Echelon announces two micro grid deployments in India and South Africa
Apr 09, 2012 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) --
Echelon Corporation has announced two micro grid deployments in India and South Africa that integrate distributed generation to compensate for disruptions in utility-supplied power.
The deployments are built on Echelon's open standard, multi-application energy control networking platform powered by its Control Operating System (COS) and incorporate application software and services from its local partners Grene Robotics and Power Meter Technics (PMT).
The micro grid deployments involve dynamically managing demand and energy supply mix for a residential community and a retail mall to deliver reliable service cost-effectively, the company said.
The model micro grid deployments are at Palm Meadows in Hyderabad, India, and Clearwater Mall in Johannesburg, South Africa. Palm Meadows is an 86-acre integrated gated community with 335 homes and residential services.
"Smart micro grids are an ideal way to integrate local generation at the community level and allow for customer participation in the electricity enterprise," said Michael Anderson, senior vice president of Worldwide Markets for Echelon.
"Micro grids sit at the edge of the smart grid and provide real-time analysis, decision making and control. The Palm Meadows and Clearwater Mall deployments are great examples of how Echelon's commitment to leading the worldwide transformation of the electricity grid into an energy control network can foster market innovation. The concepts demonstrated in India and South Africa can be replicated worldwide to improve power reliability and to integrate energy efficiency solutions as well as renewable generation."
The Palm Meadows community ties into the grid at a dedicated substation and sources energy in bulk from the utility. The community also runs diesel generators and will incorporate solar generation in the future.
Residences within the community are equipped with Echelon smart meters that connect into data concentrators at distribution transformers and feed near real-time usage information to Echelon's Networked Energy Systems (NES) system software.
Echelon partner Grene Robotics's Skynet management application automatically turns on local generation if utility-delivered power is inadequate. The Skynet software interfaces with the NES system software and creates a bill for the customer that reflects the customers' actual use of lower cost grid power and more expensive locally generated power.
Customers have the option of reducing usage at times when the more expensive energy is being supplied. The Palm Meadows micro grid is providing reliable service even during frequent utility grid outages and enabling the customer to make intelligent trade-offs between comfort and cost.
"When you flip that light switch, turn your television on, or boot up your computer, you expect power," said Kiran Penmatcha, CEO of Grene Robotics. "Like a national power grid, the Palm Meadows micro grid manages generation, distribution, and the regulation of the flow of electricity to its households.
"We are pleased to have helped implement a proven, open and multi-application energy control infrastructure that enables Palm Meadows to become distributors of energy within their community. Today, the community is evaluating the integration of solar generated electricity for the future. Tomorrow, the community may look to add other applications, such as outdoor lighting control on the same infrastructure."
The mall's new retail micro grid solution, based on Echelon partner PMT's Meteringonline energy management application, employs Echelon smart meters, data concentrators, and NES system software to submeter individual tenant usage, so they can pay only for their actual energy usage rather than the industry norm of paying for energy on a square footage basis.
Furthermore, tenants can opt-in to power supplied by local back-up generation when blackouts occur. PMT's Meteringonline application interfaces to Echelon's system software and reconciles usage with energy source, allocating tariffs based on actual use. The on-demand energy services allow the store owners to manage their energy usage and associated costs and maximize revenues.
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