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The world’s leading critical communications congress and exhibition heads to Hong Kong

Critical Communications World (May 16-18, Hong Kong) is the leading and most influential congress and exhibition dedicated to connecting critical communications professionals for three days of thought provoking discussion, debate and networking.

Hosting this year’s 19th Annual event in Hong Kong provides the perfect setting, with this year’s theme focused on network optimization and transition. With many areas in Asia and indeed across the rest of world looking to get the most of their current networks as well as understanding how they can smoothly transition to networks offering more functions, this year’s conference will attract senior thought leaders from all major projects to share their experiences and insight to meet the demands of the modern end user.

Critical Communications World will also provide free content for visitors on the show floor, featuring two high level seminar programmes and zones dedicated to Future technologies and Data apps & control rooms providing you with the opportunity to hear from end users and leading solution providers alike on the latest technology application case studies.

Phil Kidner, The Tetra and Critical Communications Association (TCCA) CEO said: “I am delighted that CCW is returning to Hong Kong. Both personally and professionally I regard Hong Kong as a great city. I have already had the pleasure of meeting with the representatives of many of the critical communications networks. Their enthusiasm for this event is infectious. I am certain that they will help us make it the best CCW ever!

Hong Kong is a hub for Asia and beyond, so I expect to see the widest variety of delegates with whom you will have numerous networking opportunities to learn from their experiences – those that currently use analogue networks, those that use TETRA and other standard PMR networks and those that are looking for broadband solutions.

This is not just an Asian event. It is a global event. As well as Asia, we will hear from speakers from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas and have the opportunity to visit an extensive exhibition of the latest critical communications equipment and applications from around the world.”

Critical Communications World 2017 is presented by TCCA, in partnership with KNect365. This year’s major sponsors include Airbus, Huawei, Leonardo, and Motorola Solutions (Gold Sponsors) and Cobham, General Dynamics and Nokia (Silver Sponsors).

For more information and to register, please visit: https://tmt.knect365.com/critical-communications-world

Whisker Labs Sensor Widens IoT Energy Management Possibilities

With all the focus on devices that are connected to the network, newcomer Whisker Labs believes there is another even more ubiquitous interconnectivity that can be the key to opening up the Internet of Things (IoT) connected home for integrators: the electrical network. Indeed, while only 15 percent of electronic devices in a home are connected to the Internet, every device is connected to the electrical grid, according to Robert Marshall, CEO. And because of that power connection, Whisker Labs can measure it, and integrators can monitor and control it with a simple low-voltage sensor installation. It’s a possible gamechanger in that it opens up the possibilities of energy management and control for every appliance and electrical gadget in the home.

Sure, current transformer (CT) clamps have existed for many years to measure current. These CT clamps measure current flow through a cable, but they require a line-voltage contractor’s license. Even then, the proximity to wedge them around electrical lines near the breaker box made for a cumbersome installation. And the clamps were required to be placed on individual circuits to help identify the power draw from individual appliances, fixtures, consumer electronics, etc.

“Most electricians won’t do it,” says Marshall of the Oakland, Calif.-based company.

Whisker Labs Low-Voltage Solution

Whisker Labs, which is part of parent company Earth Networks, has bypassed the need for a CT clamp and an electrical license. A small sensor is attached solely to the main breaker on the electrical panel. The sensor is tracking 20,000 samples of electrical usage per second. That level of detail allows the sensor to “disaggregate” devices via their unique electrical signatures. As comparison, Marshall says smart utility meters can only track one sample per second.

“Anything that requires electricity can be identified and measured and eventually controlled. Every device has its own electrical fingerprint. Everything is connected to the home electrical grid,” says Marshall. “We collect data from any device we can get our hands on.”

The sensor is tethered to a small hub that communicates via Wi-Fi to the cloud. From there, Whisker Labs runs the electrical signatures through analytics to identify every individual device on the power grid. The company has written special software to do the disaggregation. Currently, the software is written to track large appliances and HVAC systems.

The software does not just monitor electrical usage, but also can identify faults and diagnose problems with the equipment, offering a specific message that pinpoints the problem. In essence, it is a remote monitoring system for every electrical device in the home. For example, a notification that identifies is a curling iron has been left plugged in, or a notification that the coolant in the refrigerator compressor is low, or the air conditioning filter is clogged.

According to Marshall, their data so far is revealing that the installation of solar panels in a home is a major impetus for the homeowner to want to track his electrical usage at a more granular level.

“Energy is the focus,” he says. “Energy savings and management are the means to an end to deliver value to the homeowner.”

