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Wireless Internet SmartGrid (WINSmartGridTM) Project - A UCLA-based Initiative for Green Energy

Announces the UCLA Wireless Internet Smart Grid Connection (WINSmartGridTM Connection) for the Utility Industry

The UCLA Wireless Internet Smart Grid (WINSmartGridTM) Project announces the formation of the UCLA WINSmartGridTM Connection (UCLA Wireless Internet Smart Grid Connection), which is a partnership between universities, industry and government.

What is the UCLA WINSmartGridTM?
The UCLA WINSmartGridTM is a network platform technology that allows electricity operated appliances such as plug-in automobile, washer, dryer, or, air conditioner to be wirelessly monitored, connected and controlled via a Smart Wireless hub. The WINSmartGridTM technology connects home appliances and smart meters to the WINSmartGridTM web service that receives live feeds from utilities and external sources on information such as instantaneous price of power, future prices, etc., and sends control signals to the WINSmartGridTM which in turn dynamically controls various appliances in real time. Important aspects of this system include low-power capabilities, generic/flexible/reconfigurable technology, two-way communication capability, open-architecture for integration with sensors, devices, networks and appliances, and, standards-based interfaces.

This technology allows utilities - at the edge of the network - enabling technology to provide consumers incentive-based consumption of electrical power during off-peak hours, to store this power in millions of battery-operated Plug-In automobiles, which can subsequently utilize the stored power during the peak hours for transportation thereby helping utilize the off peak-time capacity. By intelligently operating appliances via a wireless open architecture approach within the home with WINSmartGridTM, the utilities can simultaneously reduce peak power requirements during the daytime.

The WINSmartGridTM system is based on the advanced technology called the ReWINS (Reconfigurable Wireless Interface for Networking of Sensors http://winmec.ucla.edu/rewins) that was developed in the Wireless Media Lab and WINMEC in UCLA over the past six years. Its architecture is a tri-layered architecture (that derives from the WINRFID Middleware and Edgeware research - http://winmec.ucla.edu/winrfid) that separates the hardware via Edgeware, the control, setup and data functions in the Middleware and the decision making in the Centralware.

Objectives of WINSmartGridTM Connection
The objective of the WINSmartGridTM Connection is to advance novel Wireless Smart Grid technologies in university labs, perform testing in the labs, transition technologies into the field for scaled testing, and working with partners in industry and government for a full rollout.

National Priority
DOE has a vision for the Modern Grid Strategy as follows (source http://www.netl.doe.gov/moderngrid/opportunity/vision.html ) - "Before we can begin to modernize today's grid, we first need a clear vision of the power system required for the future. Given that vision, we can create the alignment necessary to inspire passion, investment, and progress toward an advanced U.S. grid for the 21st century. A modernized grid is a necessary enabler for a successful society in the future. Modernizing today's grid will require a unified effort by all stakeholders rallying around a common vision".

The UCLA WINSmartGridTM technology has the potential to provide an enabling Wireless Internet Technology for achieving the goals of the electricity smart grid by allowing power consumption within households to be smoothened out, thereby resulting in a flatter demand curve and more efficient production.

The WINSmartGridTM Technology brings together ReWINS technology within a three-layered Serviceware architecture that is composed of the EdgeWare, Middleware and Centralware.

The Edgeware is a combination of software and firmware that connects to and controls devices such as the temperature monitors, humidity RFID tags, motion detectors or X10 controllers on refrigerators. A variety of monitors/sensors are supported within WINSmartGridTM including temperature, humidity, current, voltage, power, shock, motion, and, chemical sensors. The Edgeware controls and utilizes the wireless networks that connect to the WINSmartGridTM hub. The WINSmartGridTM hub supports wireless protocols such as Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPRS and RFID, and it is increasingly clear that the 802.15.4-based low-power protocol (that includes Zigbee) appear to hold strong promise. Other protocols such as WiMax and Rubee are being added. The Edgeware allows the creation, setup, management, control and utilization of a two-way hierarchical and low-power network.

The Middleware sits between the Edgeware and the decision-making web service or Centralware. The Middleware provides functionality such as data filtration, aggregation and messaging on the raw data from the Edgeware, extract meaningful information, and route it appropriately to the correct destination / web service.

The Centralware receives real-time price feeds and other data from the utilities, has a basic set of knowledge-based rules on control decisions, and makes the control decisions that need to be executed. The WINSmartGridTM Centralware also has the capability to connect to other Intelligent Web services to collaborate on decision making about the control decisions - currently it is a structural interface, with a basic set of rules only. This structural web service will eventually be connected to the external intelligent services as they come on-line.

Once the Centralware makes the decisions, the Middleware is informed about the control decisions via actions, which then maps and routes these control decisions to the Edgeware, which in turn converts those decisions to low-level control signals for the appropriate controller (e.g. X10 controller connected to a Plug-In car).

Characteristics of UCLA Wireless Smart Grid (WINSmartGridTM) include:

Benefits of WINSmartGridTM to the Utilities

Other Research Projects using WINSmartGridTM and related technology that is relevant to Utility Industry

Benefits of above - Reduction of labor costs and ability to monitor the above variables more frequently, automatically, accurately, and with less human intervention.

Schedule of Meetings
The kickoff meeting for the UCLA based WINSmartGridTM Connection plans will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, in UCLA from 8 a.m. to 12 30 p.m.. If you are interested in participating at this meeting, please fill an application at the following web site: http://winmec.ucla.edu/smartgrid/2009/. Space at this meeting is highly limited and therefore we may not be able to accommodate all the applicants at this meeting. The subsequent meeting is being scheduled for June, 2009 and we expect to have more space then.

7:00AM - 8:00AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00AM - 9:00AMState of the Utility industry, technical and business challenges with the addition of Wireless Internet technologies, 25 - 50 year predictions.
9:00AM - 10:00AMOpportunities in Wireless Internet Smart Grid at a local and a national level. Federal Government funded opportunities. WINSmartGridTM goals at local and federal level. Stimulus funding.
10:00AM - 11:00AMWINSmartGridTM research and technology by UCLA-WINMEC / Wireless Media Lab, its usage in Home area networks (HAN) for enabling Smart Grid, Research plan, Demo plan, Test Plan, Rollout plan of this technology, Infrastructure and Business issues for utilities.
11:00AM - 12:00PMWireless Internet Smart Grid Connection at UCLA, membership, advisory board, executive board, 1-year, 3-year, 5-year plans.
12:00PM - 12:30PM Discussion and feedback.
12:30PM Meeting Adjourn.

Participating in WINSmartGridTM Connection
Organizations interested in joining the UCLA Wireless SmartGrid Connection should email smartgrid@winmec.ucla.edu

Advisory Board
Select utilities, government labs, and, companies are being invited to serve on the advisory board. For further information, email smartgrid@winmec.ucla.edu, subject Advisory Board.

WINMEC Sponsors:
ETRI, HP, ITC Infotech, Intel, Hughes Network Systems, ISMB, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft Corp., Motorola Inc., QUALCOMM, Raytheon, SIEMENS, Symbol Technologies

Equipment Sponsors:
Impinj, RSI ID Technologies, Printronix, Symbol, Avery Dennison, Maxell, Motorola Inc., Zebra, Quantum Route, Inc., Convergence Systems Limited, Magellan Technology (Australia), Confidex, Alien Technology, Intemec

Media Sponsors:

UCLA - WINMEC, 44-116S Engr. IV, 420 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA. 90095