The State Grid Corporation of China Is Running a Smart-Grid Project Using Passive Optical Networking Technology | MIT Technology Review

As well as making the grid more reliable and efficient, the technology could deliver high-speed Internet, TV, and telephony.


hina has begun testing smart-grid technology that could eventually be deployed nationwide to make the delivery of electricity more reliable and efficient. It might also serve as a way to deliver high-speed Internet, TV, and telephony to the farthest reaches of the country.

The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is running the smart-grid project using passive optical networking (PON) technology—a high-bandwidth data wiring that can be run inside electric power cables without interference. Around 86,000 premises in China have so far been connected to the grid; if the project goes nationwide, it would cost around $2 billion to deploy.

Smart grids use computer networking to let utilities monitor everything from electricity use in customers’ homes to the performance of generators at power stations in real time. The concept has gained much attention in the United States but has been slow to catch on. This is partly because regional utilities have different ideas about how to best connect the last mile of the smart grid to users’ homes, says Rajit Gadh, a professor in UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Hertz and IBM Launch Smart Microgrid for Electric Car-Sharing | TPM Idea Lab
IBM’s Ehningen Innovation Center campus in Germany is about to become ground zero for the development of an advanced personal transportation system that combines Hertz’s car sharing know-how with distributed renewable energy, electric vehicles and smart microgrid technology.
The new system, announced earlier this week, will piggyback on an existing car sharing agreement between the Ehningen campus and nearby Stuttgart Airport, through Hertz’s online self-service renting portal.
The new field test illustrates IBM’s accelerating embrace of renewable energy and electric vehicle technology. Last month, Idea Lab reported that IBM has been developing an advanced lithium-air battery that could be instrumental in lowering the retail price of electric vehicles.
The Ehningen test dovetails with IBM’s EV battery research and with its participation in the EDISON research consortium, which the company joined in 2009. EDISON is a Denmark-based project (it stands for Electric Vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated Market using Sustainable Energy and Open Networks) designed to build a pathway to mass market use of electric vehicles.

Hertz and IBM Launch Smart Microgrid for Electric Car-Sharing | TPM Idea Lab

IBM’s Ehningen Innovation Center campus in Germany is about to become ground zero for the development of an advanced personal transportation system that combines Hertz’s car sharing know-how with distributed renewable energy, electric vehicles and smart microgrid technology.

The new system, announced earlier this week, will piggyback on an existing car sharing agreement between the Ehningen campus and nearby Stuttgart Airport, through Hertz’s online self-service renting portal.

The new field test illustrates IBM’s accelerating embrace of renewable energy and electric vehicle technology. Last month, Idea Lab reported that IBM has been developing an advanced lithium-air battery that could be instrumental in lowering the retail price of electric vehicles.

The Ehningen test dovetails with IBM’s EV battery research and with its participation in the EDISON research consortium, which the company joined in 2009. EDISON is a Denmark-based project (it stands for Electric Vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated Market using Sustainable Energy and Open Networks) designed to build a pathway to mass market use of electric vehicles.

World’s First City-Wide White Space Network Launched - Tech Europe - WSJ
The world’s first city-wide white-space network has been unveiled today in Cambridge, England.
Neul, which has been part of a trial of the technology in Cambridge, said the trial had been a success. According to Glenn Collinson, Neul’s co-founder, the company was moving to a pre-commercial phase this year with a view to a full commercial roll out in 2013. “The network is aimed squarely at ‘the Internet of things’ applications, machine to machine communication,” he said. “We see a whole host of things being enabled by this in smart cities.”
White space is the unused and underused parts of the wireless spectrum. For example, around the world many TV channels are left vacant in most locations. One of the issues had been whether there would be interference in the remaining TV frequencies. The trial established it was possible to keep them apart.
Other potential uses of the freed-up spectrum was as an alternative way of providing mobile broadband connectivity. Mr. Collinson said this was not on offer.
One of the first uses of the network will be smart electricity meters. This is the first step toward smart electricity grids that will allow electricity supply to be matched more efficiently to real-time demand.
“We see that as the first of many smart applications, starting in Cambridge, but spreading out to other cities.” Mr. Collinson would not say which cities were next, but did say there would be announcements about a city in North America and one in Asia.

