Virtually every space you look at today is touched by embedded M2M solutions in some way – from the tracker that keeps you posted on the location of your relative with Alzheimer’s, to the device that remotely monitors that patient who would prefer to stay in home as opposed to the hospital, to that tiny tracker that is tasked with fleet management.
An additional vertical that is quickly gleaning the benefits of M2M technology is the SmartGrid space – a newer electric grid that aims to improve the way individuals and companies consume energy.
“SmartGrid is the ‘internetization’ of the country’s electric infrastructure, influenced in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Steve Myers, Emerging Solutions Group – Partner Programs, Sprint (News - Alert), told TMCnet. “Before the Internet, computer networks were a hodgepodge, plagued by slow speeds, incompatibility and isolation SmartGrid allows consumers and utilities unprecedented visibility into their power consumption and cost.”
Sprint, an enabler of embedded M2M solutions, is one company paving the way to the improved management of energy consumption.
With help from the Sprint wireless network, SmartGrid solutions and smart meters, a real-time automated meter-reading infrastructure (AMI), are being introduced all throughout the country. Thanks to SmartGird innovations, consumers and utilities are gaining unprecedented visibility into their power consumption and utility providers are able to more accurately predict and meet demand using the most cost-efficient power.
Sprint currently has a wide variety of utility, SmartGrid and Automated Meter applications, network solutions for electric, water, and natural gas, including Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Distribution Automation (DA), CSO/SSO water collection system flow measurement and alarming, embedded solutions for GPS tracking, LBS, and GIS systems. With these solutions, customers are able to remotely monitor critical Utility/SmartGrid applications and to track, monitor, and manage assets.
When asked why Sprint first decided to get involved in the SmartGrid space, Myers said, “Sprint has been very active in utilities for nearly 10 years. As an experienced provider of telecommunications services to the utility industry, Sprint clearly understands the bandwidth and longevity requirements, regulatory issues, technology challenges and focus on increased efficiencies in the delivery of electric and gas energy, water and wastewater collection services throughout the industry.”
With a heightened focus on energy management consumption these days, it is perhaps not all that surprising that companies are forging ahead with M2M innovation in the SmartGrid space. Specifically, companies are directing their attention to real-time meter reading and management – better known in the utility industry as AMI (Automated Metering Infrastructure). With incentives from stimulus funding, utilities are upgrading residential and commercial meters to “smart” meters that are capable of measuring power consumption and quality and relaying information to utilities.
“Once AMI has deployed, Demand Response allows the utility to view real-time loads on the grid, and schedule power generation to meet the demand, with the most cost efficient power,” Myers said. “Additionally, the utility gains greater flexibility in deploying renewable power generation sources into the grid.”
“Lastly, Home Energy Management allows the consumer, using AMI enabled information, to gain an accurate view into their home energy usage and even control usage remotely from their mobile phone” he added. “Studies have shown that simply enabling a consumer real-time insight into their energy usage can reduce power consumption by at least ten percent.”
For more on Sprint’s SmartGrid solutions, click here.
Edited by Jamie Epstein