'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: Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Water scarcity and climate change through 2095

Aug 18, 2014

What will a global water scarcity map look like in 2095? Radically different, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, depending on the type and the stringency of the climate mitigation ...

Omni3D's big idea: Wind turbines in backpacks

Aug 18, 2014

Mention wind energy and one thinks on a large-scale, a farm of structures, tracts of land, multi-year roadmaps, and a web of public and private agencies signing off on agreements and contracts over months ...

Pushing the envelope in power electronics

Aug 12, 2014

U.S. electrical consumption is expected to climb about 1 percent a year through 2030, and the share of electricity that goes through power electronics is expected to climb to 80 percent during the same period. ...

'Wetting' a battery's appetite for renewable energy storage

Aug 01, 2014

Sun, wind and other renewable energy sources could make up a larger portion of the electricity America consumes if better batteries could be built to store the intermittent energy for cloudy, windless days. Now a new material ...

Recommended for you

Ahead of Emmys, Netflix already winning online

2 hours ago

Even if it doesn't take home any of the major trophies at Monday's Emmy Awards, Netflix will have already proven itself the top winner in one regard: Internet programming.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

2 hours ago

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Official says hackers hit up to 25,000 US workers

2 hours ago

The internal records of as many as 25,000 Homeland Security Department employees were exposed during a recent computer break-in at a federal contractor that handles security clearances, an agency official said Friday.

Oregon sues Oracle over failed health care website

12 hours ago

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says she's filed a lawsuit against Oracle Corp. and several of its executives over the technology company's role in the state's troubled health insurance exchange.

Google buys product design firm Gecko

13 hours ago

Google on Friday confirmed that it bought Gecko Design to bolster its lab devoted to technology-advancing projects such as self-driving cars and Internet-linked Glass eyewear.

User comments : 0