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Webinar: The Power of Intereoperability & Distributed Intelligence

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Interoperability is the key to helping utilities operate the grid more simply and cost-effectively. Want to learn more on how to ensure the benefits impact your operations? 

Ambient Joins Meters & More to Support Open Interoperable Standards for Metering in Europe

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Ambient has joined Meters & More, an international industry association dedicated to establishing an open powerline Communication (PLC) protocol for smart metering solutions.  This week the
Association announced that it now has more than 42 members worldwide including utilities, manufacturers, and institutions representing the entire smart grid value chain and, all committed to the implementation of interoperable  and open smart grid systems. Read More.  

Navigant predicts growth in public cellular networks for smart grid

Download: Ambient Platform Overview

Last week Navigant Research announced that worldwide revenues from public cellular communications nodes for smart grid applications will grow from US$75.4 million annually in 2013 to US$348.3 million in 2018. The figures are taken from a recent research report, “Public Carrier Networks for Smart Grids”, that found the ubiquitous network coverage and significantly improved reliability and security of public cellular networks has increased interest in cellular as a connectivity solution for smart grid applications.

Proactive Grid Management

Download: Ambient PQM Datasheet

A new report on Distribution Automation published recently by Transparency Market Research, noted that the need to reduce outages and increase reliability and efficiency on the distribution grid is driving demand for power quality monitoring and control devices but, the “lack of standardization in communication infrastructure and technology and modernization of existing switchgears are some of the factors inhibiting the growth of this market”.

The Communications Node and the Open Source Revolution

Download: Ambient Platform Overview

Last week saw the publication of two interesting and independent articles on the same theme - An Open Smart Grid Manifesto.  Led by Duke Energy, this initiative as we mentioned in an earlier post on Smart Grid Interoperability and MQTT, seeks to enhance device interoperability and flexibility using open-source software and distributed intelligence.

Smart grid interoperability and MQTT

Download: Ambient Platform Overview

Earlier this week in Smart Grid News, Geoff Brown, a member of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), posted an interesting contribution on interoperability that explains why M2M and IOT are at the heart of the smart grid.  He notes that M2M (machine-to-machine) enables IoT (Internet of Things) by providing connectivity and identifies the OASIS MQTT specification as a solution to creating an interoperable ecosystem.  We'd like to expand further on how utilities can easily and cost effectively facilitate interoperability between devices in the field.

The Integrated Grid

Download: Distributed Intelligence White Paper

Last week, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched a study to assess the costs and opportunities of different technological and policy options to integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER) — such as rooftop solar panels and microgrids — into the electric power system.  The EPRI paper, "The Integrated Grid: Realizing the Full Value of Central and Distributed Resources," is the first in a series actions outlined by EPRI to successfully integrate DER.  EPRI envisages that this integrated grid will optimize the power system while providing safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electricity in the following four key areas:

Getting more value from smart grid investments

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“Getting more value from smart grid investments” was an important theme at last month’s DistribuTECH conference and exhibition, wrote Jesse Berst in Smart Grid News.  Berst pointed his readers to a solution to achieving long-term value citing a recent post in Alcatel-Lucent’s GridTalk blog.  Written by Mark Burke of DNV-GL, the post, which can be accessed here, advocates investing in Internet Protocol (IP) technology and sets out 10 key strategies that utilities should consider when investing in smart grid systems based on IP/MPLS.

DistribuTECH 2014 - Interoperability key to “Electrifying the Globe”


The electric grid is considered to be one of the most complex machines on Earth.  Perhaps this is the reason that Pennwell has chosen “Electrifying the Globe” as the theme for DistribuTECH.  The show, billed as a leading smart grid event, opens in San Antonio, Texas, on 27 January and, aims to take a global view of power transmission and distribution covering everything from:
-    automation and control systems,
-    energy efficiency,
-    demand response,
-    renewable energy integration,
-    advanced metering,
-    T&D system operation and reliability,
-    power delivery equipment,
-    commercial and industrial energy management technology
-    and water utility technology.   
As well as considering the latest technology and best practices, the show will highlight solutions to the many challenges facing the utility industry as it moves toward implementing smart grid technologies. 

Ambient Smart Grid Nodes Withstand Extreme Weather

Ambient Smart Grid Node 

Resilience, reliability, and robustness - the 3-R's - are the hallmarks of a smarter grid.  The 3-R's also apply to the communications hardware and software required to maintain outage management applications and support demand response programs. Last week's polar vortex freeze stress-tested the ability of smart grid equipment to deliver on the 3-Rs. Despite the Arctic temperatures the installed park of Ambient Smart Grid Communications Nodes has once again demonstrated the ability to handle extreme weather conditions and support real-time situational awareness and response to events on the grid. Ambient has over 135,000 nodes deployed in Ohio that receive and transmit data from and to over one million networked devices, such as meters and sensors, and these have performed well, without disruption.

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