World’s First City-Wide White Space Network Launched - Tech Europe - WSJ

The world’s first city-wide white-space network has been unveiled today in Cambridge, England.

Neul, which has been part of a trial of the technology in Cambridge, said the trial had been a success. According to Glenn Collinson, Neul’s co-founder, the company was moving to a pre-commercial phase this year with a view to a full commercial roll out in 2013. “The network is aimed squarely at ‘the Internet of things’ applications, machine to machine communication,” he said. “We see a whole host of things being enabled by this in smart cities.”

White space is the unused and underused parts of the wireless spectrum. For example, around the world many TV channels are left vacant in most locations. One of the issues had been whether there would be interference in the remaining TV frequencies. The trial established it was possible to keep them apart.

Other potential uses of the freed-up spectrum was as an alternative way of providing mobile broadband connectivity. Mr. Collinson said this was not on offer.

One of the first uses of the network will be smart electricity meters. This is the first step toward smart electricity grids that will allow electricity supply to be matched more efficiently to real-time demand.

“We see that as the first of many smart applications, starting in Cambridge, but spreading out to other cities.” Mr. Collinson would not say which cities were next, but did say there would be announcements about a city in North America and one in Asia.

'Smart' cities aim to predict — and manage — traffic future | Greenbang
The “internet of things,” as the smart grid is often called, entails  making our lives, homes and cities more efficient by connecting all the  pieces with networking technology and applying advanced strategies like  “big data” analytics to better understand how all the pieces interact.
The analogy to the computing internet, though, isn’t entirely  applicable. For one, the internet of things is aimed not only at making  our systems work better and smarter, but to actually help predict the  future.
Consider that bane of metropolitan motorists everywhere, for example:  the city traffic jam. Where the traditional response has been to build  new roads, expand mass transit or institute congestion pricing, smart  technology aims to help predict bottlenecks before they occur and manage  traffic accordingly to prevent jams.
Look at what IBM is currently doing in the Chinese city of Zhenjiang.  Using its Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities, Big Blue  aims to help the city of three million use analytics to not only enable real-time bus monitoring and management, but to simulate traffic flow patterns ahead of time.  By anticipating traffic problems before they happen, IBM’s Intelligent  Transportation technology is designed to improve the city’s public  transit system and “increase traffic throughput” … in other words, make  it possible for more traffic to flow through streets without the need to  build more roads or otherwise radically change the existing  infrastructure.
“(W)e will make our public transportation system faster and more  efficient, while making our city a better place to live in,” said  Mingnian Yin, director of Zhenjiang’s Reform Commission.

'Smart' cities aim to predict — and manage — traffic future | Greenbang

The “internet of things,” as the smart grid is often called, entails making our lives, homes and cities more efficient by connecting all the pieces with networking technology and applying advanced strategies like “big data” analytics to better understand how all the pieces interact.

The analogy to the computing internet, though, isn’t entirely applicable. For one, the internet of things is aimed not only at making our systems work better and smarter, but to actually help predict the future.

Consider that bane of metropolitan motorists everywhere, for example: the city traffic jam. Where the traditional response has been to build new roads, expand mass transit or institute congestion pricing, smart technology aims to help predict bottlenecks before they occur and manage traffic accordingly to prevent jams.

Look at what IBM is currently doing in the Chinese city of Zhenjiang. Using its Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities, Big Blue aims to help the city of three million use analytics to not only enable real-time bus monitoring and management, but to simulate traffic flow patterns ahead of time. By anticipating traffic problems before they happen, IBM’s Intelligent Transportation technology is designed to improve the city’s public transit system and “increase traffic throughput” … in other words, make it possible for more traffic to flow through streets without the need to build more roads or otherwise radically change the existing infrastructure.

