Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cisco joins Smart Grid bandwagon launches Smart Grid products

The IT networking giant Cisco has recently launched router and grid switch for the Utility companies to deploy Smart Grid networks. The Cisco Smart Grid products, Connected Grid Router (CGR 2010) and Connected Grid Switch (CGS 2520) are based on IP technology. Cisco has been building IP based products for IT since its inception and have strong expertise in this domain. Cisco has identified Smart Grid as its focus area and CEO John Chambers mentioned that Smart Grid represents bigger opportunity than Internet. It has created Smart Grid ecosystem  to develop partnership with Smart Grid stakeholders and to tap the $ 20 billion opportunity, Chambers further elaborated it has "unlimited" budget for Smart Grid .The company plans to provide products and services for substations automation, managing distributed energy resources, and home and business energy management. The networking giant already has energy metering and network management tools like EnergyWise and Network Building Mediator. It has partnered with utility companies like Duke energy and  Florida Power & Light (USA), Yellostrom (Germany), and Enmax (Canada). 

For Utilities companies, a robust partner with deep pockets and strong expertise in networking means less risk in managing advance smart energy distribution system. The new products are already being tested by  E.oN Westfalen Weser (Germany), Enel (Italy & Spain) and Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric (US). According to Cisco, These products are “ruggedized” for electric network and can withstand high and low temperature, detect network outages, and can integrate renewables.Cisco's Senior VP Laura Ipsen mentioned that Cisco is looking at the entire Smart Grid ecosystem as a potential market and emerging countries like India and China represent huge market opportunity for them. Cisco's competitor in this domain are smaller companies like SmartSynch and Silver Spring.

Sources :  Earth2Tech

Thursday, May 20, 2010

India to set up Smart Grid Task Force

The Government of India has decided to set up Smart Grid task force under the chairmanship of Sam Pitroda. Pitroda serves as an adviser  on Innovation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. According to Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister of Power, the task force will be an inter-ministerial group which will be the focal point for all Smart Grid related activities. The experts associated with the process mentioned that the Smart Grid will also include dynamic pricing mechanism just like it is going to be implemented in advanced countries like USA. However, it is  very early to say that such features will be available as India is not mature market like Europe or USA.  The immediate benefit will be reduction in T&D losses and power theft. The information about energy usage will be available per second per home, hence energy will  be effectively managed for its optimum utilization.

Experts at IPMT indicated Smart Grid will be established by networking the entire power distribution network through IT infrastructure. While developing Smart Grid policy, the task force also needs to keep in mind about privacy concerns of the users as well as security of the grid.

The project is already being tested under the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP) on the pilot bases. Though R-APDRP may be the early version of Smart Grid, It won't be Smart Grid until all the components of Smart Grid are included. 

"A few well-thought smart grid pilots are envisaged under R-APDRP to validate the technology in Indian conditions and explore the possibility of leapfrogging," Shinde said.