New Products

Bitronics, a NovaTech Company that supplies high-performance measurement instruments to the electric utility industry, has released the M650 family of three-phase multifunction meters. The M650 is the first of the new 50 series of SCADA meters and indicators for local indication and SCADA communications. The M650 has an easy-to-read display, simple setup and superior communications flexibility. Among the key features is the standard Ethernet service port that allows connection to the meter via a standard web browser. Easy installation and start up is provided with universal wiring, configurable RS-232/RS-485 port, selectable DNP3 or Modbus protocol, pre-set point lists and universal power supply. Serial, Ethernet and transducer output options provide communications flexibility.Bitronics

When it Comes to the Grid, it’s Time to Get Smart

How essential have smart phones become? Try turning off your phone for two days and see what happens. If you can endure the withdrawal, you’ll likely have some interesting voicemails from co-workers who couldn’t reach you within five minutes. Smart technology has become engrained in our way of life.

Leveraging Enterprise Value With Asset Management

Electric utilities are adopting and integrating enabling technologies. Smart metering creates a foundation for smart grid capabilities, mobile data computing, mobile information delivery and enterprise applications that convert overwhelming amounts of data into usable, decision-supporting information. These advancements hold the potential to transform the utility’s core business processes. Without stretching the imagination, it is easy to envision how new information access, such as real-time customer usage, can change how we do business. Despite the opportunities, extracting full value from the wealth of technology potential requires much more than implementing systems and equipment. The value of technology rests as much with management practices as it does with any technologic systems.

The Sound of Silence: ‘Silent Transformers’ to Help Consolidated Edison Meet New York City’s...

Silence is a source of great strength. Although these words were coined by the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, they apply to modern transformers. These devices ensure our power supply, and it is important not to ignore the negative sides of their operation. Noise is a major issue.

Global Outage Management Relies on Robust AMI

For utilities worldwide, power outages are a fact of life. (Figure 1 lists percentages of production value lost for various places around the globe.)

Tres Amigas Technology Holds Promise for Expanding Renewable Energy Supply

A few months ago, New Mexico Governor and former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced that his state will be home to an energy transmission project that will connect the three main U.S. power grids.

Steering Smart Grid Success Requires a Common Understanding

With each day that passes, smart grid technologies evolve, governmental regulations come closer to enactment and stimulus incentives become a little more focused, each enabling us to better understand the direction that will best lead to our desired destination. What have we learned throughout this process? We must achieve a common understanding of the needs of all involved to help steer smart grid evolution in the right direction—to realize its potential as a key enabler of energy independence and economic vitality. To establish a common understanding, it will take an open, collaborative approach among utilities, governmental regulators, businesses and, most important, consumers.

Advancing the Smart Grid: How DOE is Reaching out to Stakeholders

In 2008, Litos Strategic Communication, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), authored “The Smart Grid: An Introduction.” Launched at GridWeek 2008, this 48-page book drew an immediate and enthusiastic response as a source of information about the present and future state of grid modernization. It also represented just the first step in DOE smart grid outreach, for it was also in the DOE’s plans to drive the communications effort deeper by addressing key smart grid stakeholder groups separately.

Happy Birthday to Us! POWERGRID International Hits A Milestone

Having grown to its teenage years, it’s changed—first with its name, but also with its focus. When POWERGRID International began as Utility Automation, the magazine covered gas and water utilities, as well as electric. It was completely about automation. After a few years, hardware was mixed in with the automation, along with thoughts about financing, expansions and business concepts. With that shift from pure automation, the magazine also changed to cater exclusively to the electric utility’s transmission and distribution (T&D) arm.

Boeing Powers Up a Smart Grid Vision

With the smart grid on the horizon, this industry has seen a lot of corporate repositioning. Generation players suddenly want to be T&D players. The transmission end of things wants to push past distribution and into a consumer’s home. Yet, even with all the interior movement, it is still rare for a company outside the power industry to come knocking—extremely rare. Yet, that seems to be just what’s happening with major aerospace and defense company Boeing.