More here.

3 Examples of How Demand Response Is Morphing as a Grid Resource

As utilities and grid operators face new flexibility challenges, demand response is more important than ever. Applications for demand-side resources are evolving as a result.

There are a handful of themes emerging from the industry worth exploring: a strong focus on customer engagement; a growing array of demand response resources; an increased focus on non-wires alternatives to infrastructure; and the slow progress when turning pilots into commercial programs.

A community of thought leaders, utilities, consultants and vendors in demand response came together last week at the Peak Load Management Alliance conference last week to talk through some of those themes. Below, we offer some insight into how different players are grappling with them.

Success through customer engagement

Utilities have traditionally designed programs based on available technology, but customers are demanding more focus on solutions. Utilities attending the PLMA conference emphasized that customer engagement is critical for successful program deployment, with a big push on marketing for customer acquisition and retention.

PowerHours, a bring-your-own-thermostat program developed by AEP Public Service of Oklahoma (PSO), is an example of the evolution from pilot to program.

More here.

Invitation to attend ACI’s Digital Utilities Europe 2017

Building on the success of the inaugural May 2016 edition which brought over 100 senior level attendees to London, ACI’s Digital Utilities Europe 2017 taking place on 10th – 11th May in London, UK will gather key industry stakeholders to address the current challenges of the digitisation in the utility sector. The two day event will give you insights on business cases, financial aspects and technological advancements which affect utility companies now and will do so in the future.

Topics will cover Building Digital Utility & Digital Transformation, Development of Digital Business Models, New and Changing Markets of Energy Retail, Data-Driven Utility Consumer Engagement in Digital Communities, Leveraging Digital Platforms to Promote Digital Revolutions in Utilities, Smart Grid Developments in Europe, Consumer Trends in the Age of Mass Disruption, Energy Efficiency in Smart Homes, Latest Technological Innovations, Big Data and Smart Energy Analytics, Cyber Security: Safety and Stability of the Grids and much more.

Who Will Attend? The event is designed with special interest to CIO’s, CTO’s, CDO’s and Heads of Digital Innovation, IT, solutions and new technologies of Power generation, transmission, distribution & supply companies, utilities, electricity retailers TNOs/TSOs & DNOs/DSOs, Water & gas utilities companies, Communications providers, data processing, analytics, services providers & consultants.

WSN Buzz readers/subscribers are entitled to a 15% registration discount. For further information, agenda request or to register your attendance contact Dimitri Pavlyk on + 44 (0)203 141 0627 or dpavlyk@acieu.net quoting EDUE2D15.


Too Much Competition In The Smart Meter Industry?

Both Itron (NASDAQ:ITRI) and Silver Spring Networks (NYSE:SSNI) have struggled to show consistent revenue growth and profitability. There are too many companies worldwide competing in a slow growing business in the highly regulated industries such as electric, water and gas. As smart meter companies have struggled to grow, they have tried to diversify into broader Internet-of-Things applications like managing street light in Smart City initiatives. But these initiatives are yet to prove that they will spur significant growth. Consolidation may be an option to drive down cost, increase scale and grow revenue.

Water, electricity and gas are essential to life. One would think given the increased environmental awareness and increasing demand due to population growth would lead to rapid adoption of smart meters that help monitor and inform use of resources and help drive conservation and new consumption models. Yet, smart meter adoption in the U.S. has either stalled or is growing very slowly and adoption in countries with vast populations, such as India, has been extremely slow. According to Silver Spring Networks, a little over half of the 150 million end-points in the U.S are managed by Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

Theft of electricity and the subsequent loss in revenue is a problem in India and smart meters could help reduce theft. Yet, India has been very slow to adopt smart meters. The Indian Government plans to install 50 million smart meters by 2020. Considering that India has potential for approximately 250 million smart meter end-points, that’s a 20% market penetration over five years. Silver Spring Networks announced that CESC of India will use its smart meters and AMI infrastructure for 237,000 homes. There is also local competition in India from companies such as Larsen & Toubro.

China, which has the largest installation of smart meters in the world with 150 million units installed by 2015, has sourced smart meters from local manufacturers. That has left companies like Sensus, Itron and Silver Spring Networks with little or no business from China. In China, companies like Yantai Dongfang Wisdom Electric Co., Ltd., Wasion Group and Shenzhen Kaifa Technology have dominated the market.

More here.


Invitation to the 7th Smart Communications & Technology Forum on Smart Grid / Smart Metering

We would like to invite you to our annual event on Smart Grid / Smart Metering. This time the 7th Smart Communications & Technology Forum will take place on 8th June 2017 in Warsaw, Poland.

