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Fresh news on smart grid, IoT and green technologies

Silver Spring Networks announces bew SilverLink Sensor Network™ customers, partners, and applications

DistribuTECH, Silver Spring Networks, Inc. showcased how the ground-­breaking SilverLinkTM Sensor Network is helping unlock smart grid big data to enable utilities of the future, including new engagements with industry Florida Power & Light, The Hongkong Electric Company, Limited (HK Electric), and Pepco Holdings, Inc.

These global, along with existing customers, such as Consumers Energy, are leveraging the SilverLink Sensor Network to draw on the massive volumes of smart grid big data for innovative new services including customer engagement, load disaggregation, real­‐time voltage management, network management, and dynamic applications at the edge.

Today Silver Spring also announced:

• the expansion of the SilverLink App Catalog to include two new application suites: the Customer Engagement App Suite and the Grid Operations App Suite.

• two new third-­party software partners – EnergySavvy and Gridium – as Silver Spring continues to expand the SilverLink Partner Programme.

Earlier this year, Silver Spring announced the acquisition of Detectent, a recognised in utility analytics solutions that help improve advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and utility grid operations, ensure revenue protection, and deliver enhanced customer engagement programms. The SilverLink Sensor Network unlocks and accelerates data from any sensor network to fuel any application at up to 10x the speed and 1/10th the cost of traditional utility IT infrastructure.

More here.

IoT Data Model Fills a Gap

The IPSO Alliance is making freely available a data model for creating interoperable smart objects geared for systems and software that are part of the Internet of Things.

Technology for the Internet of Things is rapidly being developed and deployed using low-power physical networks such as 802.15.4 (Zigbee and Thread), low-power Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth Smart. The Internet Protocol (IP) layer has been extended to low-power and constrained devices through 6LowPAN, and through IP networking layers which are being developed for Zigbee and Bluetooth Smart. High level transport protocols and application layer support over IP are now available using several communication standards such as HTTP, CoAP, MQTT, and XMPP.

These standards enable reuse of network technology by providing common connectivity and IP protocol compatibility. What they don’t provide is end-to-end interoperability between the devices themselves and the application software that manages and uses the devices. The result is vertically integrated systems that don’t allow easy third-party integration of devices and applications from different vendors. A level of interoperability is achieved only at the expense of tight vendor integration with specific partners. We need a common data model that can be used to enable diverse applications to communicate with diverse devices over diverse transport and application protocols.

The IPSO Smart Objects for IoT aims to fill the gap with a consistent and reusable data model for use between devices and application software. This data model defines a set of data types and API structures that can be used across device types to enable them to interoperate with diverse application software components.

More here.

GE to offer retrofits for some older appliances to render them smarter

GE Appliances (a subsidiary that General Electric agreed to sell to Sweden’s Electrolux in September 2014) is sending out 20,000 bolt-on Wi-Fi modules to owners of recent-vintage GE-brand refrigerators. This is a rather expansive pilot project that GE is undertaking in collaboration with startup Wink, with a view to getting these older appliances on speaking terms with the latter’s connected-home hubs, including the Wink Relay.

ge refrigerator retrofit

This GE document shows the location of the RJ-45 connector on some GE refrigerators.

The GE Connect box, as its known, is compatible with select models of GE refrigerators sold after 2009. It’s a Wi-Fi module that’s designed to plug into the RJ45 connector found on these appliances.

The presence of an ethernet connector indicates that the models covered under the program aren’t entirely “dumb;” in fact, GE at one time manufactured a “demand response module” that could be added to certain models of its refrigerators. When triggered by a local utility in response to high demand on the electrical grid, the module would automatically reduce the refrigerator’s energy consumption.

Independently, the maker community came up with a hardware adapter and Linux-based software package—collectively known as the Green Bean—that enables a simple computer such as a Raspberry Pi to connect to and control a range of GE appliances that are equipped with Ethernet ports—not just refrigerators.

More here.

Schneider Electric Unveils Wiser Air; Makes Move into Thinking Thermostat Market

Schneider Electric today made its big move into the thinking thermostat market, with release of Wiser Air, a demand-response friendly device meant to increase interaction between utilities and their customers.

