Communications and Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released the National Broadband Plan (NBP). Chapter 12, “Energy and the Environment,” addresses the NBP’s relevance, considerations and recommendations for smart grid. The FCC takes aim at network communications in the energy and utility (E&U) industry and the patchwork of technology and policies that support it. It asserts that network communications’ current state in the E&U industry acts as a drag on green technology adoption, energy independence and consumer energy service deployment and innovation.

New Products

LBS Wireless launched a field data collection application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Field Assets is now available on the App Store for field data collection. Field Assets makes it easy for mobile workers with Apple iPhones or iPods to collect data on assets and their attributes in the field and wirelessly export the information in real time. The application utilizes GPS, maps, camera, voice recording and free form text. You don’t need to be a GIS professional to use the application. With the application users can customize their own set of assets and attributes; verify their location and the location of an asset using the map screen; enter information, record voice notes and take photos of assets and their attributes; share asset data between devices using peer to peer Bluetooth connectivity; export the asset data via email, Twitter and the inbuilt WiFi server; e-mail Google Earth KMZ files and CSV files to co-workers and clients; download asset data posted on Twitter using Google earth, Google maps and Tweetphoto; display asset data using the inbuilt HTML webpage; and, download asset data.

Outage Management Evolves

Today’s outage management system (OMS) provides a convenient, one-stop system for organizations to effectively communicate pertinent information to customers. Traditionally organizations have experienced outage tracking systems where there are too many customer service representatives handling incoming calls, outgoing service dispatches as well as outage status updates. With so many people and tasks to remedy, an already stressful situation can become more confusing—ultimately increasing errors, creating more inefficiencies leading to poor customer service. Through improving communication, providing seamless technology integration and offering better system operations, a modern OMS is much more effective at meeting a utility’s requirements.

Plug into the Grid

POWERGRID Europe 2010 Conference & Exhibition will visit Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 8-10. This power industry event again is being held with two intrinsically related events, POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe. In addition, there will be a new, co-located conference: Nuclear Power Europe.

Eigenstructures: The Keys to Preventing Voltage Collapse

The current addition of renewable generation has increased the burden on already stressed transmission systems. This stress is increasingly manifesting itself as voltage collapse. Most power texts approach voltage instability problems at the transient level—focusing on rotor angle instability and other limitations that have largely been eliminated by modern control systems and powerful excitation systems. Preventing voltage collapse (VC), typically a dynamic phenomenon, has now become the primary focus of stability studies, and to adequately study VC requires a different set of tools. This article will provide an overview of the requisite tools of eigenvalues and eigenvectors—how these various eigenstructures are obtained through modal analysis and how they can be used to avoid VC. While a detailed knowledge of the calculations do not need to be known by every engineer concerned with VC, a basic understanding is essential to every engineer involved with system operation and transmission.

DistribuTECH Sparkles in Tampa

Tampa’s show topped 2009’s record attendance of 5,800 in San Diego by nearly a thousand. More than 6,600 attendees wandered through the convention center during four days of packed conference sessions and 340 exhibit floor booths.

Dynamic Pricing and Key Challenges

If modification of customer behavior is a goal of America’s smart grid, then dynamic pricing is the one tool that should make this goal a reality. Like any well-deserved goal, however, there is no easy way to make this happen.

The Smart Grid Debate: Public vs. Private Networks

According to the Microsoft Worldwide Utility Industry Survey 2010, only 8 percent of utilities around the world have completed their smart grid technology implementations while 37 percent have projects underway and more than half haven’t yet started.

Toward a Global Smart Grid – The U.S. vs. Europe

As the smart grid gains traction around the globe, a brief understanding of some major differences between North American and European smart grid implementations is in order. In general, the two geographies have begun their efforts differently: wireless mesh in North America and power line carrier (PLC) in Europe. The emergence of radio frequency (RF) mesh solutions suitable for Europe, however, likely will cause an alignment of European and North American smart grid initiatives.

NERC CIP Reliability Standards – Protecting the Critical Energy Infrastructure With Identity Governance

There’s been a lot of speculation among regulators, security professionals and industry consultants whether the nation’s energy providers have the right safeguards over critical infrastructure. This summer, those questions will be answered one audit at a time. That’s when the deadline for becoming “auditably compliant” with the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards takes effect. Yes, the auditors are coming, and that means not just compliance, but proof of compliance.