“(W)e will make our public transportation system faster and more efficient, while making our city a better place to live in,” said Mingnian Yin, director of Zhenjiang’s Reform Commission.

The upsides and downsides to the business of building the smart grid — GigaOM
Now that smart-grid network leader Silver Spring Networks has filed for an IPO,  some of the economics of selling a wireless network and connected  devices to utilities becomes a little more clear. No joke, folks, it’s a  difficult business to be in. But at the same time, when a company like  Silver Spring starts scoring over a dozen utilities deals, the payout  can be huge — just rather delayed.
Upsides
Big deals. A pipeline of utility deals, which  involve installing hundreds of thousands of wireless connected devices,  can lead to hundreds of millions in revenues. For the first quarter of  2011, Silver Spring generated $46.69 million, and for all of 2010, it  recorded $70.22 million. But because utility deals take awhile to record  as official revenue, Silver Spring actually says that as of March 31,  2011, it has $422.2 million in deferred revenue — essentially revenue it  has billed utilities but hasn’t been able to declare as revenue.
The herd. Utilities are not usually early adopters  and tend to do what their utility peers are doing. That’s good news for a  company that has been wracking up deals like Silver Spring, because  once you score a few big ones, the others will follow. Silver Spring  names a dozen commercial utility customers and another ten utility pilot  customers in its filing. The bulk of Silver Spring’s current revenues  are coming from Florida Power & Light, PG&E and Modesto  Irrigation District, which means there’s another almost two dozen deals  that could be supplying Silver Spring with revenue over the years (and  that’s not counting future customers that Silver Spring signs up).

The upsides and downsides to the business of building the smart grid — GigaOM

Now that smart-grid network leader Silver Spring Networks has filed for an IPO, some of the economics of selling a wireless network and connected devices to utilities becomes a little more clear. No joke, folks, it’s a difficult business to be in. But at the same time, when a company like Silver Spring starts scoring over a dozen utilities deals, the payout can be huge — just rather delayed.

Upsides

Big deals. A pipeline of utility deals, which involve installing hundreds of thousands of wireless connected devices, can lead to hundreds of millions in revenues. For the first quarter of 2011, Silver Spring generated $46.69 million, and for all of 2010, it recorded $70.22 million. But because utility deals take awhile to record as official revenue, Silver Spring actually says that as of March 31, 2011, it has $422.2 million in deferred revenue — essentially revenue it has billed utilities but hasn’t been able to declare as revenue.

The herd. Utilities are not usually early adopters and tend to do what their utility peers are doing. That’s good news for a company that has been wracking up deals like Silver Spring, because once you score a few big ones, the others will follow. Silver Spring names a dozen commercial utility customers and another ten utility pilot customers in its filing. The bulk of Silver Spring’s current revenues are coming from Florida Power & Light, PG&E and Modesto Irrigation District, which means there’s another almost two dozen deals that could be supplying Silver Spring with revenue over the years (and that’s not counting future customers that Silver Spring signs up).

The smart grid promises to bring a number of benefits to both consumers and utilities in the coming years—things like intelligent off-peak appliance use; real-time metering; and customer education on efficiency and conservation. But bringing that kind of experience to fruition is still a work in progress, with some of the blame being placed on utility companies for not being agile enough when it comes to security, interconnectivity, and the like.

 A Way to Make the Smart Grid Smarter - Technology Review
Smart Transformer: A prototype of a smart solid-state transformer from the Electric Power Research Institute. It’s smaller and more versatile than today’s transformers. The module on the left converts high-voltage alternating current from the grid to direct current. On the right is an inverter that converts that power to the 120-volt AC that comes out of standard wall outlets. To the right of the outlets are two more power interfaces, one for 240-volt AC power and one for 400-volt DC. Credit: EPRI
New semiconductor-based devices for managing power on the grid could make the “smart grid” even smarter. They would allow electric vehicles to be charged fast and let utilities incorporate large amounts of solar and wind power without blackouts or power surges. These devices are being developed by a number of groups, including those that recently received funding from the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) and the National Science Foundation.

