Engerati’s Week In Smart Energy – Itron And Internet Of Things

Published: Mon 15 Feb 2016
A blog entry by Jonathan Spencer Jones

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Jonathan Spencer Jones
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In a series of interviews conducted with Itron executives over the past year the company’s strategy for its OpenWay Riva platform has taken shape. Combining sensing with distributed intelligence and connectivity, it was launched initially in the electric sector. At DistribuTECH it was formally launched to the water and gas sectors, and it is but a small stretch to see it applicable in numerous other sectors too. With the launch of the new Ideas Lab to develop new applications in “high-growth industries and emerging markets,” we see Itron taking steps towards becoming a provider to the broader Internet of Things market. [Itron Sights Internet Of Things]

Technology never stands still and wind turbines are a good example. A key goal is to make them more efficient and on the one side investigations are under way to up the size of the turbine blades – potentially as big as 200m so that a single turbine can generate as much as 50MW. Such capacity would revolutionise particularly offshore wind. [Giant Turbines To Harness Large Wind Potential] On the other, investigations are also under way on bladeless devices that vibrate, and early stage experiments have indicated that tree-like structures have the potential to create energy. [Good Vibrations Providing Clean Power]

Collaborations are commonplace in R&D circles but in the energy sector, while there is a good deal of collaboration within countries and regions, there appears to be only limited collaborations internationally and across continents. With common challenges facing energy sectors globally in the energy transformation we suggest that the time is right to expand collaborations through a central body, in order to better optimize limited resources in finding and implementing the necessary solutions. [Big Science Needs Broad Collaboration – What About Big Energy?]

The plan to supply in-home displays along with smart meters in the UK has attracted a lot of discussion, with doubts about their value – especially long-term – in energy saving and the resultant extra cost to the rollout programme. The government now appears to have listened and under a derogation mechanism suppliers are now able to trial alternatives to the IHD. [Alternatives to In-Home Displays Could Further UK Smart Meter Cause] Whatever the outcome the government is determined to provide an engagement tool alongisde the meters.

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