By Liz Enbysk
SGN Managing Editor
As you might imagine, we get inundated with press releases about new smart grid technologies. We can’t do justice to all of them, but now and then try to highlight a few we think you’ll be interested in as part of our Discovery Showcase series. Below is our latest installment.
- V2G for real: San Diego-based startup Nuvve is commercially launching an interesting vehicle-to-grid technology in Denmark where the company says EV owners could earn over $10,000 for the lifetime of their car by selling excess energy stored in their EV’s battery back to the grid. With Nuvve’s aggregation platform, computers in plugged-in EVs communicate with Nuvve’s servers. The energy capacity from multiple EVs (individually owned or fleet cars) goes into a sort of virtual storage bank. When utilities need power to meet demand fluctuations, Nuvve can respond by drawing power from the stored energy in its EV network and sending it immediately to the grid. Because the EV can be programmed to meet the EV owner’s needs first, Nuvve says the possibility of a drained battery when the EV is needed is unlikely. The technology, developed at the University of Delaware by Professor Willet Kempton, now CTO of Nuvve, will be featured at the Smart Grid Applied conference coming up June 22-23 in Menlo Park, CA. Read more about what Venture Beat dubbed “the cash-back car.”
- Upping the smart grid security ante: NitroSecurity is a Portsmouth, NH company that provides security information and event management (SIEM) solutions. Noting that everything from smart meters to smart grid billing systems are potential intrusion points for attackers and that most smart grid elements were not built with direct security threats in mind, the company announced a new version of its NitroView solution with additional support for the specific smart grid devices, protocols and applications in intelligent distribution and metering, and expanded capabilities to collect and analyze the breadth and volume of smart grid data. With these increased capabilities, NitroView can monitor all three layers of utility networks – business, SCADA and smart grid. Read more about the company’s smart grid security solution.
- Rx for transmission line temperatures: After blind, scientific, third-party testing at EPRI’s high-voltage lab, Utility Risk Management Corporation (URMC) reports that its new thermal sensor, Thermal Directâ„¢, can take the guesswork out of determining transmission line temperatures. As Adam Rousselle, CEO of the Stowe, VT-based company, puts it: “This revolutionary technology will benefit the industry and consumers by more precisely defining capacity and congestion within the transmission system, assist in locating more efficient pathways from generation to the consumer load zones and reduce the cost of the fuel used to create the power itself. The most exciting aspect is that the technology is founded in empirical mathematics. The technology is transparent, accurate and timeless.” Get more details on the EPRI evaluation of ThermalDirect and its role in grid optimization.
- Your own private UFO: In the laundry list of products emerging in the home energy management space, this new one from Visible Energy caught our eye – and maybe it will have the same effect on consumers. We’ve said before the whole energy efficiency / smart grid space could use a little Disney-style magic to make it cool. Maybe Visible’s $99.99 UFO Power Center is a start. The company says the Wi-Fi enabled, four-outlet power management center can be controlled using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The UFO Power Center connects to the Wi-Fi home network and provides real-time power monitoring, as well on/off switching and timer control of up to four electrical devices. The Palo Alto, CA company is selling its UFO Power Center online.
- EV charging station stylings: When you think GE smart grid technologies, the Milan fashion scene probably doesn’t spring to mind. But the company chose Italy’s style capital for the European launch of its oh-so-classy WattStation EV charger. The WattStation is available in two versions, a free-standing version for use in cities and by businesses and a wall-mounted system for domestic use. The company says the user-friendly design also will accommodate future upgrades as more smart technology such as communication and billing options become available. Learn about the GE WattStation’s capabilities.