April 11, 2007 12:05 PM PDT

IBM founds coalition for 'smart' power grids

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January 11, 2006
IBM and Houston-based utility CenterPoint Energy on Tuesday announced the creation of a coalition to digitize electrical grids.

The Intelligent Utility Network Coalition will test out technologies that will give utilities serving consumers better usage information and make power distribution grids more reliable, according to executives from both companies.

Through the initiative, CenterPoint intends to invest about $750 million over the next five years to upgrade its gear, including meters, switches, and equipment at power substations, said Georgianna Nichols, president at CenterPoint Houston Electric Operations.

The utility is installing a broadband-over-powerline, or BPL, network over its Texas territory to gather and transport information such as real-time usage or overloaded distribution points.

With more detailed information on usage, consumers can potentially save money by changing their consumption patterns, executives from Centerpoint and IBM said. The digital equipment and accompanying software will also allow energy retailers to introduce more services, such as time-of-use pricing, which will allow them to better manage demand.

"A year ago we were very optimistic like other utilities about automated meter reading. This is much bigger than that. It's more of a discussion about almost revolutionizing the electric utility industry," Nichols said. "We are testing equipment. It will happen."

CenterPoint, an electricity distributor with 2 million customers, is a founding member of the Intelligent Utility Network Coalition. Other utilities from the U.S., Europe and Asia are expected to join later this year, executives from IBM and CenterPoint said.

The cost for full upgrade to digital equipment on CenterPoint's grid would be about $2.50 per customer per month, Nichols said. The utility is now talking to regulatory bodies on any potential rate change.

IBM intends to supply software for gathering information as well as analytical tools for things such as measuring usage patterns.

There are already several initiatives to promote use of so-called smart grids, but the Intelligent Utility Network Coalition will focus on deploying and testing equipment, executives said.

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Manhattan BPL-Smart Grid Project: Ambient & Consolidated Edison`s undergrou
Manhattan BPL-Smart Grid Project: Ambient & Consolidated Edison`s underground installation of 2nd generation(200Mbps) BPL equipment !!!

read: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/</a>

Ambient &#38; Consolidated Edison Launch New R &#38; D Efforts Underground in Manhattan

Wednesday April 11, 8:15 am ET
Network Monitoring and Communications Platform to be Further Evaluated

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ambient Corporation (OTCBB: ABTG - News), a leader in Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) solutions, announced today that it will install its second generation BPL equipment on the underground electric system of Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. (NYSE: ED - News).

Successful completion of the research and development demonstration would allow Con Edison to further evaluate on a larger scale Ambient's BPL System for monitoring the underground distribution system.

Ambient's BPL platform is designed to support many, if not all, of the sensoring, monitoring and control applications that Con Edison may deploy to enhance its distribution system. Some of the applications that can be supported by the Ambient BPL system include aggregation of meter reading, peak load reductions and demand side management, energy flow measurements, stray voltage detection, and partial discharge detection.

The demonstration of Ambient's partial discharge detection application, in particular, may be a key component in proactively detecting impending failures in cables or other distribution system components.

Ram Rao, Ambient's Chief Technology Officer stated, "We are pleased to be working with our long-time partner Con Edison on this R &#38; D project. Con Edison has stated their commitment to enhance their grid, and we anticipate that the Ambient BPL system will be a key part of the solution that Con Edison is developing to achieve their planned improvements. The Ambient BPL platform has been developed to enable exactly these types of applications and solutions."

Many of the utilities in the United States that are in the process of developing plans for the next generation distribution systems have identified communications capabilities as a key requirement. Ambient's BPL system is an ideal solution to meet this requirement as it operates over the same infrastructure that the utilities own, operate, and maintain to deliver electricity.

read: Con Edison Details $1.4 Billion in Electric Delivery Investments &#38; New Emergency Response Initiatives for Summer

read: Ambient`s BPL Case Study:
Utility Communications

read: Ambient`s BPL Case Study:
Substation Monitoring
Posted by 200mbpsBPL (102 comments )
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Con Edison will launch a pilot program of 500,000 "smart meters," !!!!
Con Ed gets 'smart' to track blackouts
Monday, March 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/2007/03/ny-con-edison-gets-smart-to-track.html" target="_newWindow">http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/2007/03/ny-con-edison-gets-smart-to-track.html</a>

Con Edison officials - under pressure to avoid a repeat of last summer's devastating blackout in northwest Queens - will use new high-tech meters and a computer system to help them better track power outages. Con Ed will launch a pilot program of 500,000 "smart meters," which alert control center operators when a customer's power goes out, spokesman Michael Clendenin said yesterday.

A new computer system will map these outages as they occur, he said. The company has spent $1.4 billion on systemwide upgrades, plus $90 million on the Long Island City network, Clendenin said. The utility company is scheduled to testify before the City Council's Consumer Affairs Committee today about summer preparations.

Lisa L. Colangelo
New York Daily News
Posted by 200mbpsBPL (102 comments )
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Ambient Introduces Real-Time Current and Voltage Sensing to Electrical Grid
Ambient Introduces Real-Time Current and Voltage Sensing to Electrical Grids Via BPL Communications Platform

BusinessWire - April 18, 2007 8:30 AM ET
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/2007/04/ambient-introduces-real-time-current.html" target="_newWindow">http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/2007/04/ambient-introduces-real-time-current.html</a>

Ambient Corporation (OTCBB: ABTG), a leader in Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) solutions, announced today that it has significantly enhanced its suite of products by integrating two intelligent grid applications into its core BPL communications platform for use in both overhead and underground systems.

The current and voltage sensing applications, enabled by Ambient's core products, are extremely valuable to utilities. Ambient's energy sensing products further validate the benefits of building out a communications network, which allows a utility to have real-time visibility into its electrical grid. Achieving this without adding additional external equipment to the BPL communications platform represents a significant breakthrough in the market. Ambient's ability for providing sensing capabilities is a non-intrusive, easily implemented, and cost-effective solution which is highly beneficial to utilities.

Pioneering the use of BPL platforms for delivering Smart Grid capabilities is key to positioning Ambient as a leading innovator. Ambient provides enabling BPL technology to utilities for improving energy and operational efficiency, especially with an aging grid infrastructure.

John J. Joyce, President and CEO of Ambient stated, "Ambient has been committed to creating and integrating intelligent grid applications and products which meet the present and, more importantly, future needs of its customers. These solutions reflect our philosophy of delivering maximum benefit and flexibility to the utilities, while minimizing the complexity and costs. In an increasingly green energy industry, deploying next-generation, Smart Grid technology will play a major role in the efficient delivery of energy. Integrating this functionality into our customers' grids represents a significant milestone for both the industry and Ambient."

Real-time current sensing enables proactive instead of reactive management of distribution circuits, thereby increasing grid efficiency and reliability. This will allow the utility to not only know the operational status of a medium voltage circuit, but also know and monitor in real-time the amount of energy flowing through at any given point on the circuit.

Voltage sensing is useful for energy management, monitoring health and efficiency of transformers, and for identifying potentially problematic transformers enabling the utility to predict and prevent possible equipment failure. The voltage levels at the secondary side of the transformer can now be measured and reported continuously in real-time.

"We believe we have the first BPL system that enables such extensive and unique integration of key utility applications," stated Ram Rao, Chief Technology Officer at Ambient. "Ambient has always believed that utility applications are critical to the success of BPL systems and thus we have focused on the development of new products and applications in this area to benefit our utility partners, and future customers."

Smart sensing applications are increasingly important in reducing the environmental impact of line loss and in reducing the economic impact of outages and power disruption estimated to cost US businesses over $50 billion a year according to EPRI.
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