'Smart' energy devices tested in homes

Jan 12, 2006

The Pacific Northwest is the testing ground for new technologies that give consumers choices about how much power they want to use.

About 300 volunteers on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, in Yakima and in Gresham, Ore., will test equipment that is expected to make the power grid more reliable, while offsetting huge investments in new transmission and distribution equipment, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory said.

Approximately 200 homes will receive real-time automated price information that will adjust energy use based on price. In addition, some customers will have computer chips embedded in their dryers and water heaters that can sense when the power transmission system is under stress and automatically turn off certain functions briefly until the grid can be stabilized by power operators.

"The technologies we're testing will turn today's appliances, which are as dumb as stones with regard to the power grid, into full partners in grid operations." said Rob Pratt, GridWise program manager at PNNL in Richland, Wash.

Automated controls will adjust appliances and thermostats based on predetermined instructions from homeowners. The volunteers can choose to curtail or reduce energy use when prices are higher.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Why your laptop battery won't kill you

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Creating the energy Internet

16 hours ago

It only takes a power outage of a few minutes in the middle of a busy workday to drive home the hazards of relying on an energy infrastructure rooted in the Industrial Age. Without the electricity delivered ...

Demonstration of "CrystEna" energy storage system

15 hours ago

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. and Demansys Energy, Inc. ("Demansys"), a smart grid technology company with offices in Connecticut and Troy, New York, announced today that ...

Recommended for you

Why your laptop battery won't kill you

27 minutes ago

News on Tuesday that major U.S. airlines are no longer going to ship powerful lithium-ion batteries might lead some to fret about the safety of their personal electronic devices.

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

27 minutes ago

Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are ...

Phone firms and the quest for the 5G Holy Grail

2 hours ago

Lightning-quick downloads, driverless cars and remote surgery: telecom firms are racing to develop a new generation of "5G" mobile networks that could start to change the world in five years.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.