The Smart grid

bob at bob at
Fri Jul 17 10:29:02 CDT 2009

----- "andre kesteloot" <andre.kesteloot at> wrote:


I'm glad that IEEE is covering infrastructure issues. My lab has been looking at some of the recent U.S. Government smart grid efforts and solicitations. According to the director of an EU lab that's a counterpart to mine within my company, the term has very different connotations in the US and the EU. 

Here, when I've spoken to utilities and policy people, they tend to use it to mean demand management as enabled by fine-grained or personalized sub-metering of loads. That is, trying to further develop the capability that some companies and rural residential customers already use to reduce demand at the request of the power company through deactivation or cycle time changes on equipment, like hot water heaters and air conditioners. 

In Europe, the term seems to be much more tightly coupled to the concept of localized generation capability, be it co-generation in an industrial plant, or small localities with their own reactors/wind farms/etc. 

A surprising number of my co-workers in California have photovoltaic installations at home. What really surprised me is that they don't usually seem to have batteries attached. 

If you want to see what might be one of the more sophisticated uses of ZigBee radios in this context, check out Tendril Networks at


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