier than Marconi, build amazing devices, capable of transmitting information by radio waves . So, why Marconi tied with the radio industry?

Here I am referring to the views and attitudes. From the perspective of knowledge and technical ability, the Lodge was higher than Marconi. Also, original equipment innovated by Jagadysh was far more complex than was Marconi. So what is the philosophy of insisting on the name of Marconi?

I start from Jagadysh. He was the citizen of a country that belonged to the third world colony. His confidence was not enough. He was not aware of his invention importance and finally even documentation of his innovative device was compiled by the British. Although he was a professor at Calcutta University, but did not believe himself as a first class inventor.

But whats the matter about Lodge ?

He had built a device in which, a transmitters’ signals received at distances of several meters by a receiver and make it to the sound of a bell.

Unfortunately, wrong views and wrong attitudes to the subject by Lodge, changed his great invention  to a Maxwell’s equations examiner …

While the vast vision of  Marconi, led him to the world of  wireless data transmission  beyond the English Channel and even more (between Europe and America)

I want to say,  for enlargement, in addition to knowledge, attitude is necessary too. If human knowledge remained in a single dimensional mode and was not associated with attitudes, It didn’t change from alchemy and magic to the modern science and had no tangible effect on human life.

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