ZigBee Alliance has announced that a number of his members are working of developing a standard for the NAN. NAN is defined as a utility's last-mile, outdoor access network that connects smart meters and other utility devices to Wide Area Network (WAN) communication points. ZigBee pointed out that an important of the NAN standardization is to help seamless interoperability between utilities and product manufacturers.
Venstar has release new developer Application Programming Interface (API) for its ColorTouch Thermostats (Models T5800 and T5900). Now, developers can use ColorTouch's built-in API (in firmware updates 3.08 and newer) to create applications that will allow the thermostat to be controlled by third-party applications, including home automation companies.
Venture capital (VC) funding into smart grid technology companies came in at $405 million in 63 deals in 2013, compared to $434 million in 40 deals in 2012. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financings, came to $579 million in 2013, compared to $506 million in 2012. There were 94 total VC investors in 2013, with 12 active investors participating in multiple deals. There were three IPOs in 2013 (including one in the fourth quarter), raising a combined $162.3 million.
In the next 5 months, BORG Energy India plans to roll out renewable energy to about 18,000 homes in northern India as part of a $45 US million investment in India’s market for rural electrification and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction). The energy will be provided by BORG Astra Plus Home Series, a Range of fully loaded micro solar power plants, specially designed to meet the energy needs of domestic households.
Due to electricity distribution lost and theft utilities worldwide are losing approximately $100 US Billion each year, and this increases by about 2.5% per year. Utility solutions provider Awesense, think they have a solution that will help utilities to reduce their power lost, with the launch of a new smart grid analytics solution called True Grid Insight (TGI).
OEMs have been given the opportunity to reduce the time-to-market their smart meter designs, with the release of the industry’s first smart meter System-on-Chip (SoC). ST said the chip combines precision metering with flexible, programmable processing and PLC (Power-Line Communication) subsystems along with advanced security in a single device.
In anticipation of the converging technology between the home and utility grid, Panasonic has developed a new residential distribution panel board called “Smart Cosmo”. The Smart Cosmo, according to Panasonic, will play a central role in the distribution and information management in future homes. Thus, allowing users to better understand their energy use.
Utilities wanting to setup their own Automatic Meter Reading solution (AMR) can save themselves he cost, time and hassle it will take. eMeter a Siemens subsidiary has launched a cloud base subscription service through their energy platform for this same purpose. The manage service is ideal for small to mid-size utilities wanting a platform that will support the flexibility of the modern grid.
The lowly thermostat has come a long way from being just a little device tucked away somewhere in your home. They have now become intelligent part of your home energy management solution to the point where you can automate your home atmospheric control. In recent months we have seen a number of thermostats (e.g. Tado and Nest) offering to make it easier to manage the temperature in your home and the energy you use. The latest of these is the Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat.
Accenture and Siemens have decided to create a one-stop shop for utilities and the smart grid sector. Both companies are joining forces to form the Omnetric Group, a company providing solutions and services around data management and system integration. Siemens will combine its smart grid products and solutions with Accenture’s management and technology consulting, systems integration and managed-services capabilities.