Electricity becomes a hot new technology

New technologies come along with fair regularity, but it’s difficult to tell a flash in the pan from something that’s really got legs. I think I’ve spotted one that’s not only got long term potential, it’s got a broad usage model.

The next big thing: electricity. It’s going to power more cars as this century wears on. And when electric motors start taking over the highways, there’s going to be more need for a more sophisticated power grid. That grid is also important to that new-fangled Internet, which requires a lot of juice for servers and storage.

The second coming of electricity plays well into the capabilities of North America’s high reliability companies. The boards that hold power management units must last the decade or so that a car is on the highway. And for a few years, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles will be fairly low volume products that are undergoing a fair amount of change. All traits that make it difficult for U.S. manufacturers to ship them off shore.

The power grid that keeps cars, servers and ever more home electronics may hold even more potential. The smart grid will require a lot of electronics, and the reliability demands here may be even more stringent. Electrical substations usually run for years without much maintenance in environments that often demand ruggedization as well as reliability.

The shift to more intelligent digital systems comes with the added opportunity to add security products to keep knuckleheads from breaking in to take over or shut down critical power stations. New sources like solar and wind energy have similar requirements for board and system suppliers.

Electricity sparked a huge amount of growth at the start of the 1900s. Now, as the 21st century moves away from petroleum, it’s once again opening up a lot of new markets.

One Comment

  1. keepitgreenideas
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    As an advocate of solar and wind energy, I have to admit that our need to day is to improve our electric grid. I am glad you included sources like solar and wind energy and agree they need to be put into similar requirements for board and system suppliers. We need to consider and use as many sources of electricity as we can and look at how it affects our environment as well.


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