Smart Communications & Technology Forum is an annual event taking place in Poland, dedicated to the subject of smart grids and smart metering. The main goal of the forum is to invite international experts on smart grid and smart metering technology and then encourage them to exchange and share their knowledge and experience. Each year we are honoured to host an event with all the mayor representatives of the market including experts on energy and natural gas markets, representatives of the public sector and administration, scientists, engineers, technology developers, financial institutions as well as government officials.

Amongst our Speakers / Experts during the 7th edition of the conference:

  • Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General, European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (prior Global Smart Grid Strategy Leader in General Electric Grid Solutions)
  • Michał Jasiak, Directorate-General Energy, European Commission
  • Dr Robert Denda, CTO, Global Technology, ENEL Group
  • Florian Reinke, Senior Analyst, Energy Economics, 50HERTZ Transmissions GmbH
  • Anjos Nijk, Managing Director, European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS)
  • Jan Guenther, Grid Management and Development, Innogy SE
  • Dr inż. Tomasz Kowalak, Independent Expert

7th edition of the Forum will focus on problems like:

  • Regulations and investments for smart implementation and development
  • Smart Leaders” case study: domestic and international experience, commercial implementation utilizing the potential of smart infrastructure and technology solutions for combining smart grid systems and renewable energy and distributed energy sources
  • E-mobility
  • Customer Engagement (Demand Side Response, dynamic rates, etc.)
  • Smart Metering – new technologies and active energy consumer
  • Internet of Things
  • Critical infrastructure and the security of the distribution grids (energy, heat, water), including the cyber-security of the “smart” grids.

Contact with the Conference Host:

CBE POLSKA,tel: +48 535 244 123, +48 22 82 77 123, e-mail: biuro@cbepolska.pl

The Energy Manager’s Rapidly Changing Role: A Q&A with Billy Grayson

Picture a time when a company’s buildings look less like net energy consumers and more like integrated power plants, suggests William “Billy” Grayson, principal of Bent Branch Strategies and former director of sustainability at Liberty Property Trust. That’s what Grayson believes the future will look like.

Grayson will be speaking about this and how the role of energy managers is evolving at the 2017 Environmental Leader Conference in June. We recently caught up with him to find out the major shifts happening in energy management.

What is a trend you’re seeing in energy management?

One is the availability of really granular data. We’ve gone from the time when you had to work with utility companies and maybe a couple brokers to do energy procurement to having your own dashboard. Now the energy manager has almost the same tools that the energy brokers would have.

Related to that, what are the biggest challenges?

When you have this data at an affordable price, you still often need some guidance on how to project long-term trends and build a mix of energy that leads to price stability, helping you get the best deal.

Everybody has to figure out how to integrate renewable energy — onsite or offsite — into their energy management mix. You’re looking at more long-term deals. Normally when I’m buying electricity through the grid, I’ll sign for a year or two, not for 20. Doing a solar power purchase agreement is very different than buying electricity or gas through the grid, even for a sophisticated energy manager.

What are examples of companies using energy management to meet sustainability and financial goals?

In industrial real estate, Prologis has had an interesting time integrating renewables into their portfolio and figuring out ways to make money from onsite renewable energy. They’re the biggest owner of warehouses in the United States. They have 120 megawatts installed of solar — that’s about 10 times as much as any other industrial real estate owner.

More here.

Energy management: Oracle Utilities launches smart grid and IoT device management solution in the cloud

Energy management: Oracle has introduced Oracle Utilities Operational Device Cloud Service (ODCS), a new cloud offering that enables utilities to further automate the management of their grid assets and devices, at a total lower cost of ownership.

The utilities industry is going through tremendous transformation as a result of IoT and increasing distributed energy resources. The United States alone has more than 70 million smart meters installed [footnote] and utilities are increasingly deploying smart field sensors. As each smart device has its own unique requirements for maintenance, inspection, firmware upgrades and security, utilities are struggling to manage the lifecycle of these assets in a single, centralized way. In response to these challenges, Oracle has unveiled a cloud-based version of its Operational Device Management Solution that provides a scalable and future-proof way to manage IoT device operations.

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Available as a new stand-alone cloud service, ODSC automates the management of smart grid and IoT devices. When combined with Oracle Utilities Work and Asset Management solution, it delivers a unified solution in the cloud to extend asset performance management to smart devices at a massive scale. This complete visibility of smart assets delivers detailed insights into each device’s location, characteristics, health, and firmware upgrade status. In addition, utilities can extend ODCS for customer—owned asset registration processes such as smart thermostats and solar PVs. Additionally, by leveraging the cloud, utilities can reduce their total cost of ownership.

