Some of the latest smart appliance efforts already appear ready for blast off to some futuristic world landscapes, hopefully none involving we humans chained and herded by horse mounted apes! But to the point, the latest in LCD displays and smart (and recently even smarter) communications options are nothing if not high-tech. Today, however, there are potentially even more immediate and impactful opportunities for appliances to lead, one in particular being in the area of smart energy.
Appliances are by nature energy ‘sinks’, or pure consumers of electrical or gas fed power; electricity in, clean clothes (or cold drinks, or simply a continuous blast of cold air) out. Today’s smart grid, however, is increasingly thirsty for smart, active, non-passive elements to plug in and put to work, pumping energy in more than one direction, ironing out instabilities such as frequency variations, or operating actively to contribute to times of heightened electricity demand. Entire power plants are required solely for the purpose of kicking out extra power during these times (commonly called peaker plants), often popping up near power hogs such as massive server farms, or simply addressing concentrated spikes of electricity demand in urban areas, typically during hot summer afternoons.
via Home Appliance OEMs Can Lead The Growing Residential Smart Energy Market | AltEnergyMag Press Release.
In New York, 14 regional workforce development organizations have been chosen to help deliver energy efficiency skills training needed by the clean energy industry. NYSERDA provided more than $25 million for workforce development training between 2006 and 2011, and plans $51 million more for 2012 through 2016. By partnering with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), more than 14,000 people across New York State are expected to receive the training over the next two-and-a-half years.
via NY putting clean energy industry to work – FierceEnergy.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a loan guarantee solicitation, making as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available for innovative U.S.-based renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. The department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is accepting applications in three areas, which includes the $8 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation and the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.
via DOE seeking innovative renewable energy projects – FierceEnergy.
Glendale Water & Power (GW&P) has selected Dominion Voltage’s (DVI) EDGE advanced grid optimization solution to maximize energy savings.
The deployment of DVI’s solution will contribute to energy efficiency goals for publicly-owned utilities in California.
The technology is anticipated to deliver 2% to 4% energy savings while using the current smart grid infrastructure.
via GW&P selects DVI grid optimization solution for energy savings – Energy Business Review.
Toshiba is providing the UK with a 1MWh lithium-ion battery for research into power storage on a smart grid.
It will be part of the Grid Connected Energy Storage Research Demonstrator project, led by the University of Sheffield, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with support from both industrial and academic partners.
via Toshiba supplies UK with 1MW smart grid battery | Electronics Weekly.
MWR InfoSecurity has secured a multimillion pound investment to protect the smart energy industry.
The investment, which was received from the EU’s Environmental Technologies Fund, will allow MWR to develop its existing software products and services and spend in specialist research on the threats faced by the smart energy sector.
via MWR InfoSecurity secures investment to protect smart energy industry – Energy Business Review.
Nation-E expects revenue of up to $US400 million by the end of 2014 from its energy management meters that will roll out in August after signing agreements with major utilities in California, the company’s president said.
The solution will first be launched in the United States, in alternative energy-friendly states like California and Florida, and will then be rolled out in Europe, Daniel Jammer said.
“We anticipate by the end of the year almost 1 million units going into the United States. We’re talking about revenue of $US300 to $US400 million by the end of the year,” he told Reuters.
via Smart meter business expects $400m revenue | Business Spectator.
Siemens Smart Grid today announced the release of Energy Engage Mobile, the company’s first mobile-web application that brings energy consumption information directly to the consumer’s fingertips helping utilities connect with their customers.
Energy Engage Mobile allows consumers to take control of their electricity, water, and gas consumption on-the-go
Users can track electricity, water, or gas use in near real-time and view their estimated bill. The mobile-enabled site displays account alerts and tips as well as price information, allowing users to see current cost of electricity per unit and shift usage to off-peak times to avoid higher energy rates.
via Siemens New Mobile-Web App Enables Utilities to Maximize Customer Engagement While Increasing Operational Efficiency – WSJ.com.
Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB), a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, today announced that its ARM(R)-based energy-friendly microcontroller (MCU) technology and sub-GHz wireless connectivity solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart metering markets have won two prestigious awards in the China microelectronics industry.
The ultra-low-energy MCU technology powering Silicon Labs’ EFM32(TM) Zero Gecko family won a 2014 EDN China Innovation Award in the category of “Innovation Excellence: Leading Technologies.” Held annually for the past ten years, the EDN China Innovation Awards are widely recognized as one of the electronics industry’s most distinguished honors. The awards were announced at the 2014 EDN China Innovation Awards Ceremony held on June 26 in Shanghai. Award winners are selected by a panel of EDN China editors and electronics industry leaders, as well as votes from EDN China’s community of 800,000 registered online readers and website members.
via Silicon Labs’ Internet of Things Solutions Win Top Electronics Industry Recognition in China – WSJ.com.
