T&D World Magazine

Energy Solution Bundle Includes Hardware, Software for Smart Energy Deployments

Digi International has introduced iDigi Energy, a wireless M2M solution bundle optimized for energy services providers. iDigi Energy includes the hardware, hosted software and services to integrate meters, load control modules, displays, relays, thermostats and other energy assets commonly required for demand response, AMI, and other Smart Grid offerings. Energy service applications connect to the hosted software component of iDigi Energy via a simple Web Services interface.

"The iDigi Energy solution was instrumental in our launch of the TXU Energy iThermostatTM energy conservation program," said Patrick James, director, TXU Energy. "It has enabled us to leverage existing enterprise software service platforms and ultimately integrate the deploying AMI networks in Texas. We were able to move from concept to deployment very quickly. The platform's flexibility will also allow us to rapidly develop and deploy a broad range of new energy management services to help our customers better manage their energy costs."

Utilities have long been in the forefront with regards to investments in remote monitoring technology, originally with SCADA and now with AMI and Smart Grids. In Aberdeen Group's recent research survey, responding utility organizations indicate that 36 percent of connected assets are remote vs. 27 percent a year ago. However, these organizations also indicate that 74 percent of its assets would benefit from remote connectivity.

"This opportunity remains untapped primarily due to perceptions regarding the complexity and cost of setting up remote networks and the significant IT resource requirements pertaining to integration, maintenance and security management," said Sumair Dutta, senior research analyst, Aberdeen Group. "Comprehensive M2M solutions such as iDigi Energy that provide the platform and related connectivity services to seamlessly tie into devices and applications will go a long way in alleviating implementation hurdles and in expediting ROI."

At the heart of iDigi Energy is the iDigi Platform, a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that connects remote assets to a customer's applications. The iDigi Platform runs on a grid of Digi-managed servers. As an on-demand model, customers pay only for services consumed, conserving capital and requiring no infrastructure. Customers login to securely access and manage their energy device assets. Optimized for wireless communication technologies, Digi's patented connectivity software establishes and manages secure communication between organizations' applications and their remote equipment, ensuring high availability and performance for both legacy and emerging energy management applications.

iDigi Energy includes Digi's comprehensive family of wired and wireless communication products that integrate easily with remote energy assets, including cellular gateways and a wide variety of wireless endpoint modules. iDigi Energy also features ready-to-run, energy-focused starter applications that demonstrate the power of the platform for the energy provider.

The iDigi Energy system provides device level support for numerous smart energy devices including thermostats, smart plugs, in-home displays, gateways and meters. Additional energy assets can be integrated through the iDigi platform. iDigi Energy also includes device design services and wireless implementation services such as network design, site surveys, planning and optimization. From device design and integration to lifecycle services, iDigi Energy provides all of the communication components an energy services provider needs to bring their solution to market quickly, effectively and with a plan to support new energy services.

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