By Ron Melton
Imagine a hot, sweltering day. Nearly everyone is using an air conditioner to keep cool. So much energy is needed that area power plants, wind farms and rooftop solar panels are struggling to keep up.
What if the clothes drier, water heater, car charger and other electric devices in your home and office could adjust their energy use to help in situations like this? And what if temporarily adjusting how those devices operate also reduced your power bill?
Results of a 5-year, $178-million smart grid pilot project show such a scenario isn’t just a pipe dream. It’s possible – if some technical and logistical hurdles are overcome, concluded the leaders of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. Continue Reading »
By Brad Gammons
The energy grid is a 20th century engineering marvel and continues to be a core element of economic vitality for nations around the world. In order to continue to innovate, the utility industry must transform to meet the demands of new variable forms of energy and the shifting desires of how consumers use and interact with energy.
Investment is needed to transform the grid while continuing to deliver safe, reliable and cost-effective energy. This is a daunting challenge given the massive size of this infrastructure. Industry leaders are now beginning to use advanced data analytics to mine for vast amounts of data to help with this transformation. Continue Reading »
By Mark Thorsen
No matter where you look, the amount of information worldwide is exploding and the area of renewable energy is not immune. As the use and deployment of renewables grows, so too, is the amount of data the technologies surrounding these energies are generating.
Everything from solar panels to wind turbines are creating vast amounts of new data that require collection, extraction, warehousing, analysis and statistics, all to make it available in the right way.
Such functions are creating an enormous amount of information, all of which is starting to flood into utilities at a high rate. This information must be analyzed and followed up on. At the same time, more utilities are hanging onto more data than in the past, making retention and retention costs critical issues going forward. Continue Reading »
By Chandu Visweswariah
When the Smarter Energy Research Institute (SERI) was formed in 2012, bringing together IBM, Hydro-Québec, DTE Energy, and Alliander, it began with a simple goal: to use data analytics to build the energy utility of the future.
Two years later — armed with client data and 9 showcase applications — our three partners and 20 utility companies from around the world attending the second annual SERI conference are set to learn how utilities can make use of data to transform how they operate and serve their customers.
Think of SERI as a utilities innovation mechanism. It pairs IBM’s open analytics toolkit platform of application-specific code with energy and utility companies’ ideas, needs and expertise to develop new software applications that solve their operational problems. Continue Reading »
By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications
Andy Stanford-Clark built his first sensor when he was six years old to alert his mom if it started raining after she had hung the wash out to dry. His “rain detector” involved nothing more than a few copper strips on a small board that attached to the clothesline and a little box in the house that beeped, alerting her to bring in the laundry.
Already at that young age, Stanford-Clark was able to recognize a problem and solve it with a simple solution. Today, 40 years later, he is still doing the same thing, but on a much grander scale. Continue Reading »
By Amitabh Kant
By Juan Hindo
Today, World Community Grid celebrates eight years of bringing together volunteers from around the world to support humanitarian research. World Community Grid taps the spare computational power of computers volunteered by the general public and provides it – free of charge – to scientists who might not otherwise have access to the intensive computing power they require for timely, humanitarian research.
In eight years, our volunteers have provided research scientists with the equivalent of more than 600,000 years of computing power to seek cures and new treatments for many diseases, identify clean sources of energy and seek to improve water quality. These projects have yielded more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers – industry recognition of scientific research being advanced by World Community Grid.
Continue reading at Citizen IBM.
- By Ron Ambrosio
Over the last few years, an interesting transformation has been taking shape in the Pacific Northwest.
Research laboratories, product developers, testing companies, utility engineering departments, and universities have been working together to design and implement a new and smarter approach to managing electricity delivery.
This approach, being developed by the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Project (PNW-SGDP), called for devising ways to move electricity from generation plants through customer equipment, such as smart meters, heating and cooling systems, and just about everything in between.
By Fabienne Guildhary, IBM Communications, Energy & Utilities/Media & Entertainment
Often, history serves as a tool to teach us valuable lessons and help us avoid repeating the same mistakes. As Chief Architect of the IBM Global Center of Competency for Energy and Utilities, Charles Vincent is leveraging his considerable knowledge of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to better shape the future of transportation.
Charles’ passion for EVs was sparked long before his career in electronic transportation took off. Fascinated by the technology at an early age, Charles devoted a lot of time poring over vintage publications on the subject, such as American Electric Vehicle Association newsletters from the early 1900’s. Then in the 1980’s, Charles got the opportunity to put his knowledge and passion to work.
By Jim Fletcher, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect, Smarter Infrastructure, IBM
With gas once again flirting with $4 per gallon, imagine shopping for a car in a world where vehicles didn’t come with mileage ratings.
Sure, a smart driver would likely a gut feeling that the pint-sized Prius would be cheaper to fuel than the hulking Hummer for sale next to it. But without official data, or at least a Hummer driver willing to share mileage figures, it’d be tough to know for sure what it would cost to operate the two vastly different vehicles for years to come.
It sounds absurd. Yet for most buyers of houses, commercial buildings and other properties, that far-fetched scenario is pretty much the reality today. Buyers have precious little information of how much energy a given property will consume.
Yet while we’d roll our eyes at the owner of a super-sized SUV who seems surprised about high fill-up costs, who hasn’t heard a story of a person who bought a home only to discover later that it’s hugely expensive to heat and cool?
Luckily city planners, engineers and companies are recognizing that the vacuum of information about building performance is a key to boosting building efficiency, and improving real estate market information—better data helps owners and their tenants make smarter decisions.
An intriguing effort to make this sort of building performance data more transparent surfaced recently in New York City. It’s a map of the city’s five boroughs, color-coded to show the energy intensity of practically every building in the Big Apple’s dense mix of commercial, residential, and mixed-use regions.