Network Integration Plays Key Role in Home Automation

In the late 1960s, the Jetson family lived in a world where home automation was the norm, flying vehicles provided transportation and the maid was a robot named Rosie. Even though we`ve yet to find a replacement for automobiles and robots still can`t perform many human tasks, home automation is becoming a reality. Many of the nation`s affluent are already enjoying automated homes, and affordable home automation is expected to become a part of many Americans` daily lives in the not too distant fu

Mapboards Still Add Value to Control Room Operations

As today`s control systems become more complex, information on system status and performance is becoming critical to efficient operation. Advances in technology, as well as the onset of competition have prompted many utilities to upgrade their control systems in order to eliminate unexpected power outages and ensure high-level customer service. New SCADA/EMS installations are making more and more data available to system operators, often driving a demand for new high-tech mapboard systems. These

Understanding Todays Protocol Standardization Efforts

The use of international protocol standards is now recognized throughout the electric utility industry as a key to successful integration of the various parts of the electric utility enterprise. KEMA Consulting, an independent consulting firm, is deeply involved both in the development of standards through participation in standards development efforts and in advising utilities in the application of these standards on many utility integration and automation projects. This article reports on prog

Metering for the Virtual Utility–An Agenda

New modular generation technologies suggest the possibility of fundamental changes in the electricity generation and delivery process. These changes, which reflect the declining minimum scale of production facilities, involve a transition away from traditional, vertically integrated central-station sources to more flexible operations consisting of distributed generation, conservation and power purchase/futures arrangements. These changes are similar to those in manufacturing, where new informati

The Paradigm Shift of ITs Role in the Utility Industry

About 16 months ago, a major utility study began with the basic goal of better understanding senior management`s views on information technology (IT) and the role it would have in the "exciting" new world of deregulation. Gerald W. Lindsay & Co. has been in the utility business for many years before conducting this study which alleviates second-guessing senior management`s next move. This research was a real eye-opener because many of the positions taken by management were more pronounced than e

The Evolution of RTU and PLC Technology

The traditional substation RTU is in transition with the advent of intelligent electronic devices (IED). Because of their intelligent nature (i.e. microprocessor-based), IEDs collect much of the same data which has been traditionally gathered by RTUs. IEDs are now being interfaced to RTUs through RS232/RS485 serial channels or LAN networks to collect data which was previously collected by RTU I/O modules. Thus, the RTU is in transition from a data I/O unit to a data concentrator function integra

Customer-Oriented Utilities Converge on Amsterdam

Tulips, windmills, museums and castles are just a few of the sites that await visitors to Amsterdam and its surrounding countryside. Amsterdam is not merely one of Europe`s most beautiful cities, it is also one of its most livable and lively. Amsterdam is sometimes noted for its radical thoughts and social policies too, but the radical can be viewed as just another form of conservatism. Since the Dutch freed themselves from the Spanish Empire in the early 17th century, Amsterdammers have taken t

Electronic Residential Meter Provides Metering Model for Deregulation

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is designing and manufacturing a new low-cost, all-electronic residential meter. The SE-240 meter will help utilities reduce operating costs by more easily implementing automated meter reading (AMR). It is also designed to help utilities retain market share with new information-based, value-added customer services offerings such as appliance monitoring and real-time pricing.

Energy Measurement Circuit

A new versatile off-the-shelf energy measurement integrated circuit, the SA9604A--a three-phase device--is capable of bi-directional active and reactive energy, mains voltage and frequency measurement. It provides active and reactive energy, voltage and frequency data on a per phase basis. The data is read via a synchronous serial peripheral interface communications bus, with the individual register information available as 24-bit values. The device enables meter manufacturers to meet all the in

Versatile Processor

The PC9800 ushers in the fifth generation of Microflex products by DAP Technologies. Its powerful 386 processor enables it to work with worldwide-recognized platforms such as MS-DOS and Windows. It can record and play back voice messages, eliminating keying of data when a person has special information to collect; messages can then be transmitted to or from a PC using WAV files. It comes with a host of memory options.