Announced at DistribuTech 2015 in San Diego, Wiser Air adds to the fast-growing list of products in the smart home market, which has also attracted players like Google, Apple and Samsung.  The energy management side of that market, alone, is growing by 25 percent annually and is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2019, up from $393.8 million in 2012, according to Transparency Market Research.

The newest smart thermostats offer energy management well beyond that of their ancestor, the programmable thermostat.  Wiser Air, for example,  is designed to make it easy for homeowners and small businesses to participate in demand response events and interact with their utility in real-time. It is part of Schneider’s larger Wiser home energy management portfolio.

Schneider has been talking up the thermostat for several months, with an eye toward catching the attention of utilities and builders who may offer it to their customers. Utilities and grid operators for years have argued that it is necessary to reduce peak use by consumers — especially on hottest and coldest days — to ease the cost of operating the U.S. power system.

“Residential energy use is the key contributor to peak load situations. Consumers have indicated their willingness to participate in programs that help these peaking problems, and are even starting to demand tools and engagement from their utilities which afford them more control and convenience,” said Yann Kulp, vice president of residential energy solutions, Schneider Electric. “Wiser Air gives utility customers the tools to make minor lifestyle adjustments that collectively produce a major impact on grid operations.”

More here.

SMi Group Release Agenda for Smart Water Systems 2015

SMi group are delighted to announce that registration is now live to attend the 4th annual Smart Water Systems conference taking place on the 29th & 30th April 2015 at Marriott Regents Park, London, UK.

SMi have worked closely with a leading panel of experts such as Thames Water, Consumer Council for Water, Envisager, Viten, Scottish Water, OFWAT and Southern Water, to create an agenda that will provide unique insight into topics such as leakage management, customer engagement, innovation, plus much more.

The 4th instalment in the sell-out series will ask key questions such as: What can we learn from smart water experiences in the UK? How are Thames Water pioneering smart water? How can we use data to educate customers and reduce leakage? How can we prepare against emerging threats to critical control systems? What are the cost realities of Smart Water – how realistic are the rewards? What challenges does a fragmented smart water market create and how do we integrate? What are some innovative ways of retaining customer trust? What is the future?


  • Frederick Harry Royan, Vice President, Global Environment Practice, Frost & Sullivan – Conference Chair
  • Andrew Tucker, Water Efficiency Manager, Thames Water
  • Martin Hall, Metering Technology Manager, Thames Water
  • Tony Smith, Chief Executive, Consumer Council for Water
  • Dr David Lloyd Owen, Managing Director, Envisager
  • Erick Oostermeyer, Co-ordinator SW4EU, Vitens
  • Mike Piccalo, Director of Industrial Security, Waterfall

A brochure is available to download online at http://www.smi-online.co.uk/goto/2015smartwater27.asp

For those who are interested in attending there is currently a £100 discount available which expires end of February.

For further information and to register visit http://www.smi-online.co.uk/goto/2015smartwater27.asp


Smart Water Systems
29th – 30th April 2015
Marriott Hotel, Regents Park, London UK
Sponsors: Arad and Waterfall Security Solutions
Official Partners: British Water, CIWEM and SBWWI


About SMi Group:

Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the worlds most forward thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk

Smart Energy Analytics 2015 | 6/7 May 2015 | London

Smart Energy Analytics 2015
Date: Wednesday 06 May 2015 – Thursday 07 May 2015
Location: London, UK

ACI’s Smart Energy Analytics 2015 will be taking place in London, UK, on 6th – 7th May 2015.  The two day event will bring together key industry stakeholders from the utilities industry, software providers, TSO’s & DSO’s, technology providers, data & analytics experts, consultants, metering experts and asset & security managers to discuss the adoption of big data management & analytics to optimize Business Intelligence.

