previous blog I asked, “Can
distributed energy and the electrical grid coexist?” It’s a question that I
continue to ponder as President Obama's infrastructure plan continues to gain
steam, with the Smart Grid as one of its most integral components. As I stated
in my most recent editorial (Distributed
“Conceptually, the smart grid would coordinate power production from both large
and small power producers: between your local power utility, for example, and a
homeowner’s rooftop solar installation. Ideally, a homeowner (or, with much more
impact, a large industrial or commercial complex) could seamlessly segue between
onsite power sources (solar, wind, generators, etc.) and the grid, depending on
demand, supply, and other factors.”
key to combining the Smart Grid with onsite power is AMR/AMI technology.
meter reading, (AMR) involves the automatic collection of data from meters
(water, gas, and electric). Once the data is collected, it is transferred to a
central database for analysis and metering. Advanced Metering Infrastructure
(AMI) takes all this data management one step further. AMI includes the
measurement, collection, and analysis of meter-acquired data, but the term
encompasses not just the hardware, but the data management (MDM) software and
customer interface as well. This could include online access to water usage and
billing, as well as sophisticated demand response solutions.
San Diego, CA, right now, preparing to attend Distributech, a conference and
exhibition focused on automation and control systems, including AMR and AMI for
electric and water utilities. I’m
excited to see the newest and most innovative AMR/AMI technology that promises
to be on display in San Diego, and you can rest assured that I'll be passing
along everything I’ve to learned to you.
See previous Blog "Can the Grid and Distributed Energy Coexist?"