“We’re in front of the dramatic shifts the utilities industry is experiencing, providing new technologies that meet the needs of our customers as they navigate this changing landscape,” said Rodger Smith, general manager and senior vice president for Oracle Utilities. “We’re committed to innovation, and to providing cloud solutions that make operational excellence a reality for electric, gas and water utilities worldwide.”

The solution can be added to Oracle Utilities Work and Asset Cloud Service and Oracle Utilities Meter Data Analytics Cloud Service or used as a stand-alone solution depending on a utility’s requirements.

More here.


2nd Annual MiFID II for Energy and Commodity Firms

Energy trading and commodity firms across Europe are currently scrambling to deal with the implications of the MiFID II regulation. This marcus evans event will focus on how to obtain the crucial ancillary activity exception, but also what to do if this is not obtained in order to remain a profitable organisation. It will also illuminate the current rules on position limits and hoe they will affect firms in practice while shedding light and clarifying the new market structure under MiFID II. The event will take place in London, UK the 20th-21st of November 2017.

Attending this premier marcus evans conference will enable you to:
• Understand the technicalities surrounding the ancillary exception and what it requires you to demonstrate
• Hear what kinds of plans can be made should your firm not obtain the exception
• Gain clarity on the rules for position limits and how they will affect you in practice
• Obtain clarity on the new market structure under MiFID II: SIs, MTFs, and OTFs

Learn from Key Practical Case Studies
OMV explore the definition of hedges under MiFID II
FCA engage on the outcomes of RTS21
• BNP Paribas explain the realities of the new market structure, including Sis

Expert Speaker Panel includes:
• Dr.Josef Bogensperger, Principle Risk Manager, Verbund
• Jasper Jorritsma, Senior Policy Advisor, Autoriteit Financiele Markten
• Nikos Triantafyllidis, Group Financial and Energy Markets Compliance Manager, OMV
• Paul Willis, Technical Specialist-Commodities/ Derivative Markets/Markets Division, FCA
• Gerd Stuhlmacher, Director of Legal and Compliance, Uniper

For more information, please visit the event website: https://goo.gl/mFjBhY
or contact Melini Hadjitheori at melinih@marcusevanscy.com

Germany moving ahead with smart meter rollout plans

In Germany, evolving energy policies and changing consumer preferences are leading to a fundamental shift in grid operations. Distributed energy resources (DER), including renewable energies, lie at the centre of this transition and are driving countries like Germany to explore integration solutions that can mitigate the associated disruptive effects.


The development of smart grid infrastructure is critical for countries attempting to manage the transition to a decentralised and digital grid. In Germany, evolving energy policies and changing consumer preferences are leading to this fundamental shift in grid operations. Distributed energy resources (DER), including renewable energies, lie at the centre of this transition and are driving countries like Germany to explore integration solutions that can mitigate the associated disruptive effects. Deploying advanced metering infrastructure can be seen as the first step in this process, as it provides German energy producers and consumers with the requisite information for balancing the energy supply system while also establishing a secure communications platform for current and future smart grid technologies.

While Germany has made remarkable strides in its pursuits of renewable power generation, the country has fallen behind some of its Western European counterparts in the deployment of smart grid technologies, most notably smart meters. Up until now, Germany has been largely hesitant to install high volumes of smart meters, wary of the costs, technical challenges, and a host of data security concerns. After years of intense debate, the tides are now beginning to turn with the passage of the Digitisation of the Energy Turnaround Act in July 2016. This legislation establishes guidelines for Germany’s initial minimalistic smart meter rollout set to begin in 2017 and lays the groundwork for a new phase in Energiewende, the country’s ultimate energy transition.

Why implement smart meters now?

Driven by Energiewende, Germany has been progressively shifting its energy mix away from centralised generation and aims to fill 80% of its energy demand with renewables like solar and wind by 2050. This fundamental restructuring of the energy supply system can lead to a number of integration challenges – including voltage instability, bidirectional power, power quality, capacity constraints, over-utilisation (damage to existing asset base), and load levelling/peak shifting. Deploying smart meters can help mitigate these issues by establishing a secure communications network over which information on energy production and consumption can be shared. This dissemination of information can provide further visibility into the energy supply system and enables grid operators more flexibility in reacting to current grid conditions. This enhanced flexibility and visibility is a core element of effective DER integration and is central to Germany’s planned smart meter rollout.

More here.


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