Key Topics Include

  • Asset Management & Maintenance
  • Optimising Operations
  • Customer Analytics
  • Integrating Analytics
  • Utilities Case Studies
  • Business Strategies
  • Enhance Security: Privacy & Cyber Security

Confirmed Speakers

  • Frans CampfensSenior Business Architect – Asset ManagementAlliander
  • Signe Bramming AndersenManager Energy ManagementDONG Energy
  • Jesper Vinther Christensen Director, Managing Consultant, Similix & Consulting Architect - DONG EnergySmart Grid Program
  • Jennifer PotterEnterprise Performance Data Manager, SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District)
  • Johan Ander, Program Manager, Fortum
  • Carles Campos, Fleet Performance Analyst, Vattenfall
  • Jennifer Woodruff, Low Carbon and Innovation Engineer, Western Power Distribution
  • Tabitha Crawford, SVP Sustainability & Innovation, Balfour Beatty Investments
  • Alain BollackDirectorErnst & Young

Call for Papers

If you would like to be considered as a speaker for the event with a 30-45 minute presentation, please submit an abstract for consideration to:

Adam Doran
Tel: +44 (0)20 3141 0624
Email: adoran@acieu.net

Who Will Attend?

Big data and analytics software providers, utilities companies, TSO’s, DSO’s,  technology and innovation directors, technical  directors, asset and security managers, IT architects, CRM/ customer service executives, metering experts, renewable energy experts, system engineers, consultants, strategic project managers and smart grids managers.

Further Information & Registration
Rohan Baryah
Tel: +48 61 646 7022
Email: rbaryah@acieu.net

Google Breaks Ground in Demand Response

So you just installed a Nest Learning Thermostat, one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market.  You synced it with your smart phone and tablet, and now you’re ready to watch the savings roll in.  Not only can you control the temperature of your home from just about anywhere, you may also have the ability to take advantage of a new program that can earn you a little extra dough.

Google has slowly been stepping out onto the energy scene with its acquisition of Nest Labs, its partial ownership of the Ivanpah solar array, and now, its Nest Rush Hour Rewards Program.  Some may not realize why Google is branching out in this direction, but I’ll tell you why.  Energy efficiency and home automation are taking off!

Nest owners now have the option to participate in an automated residential demand response (DR) program.  I know what you’re thinking: What the whaaat?

Allow me to explain.

Think back to the last time you were stuck in rush hour traffic.  Aside from the thunderous obscenities you shouted, what do you remember?  Congested roadways, sluggish movement, and no one getting anywhere fast enough.  Now take that same concept and apply it to the electric grid.

During some of the hottest days of the year, everyone demands more energy to stay cool.  Consequently, the grid becomes clogged, making it difficult for utilities to distribute enough electricity in order to meet the needs of their customers.  That’s where demand response programs make their appearance.

When a situation like this occurs, the grid operator calls for an “event,” signaling DR providers to contact program participants and request a temporary reduction of their energy consumption.  With enough reduction, the electric grid’s congested “traffic” disappears, and energy travels freely, avoiding damaging blackouts to the community.

Demand response programs were typically restricted to large businesses or organizations that consume a significant amount of electricity on a daily basis.  These days, residents are getting in on the action as well.

Nest owners have an added convenience.  When a DR event is triggered, their thermostats can automatically adjust for energy reduction.  That means no more running home to turn down your A.C., no more forgetting when to turn it down, and no more having to look up how long it needs to be adjusted.  Nest will take care of everything, leaving you more time to think about the details of your upcoming dinner party.

More here.

Monnit Releases New, Value-Priced International Cellular Gateways for Wireless Sensors

Monnit Corporation (www.monnit.com) announced today the release of new International M2M cellular gateways for wireless sensors. In order to meet the needs of International customers, Monnit is introducing new, low-cost International Cellular Gateways. The gateways feature 3G (GSM/UMTS) or 2G (GSM/GPRS) cellular technologies, allowing for operation on a majority of the world’s leading cellular networks.

Monnit cellular gateways are designed to communicate with the iMonnit™ Online Monitoring and Notification System via cellular transmission, making them the perfect solution for remote locations or where existing internet connections are not available. They are also available with battery backup, allowing for up to 24 hours of continuous operation in the event of a power outage.

Monnit International cellular gateway features:

  • Available technologies; 3G (GSM/UMTS) or 2G (GSM/GPRS)
  • Available wireless sensor frequencies; 900, 868 and 433 MHz
  • Support for various cellular carriers
  • LED status indicators
  • Remote software upgrade capability
  • 50,000 sensor message memory
  • Optional 24 hour battery backup in event of power loss
  • AC power supply

Monnit International Cellular Gateways are designed to support up to 100 Monnit Wireless Sensors, which are capable of detecting and monitoring functions that are critical to business operations, including: temperature, humidity, water, light, access, movement and much more. Monnit’s wireless gateways transmit data between local sensor networks and iMonnit, the online data monitoring system, which aggregates sensor information and sends notifications via text or email if user defined conditions are met or exceeded.