 A Way to Make the Smart Grid Smarter - Technology Review

Smart Transformer: A prototype of a smart solid-state transformer from the Electric Power Research Institute. It’s smaller and more versatile than today’s transformers. The module on the left converts high-voltage alternating current from the grid to direct current. On the right is an inverter that converts that power to the 120-volt AC that comes out of standard wall outlets. To the right of the outlets are two more power interfaces, one for 240-volt AC power and one for 400-volt DC. 
Credit: EPRI

New semiconductor-based devices for managing power on the grid could make the “smart grid” even smarter. They would allow electric vehicles to be charged fast and let utilities incorporate large amounts of solar and wind power without blackouts or power surges. These devices are being developed by a number of groups, including those that recently received funding from the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) and the National Science Foundation.

ecardona:

i2O: An Intelligent Grid For Water Systems That Could Save Millions Of Gallons
Bringing our utilities up to date and improving local adjustments (like reverse charge from solar panels, grid-independent entities, and so on) is essential to keep our cities operating at peak efficiency. Sounds a bit robotic, I know, but the fact is that as cities worldwide grow denser and larger, existing municipal utility management systems simply aren’t going to cut it.

ecardona:

i2O: An Intelligent Grid For Water Systems That Could Save Millions Of Gallons

Bringing our utilities up to date and improving local adjustments (like reverse charge from solar panels, grid-independent entities, and so on) is essential to keep our cities operating at peak efficiency. Sounds a bit robotic, I know, but the fact is that as cities worldwide grow denser and larger, existing municipal utility management systems simply aren’t going to cut it.

(via ecardona)

Poll: Americans Are Willing to Make Energy Sacrifices for a Better Future | Fast Company
In a recent national survey commissioned by GE, 79% of those polled said they would adjust their energy consumption habits and behaviors in the short term to ensure bigger changes in the long-term—most likely because 72% of respondents believe that their energy use can directly harm the country’s economic growth. As part of their commitment to change, 88% of those polled said they would be willing to use a smart device like a smart meter, thermostat, or smart appliance.

Poll: Americans Are Willing to Make Energy Sacrifices for a Better Future | Fast Company In a recent national survey commissioned by GE, 79% of those polled said they would adjust their energy consumption habits and behaviors in the short term to ensure bigger changes in the long-term—most likely because 72% of respondents believe that their energy use can directly harm the country’s economic growth. As part of their commitment to change, 88% of those polled said they would be willing to use a smart device like a smart meter, thermostat, or smart appliance.

IBM  launches Power7 chip, systems | Nanotech - The Circuits Blog - CNET News
IBM is launching its long-anticipated Power7 processor and systems based on the chip.  The processor is a big step for IBM, integrating eight processing cores in one chip package, with each core capable of executing four tasks—called “threads”—turning an individual chip into a virtual 32-core processor. As a yardstick, Intel’s high-end Xeon processors—systems that Power7 will compete with—typically have two threads per processing core. Blg Blue has already tipped its hand on the Power7 chip in discussions about its upcoming Blue Water supercomputer.

IBM launches Power7 chip, systems | Nanotech - The Circuits Blog - CNET News

IBM is launching its long-anticipated Power7 processor and systems based on the chip.  The processor is a big step for IBM, integrating eight processing cores in one chip package, with each core capable of executing four tasks—called “threads”—turning an individual chip into a virtual 32-core processor. As a yardstick, Intel’s high-end Xeon processors—systems that Power7 will compete with—typically have two threads per processing core. Blg Blue has already tipped its hand on the Power7 chip in discussions about its upcoming Blue Water supercomputer.

Visualizing The U.S. Electric Grid : NPR
The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines. Aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption, has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation’s electrical systems.

Visualizing The U.S. Electric Grid : NPR

The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines. Aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption, has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation’s electrical systems.