T&D World Magazine

Direct-to-Grid Two-Way Communications Leverage Common Networking Platform

Silver Spring Networks has announced an innovative new load control solution providing utilities with fast demand response resources to help them reduce peak load and maintain grid reliability. Silver Spring’s open, IPv6-based networking platform has connected more than 12 million homes and businesses worldwide and enables utilities of all sizes and across all geographies to deploy the broadest possible array of applications atop a common platform.

Silver Spring’s Direct-to-Grid technology allows utilities to directly monitor and manage energy intensive assets such as air conditioners, electric heaters, water heaters, and pool pumps. With two-way communications capability, these new load control devices can be used to update legacy DR technology ahead of, or together with, advanced meter rollouts. Silver Spring’s solution provides Direct-to-Grid, fast-DR without any need for existing AMI infrastructure. Load control switches from multiple manufacturers seamlessly integrate with Silver Spring’s end-to-end demand response solution, helping utilities deliver increased benefits and unlock more value from their smart grid investments.

As part of the Silver Spring Partner Program, Silver Spring is working closely with Cooper Power Systems and EnTek to integrate its Gen4 Communications Module into their most advanced load control switches (the Cooper Power Systems LCR-6600-S and EnTek FC340-SSN). Silver Spring’s Gen4 technology delivers increased data rates, with support up to 300 Kbps, enabling the devices to support increasingly demanding DR applications with rapid response requirements. With complete two-way communications, these devices deliver utilities real-time load shed verification data for better management of load control resources. The high connectivity rates afforded by the Silver Spring network assure utilities they can reliably reach high-value DR assets, maximizing the effectiveness of their load control programs. The load control switches also possess relay capability to strengthen the Silver Spring RF mesh, boosting performance for all smart grid applications.

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