More here.

EPRI Unveils Open-Source Demand Response Software Designed to Help Appliances and Devices Respond to Changes in Grid

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) unveiled demand response software today that would provide a common way for devices and appliances on the electric grid to respond automatically to changes in price, weather, and demand for power, a process called automated demand response (ADR).

ADR makes it possible to translate changes in wholesale markets to corresponding changes in retail rates. It helps system operators reduce the operating costs of demand response (DR) programs while increasing its resource reliability. For customers, ADR can reduce the cost of electricity by eliminating the resources and effort required to achieve successful results from DR programs.

The EPRI ADR software was certified by the OpenADR Alliance, an organization of stakeholders that fosters the development, adoption, and compliance of the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) standard through collaboration, education, training, testing, and certification.

“Release of this software is a critical step in developing open, interoperable standards that will facilitate the emerging integrated grid,” said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of Power Delivery and Utilization at EPRI. “Making this software freely available to the industry will accelerate the adoption of standards-based demand response.” The EPRI integrated grid concept envisions a robust electricity grid that effectively integrates distributed energy resources – ranging from rooftop solar to demand response.

The software was developed by a collaborative that included American Electric Power, California Independent System Operator, Électricité de France S.A., ESB Networks Ltd. (Ireland), Kansas City Power and Light Company, New York Independent System Operator, The Southern Company, and Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.

EPRI guided the development of the software to accelerate the adoption of OpenADR, to validate its specifications, and to provide another way to enable the creation of new products and services that use demand response to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of operating the electric grid.

More information about the software is available at:




More here.

Wattics to launch new Measurement & Verification tool in Milan in 2015

Wattics, the leading Energy Management software company based in Dublin, Ireland, are launching their new Measurement and Verification tool and Partnership Program on the 20th January, at ESCO-Europe, Europe’s largest ESCO-focused annual platform. Wattics is sponsoring ESCO Europe 2015 and Antonio Ruzzelli, Wattics CEO, will also be speaking at the event about energy analytics and the benefit for ESCos of any size.

The M&V tool is designed for energy professionals in charge of delivering White Certificates and energy/carbon credits using IPMVP certification. The advancement of this tool provides a service, which accelerates the conversion of energy savings projects into monetary benefits.

The concept behind the new M&V tool is to revolutionise the way ESCO companies conduct their projects, streamlining their energy conservation projects, achieving more energy savings, identifying which projects are the most viable from a financial point of view, so to ensure seamless and profitable energy performance contracting. The immense benefits of the Wattics M&V tool for ESCO companies include abandoning complex excel files, locating all data and documents in one central place online, simplifying projects management with a step-by-step adjustable IPMVP compliant process, and importing data from existing energy management solutions directly from the user’s interface.

A unique advantage of the Wattics automated M&V tool combined with the Wattics Sentinel Self-learning energy analytics engine is on one hand the versatility to automatically import any meter data and other relevant non-energy data used develop the regression model, and on the other hand the valuable automatic learning process that goes on continuously, which alert the operator if there are unexpected factors or issues that may compromise the saving project. This is a major step forward towards the management of saving projects as many ESCO partners using the system have stated.

Antonio Ruzzelli, Wattics CEO, states: “We are absolutely thrilled to empower our Energy Professional Partners and we are continuously looking for new ones that are willing to stand out from the mass, to deliver exceptional energy efficiency services, to make a difference in this market.

We are extremely excited about the launch of our unique automated M&V Tool and we have developed a simple and straightforward way of integrating partner’s data into our analytics engine and dashboard. Today, we offer one the best cloud-based energy platforms at the most competitive subscription tariff in the market.

However, it is important to contact Wattics before starting your energy saving projects to be sure the right parameters are taken before and after the conservation measures. Once the client sees the monetary benefits achieved and the potential to achieve more, the client requests the system to be installed permanently, as we always see.”

More here.

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