Itron, Inc. is extending its DI platform to enable intelligence in any device. The company unveiled its new DI network interface card (NIC) that enables edge computing in third-party devices, moving grid analysis, decision-making and control to the grid’s edge, resulting in improvement in time to action, improved situational awareness, and more accurate analysis and advanced event detection. The DI NIC may be helpful in creating new applications for the integration of distributed energy resources, such as electric vehicles and solar, into the low-voltage network.
With this technology, Itron and third-party technology companies, including energy retailers, aggregators or distribution companies, are accelerating innovation. When available, these devices can leverage Itron’s existing industrial IoT network infrastructure, which has more than 200 million connected endpoints deployed globally. Utilities and cities can then add DI-enabled third-party devices to existing or new Itron networks.
The DI NIC paves the path for a wider range of host devices to deliver distributed intelligence, extending the reach of Itron’s DI platform beyond advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to in-home smart electrical panels, load control switches, electric vehicle charging (EV) management, smart solar inverters, grid sensors and more. Initial applications will link the low-voltage network with home energy management. This will allow utilities to offer an end-to-end solution from home energy management to low-voltage network management using Itron’s single, real-time platform.
As part of the launch, Itron is collaborating with Lumin to enable edge intelligence in the companies' smart electrical panels. DI-enabled smart panels will help utilities manage load throughout the distribution network, including down to specific circuits within a home in strict coordination with distributed energy resources behind the meter. This allows utilities to implement summer and winter demand response programs without deploying additional hardware. Pre-integrated solutions like this are a cost-efficient way for flexible demand management programs to reduce peak power and put the consumer in charge of their energy management real-time.Itron’s partner enablement program provides a framework for third-party companies to integrate the DI NIC into their hardware devices. Partners have access to developer tools and resources to optimize, improve and extend their service offering, and all partner technologies undergo Itron’s rigorous integration process to ensure compatibility and security. This is complementary to Itron’s DI Software Development Kits, which enable third parties to develop their own apps for the Itron DI platform. Existing and new Itron partners are invited to bring their technology to Itron to expand the edge intelligence platform, helping deliver value to customers.