American cities import many things, including electricity – and that is a problem. For instance, New York City imports electricity from coal-burning plants in Pennsylvania.
A better strategy might be to generate the electricity as close as possible to where it is used. But that is challenging. Urban land is expensive and scarce. Renewables are tough to do at scale. And nobody wants a power plant in their backyard.
via Smart Grid: Proof that fuel cells are starting to catch on.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced $14.3 million in grants Tuesday intended to help state utilities better and more efficiently utilize solar and wind power.
The “smart grid” grants were announced at an event at UniEnergy, a Mukilteo company that makes one of a number of competing energy-storage technologies, all intended to help utilities better manage the fluctuations of solar and wind power.
via $14.3M state grant for ‘smart grid’ technology could mean big business for Mukilteo startup – Puget Sound Business Journal.
The smart grid will only live up to its promise if utilities and grid operators spur innovation and engagement by relinquishing their tight control of grid data and consumer energy profiles; and if consumers who can store and generate energy are given true ownership credit and a piece of the revenue pie, driving interest and participation. Experience with deploying electric vehicles on the grid suggests to us that there’s a bright future for the EV and other smart grid appliances, but only if we tackle these core issues of data access and energy control.
via Putting Grid Management In EV Drivers’ Hands | CleanTechnica.
Sensus, a leading provider of clean technology solutions, received the award for Best Smart Grid Solution at the Municipal Smart Grid Summit (MSGS) for its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) product portfolio. The solution features the Sensus FlexNet™ communication system, a long-range radio network that communicates via primary-use Federal Communications Commission licensed spectrum.
FlexNet provides a dedicated and secure two-way communications highway that requires less infrastructure than competing solutions. The network architecture and device designs provide range and endpoint connectivity that is differentiated from mesh networks. The result is superior network performance as evidenced by lower network operational and maintenance costs for utilities.
via Sensus Awarded Best Smart Grid Solution by Municipal Utility Executives – Press Release – Digital Journal.
Intersolar North America has announced the winners of the 2014 Intersolar Award for Solar Projects in North America. The Intersolar Award program recognizes landmark projects in North America that represent major technological, economic and environmental achievements.
via Intersolar award winners announced – FierceEnergy.
Elster Solutions has announced the general availability of version 9.1 of its EnergyAxis advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution. The company says this release completes the final refinement and commercialization of the recently introduced 9.0 version of the AMI system and its availability for purchase by utilities.
via Renew Grid: Content / Products & Technology / Elster Announces General Availability Of Upgraded Smart Grid Solution.
Earlier this year, Honda introduced its Smart Home, a home on the University of California Davis West Village campus that, among other things, produces more energy than it consumes. Interest in the Smart Home has been high, and due to that demand, Honda has announced that its Smart Home is now open source.
via Honda Smart Home is now open source – SlashGear.
Last week’s intense storms, featuring seven confirmed tornadoes, were Commonwealth Edison Co.’s first true test of the power-grid improvements it has made since winning the right from the state to hike rates annually to finance its $2.6 billion smart grid program.
So how did the utility do?
via ComEd smart grid tested by Chicago’s summer storms – Utilities News – Crain’s Chicago Business.
i-Energy, pioneers in small scale and DIY solar solutions, announces the launch of i-Protect, the world’s smallest AR-N-4105-compliant protection device. Together with the new GT260 micro-inverter, i-Protect helps to form i-Energy’s smart solar home solution an easy-to-install system built with the smallest and lightest components on the market.
Light and compact, i-Protect sets a new standard for size and function. It is currently the smallest protection device on the market, approximately a third smaller than its competitors. In addition to providing electrical protection between the micro-inverter and the grid, i-Protect has an auto-mechanical switch off as an enhanced layer of protection.
via The dream of an easy-to-install DIY solar solution becomes reality as i-Energy releases i-Protect in Intersolar America 2014.
Creating more sustainable, resilient, and livable cities is of vital importance to nations around the world. In particular, the rapid urbanization of Asia and Africa is driving strong growth in the market for smart city technologies that can connect and modernize power grids, water treatment and transfer systems, transportation management systems, and energy efficient buildings. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from smart city technology will grow from $8.8 billion in 2014 to $27.5 billion in 2023.
via Smart City Technology Will Reach $27.5 Billion in Annual Revenue by 2023, Forecasts Navigant Research – Press Release – Digital Journal.
Thanks to a $14.3 million grant from Washington State, a new three-part project could herald the crucial role of effective batteries in modern, smart, renewable energy grids.
The goal of the project is to push forward the use of batteries on electrical grids, especially those of the smart variety. Smart grids use modern communication technology to better monitor and direct demand and flow of electricity on a grid, thus reducing peak demand and smoothing out the load. Along with storing up the energy generated by solar and wind power when it’s generated, and then releasing it when needed, battery technology also plays a crucial part in managing those functions.
via How A New Project In Washington State Could Show Off The Latest In Battery Technology | ThinkProgress.