T&D World Magazine

GridRouter Performs Successfully During Duke Energy Pilot Program

SmartSynch's GridRouter universal communications solution has performed successfully in energy management pilot programs conducted by Duke Energy at businesses and universities.

In one specific application at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, Duke Energy is using the GridRouter and other digital smart grid devices to gather and aggregate real-time energy usage data from seven campus buildings. The usage data is transmitted to Duke Energy over a secure communications network enabled by the GridRouter and then sent back to the campus community and the public at large through a campus metering page on the college’s website.

With the aid of a custom software application developed by Duke Energy for this project, the GridRouter enables distribution of energy efficiency data, demand response and pricing information from Duke’s corporate information systems back to the customer’s building automation systems. Duke Energy designed the software application, which resides on the GridRouter, using a software development kit that SmartSynch built into the solution to allow utilities to design custom software applications to meet specific smart grid needs.

Launched in December 2009, SmartSynch’s GridRouter is a universal smart grid communications solution. With the GridRouter, utilities can seamlessly and easily communicate with every possible device on the smart grid regardless of make, model or communication protocol.

Designed on the principles of openness and interoperability, the IP-enabled GridRouter is a universal, interchangeable and remotely upgradeable solution engineered to revolutionize the smart grid. Specifically, the GridRouter:

  • Provides a point-to-point smart grid communications platform that can facilitate data transfer to any smart grid device on any network (public or private)
  • Can be managed by standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) network IT management tools that most utilities already implement
  • Functions like any other network appliance on an IP network, such as a PC or copy machine.
  • Offers a standard, open platform that allows multiple companies to provide value to the customer as part of an “ecosystem of innovation”
  • Is field upgradeable, allowing utilities to add multiple communication technologies to their smart grid communications infrastructure based on future needs without having to replace an entire system backbone
  • Features a built-in software development kit (SDK) allowing utilities to design and utilize custom software applications to meet specific smart grid needs

Currently, utilities have few options to purchase and integrate non-interoperable proprietary technologies from multiple vendors that have purpose-built network communications. The GridRouter bridges the network gap between these types of devices and allows each vendor to participate in an open ecosystem, and helps utilities avoid being locked into one specific technology or device.

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