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WINSmartGridTM (Wireless Internet SmartGrid) Connection - A UCLA-based Initiative to Support Green Energy
http://winmec.ucla.edu/smartgrid/

UCLA WINSmartGridTM announces its second Smart Grid Thought Leadership Round Table Forum

Join UCLA WINMEC (http://winmec.ucla.edu/) for its second Leadership Round Table of the UCLA WINSmartGridTM Connection - a partnership between universities, industry and government. On June 18th, 2009, we are planning a thought leadership round table at UCLA on the state of the Electrical Grid in the United States and the direction the community is headed in the formation of the Future Smart Grid. We will be joined by several leaders from government, industry, and academia.

Background
While the current electric grid in the United States has an impressive 99.97% reliability, it is somewhat limited in its ability to handle renewable energy sources, to effectively manage demand response, to self-repair, or to sense/monitor its own problems. Convergence of communications, sensors and information technology has resulted in phenomenal advances such as the iPhone, but such convergence has been slow to reach the utility industry. With rise in the US population and increase in demand for electricity, there is tremendous opportunity for the United States to lead on the path of a new genre of convergence between the existing electric grid and the next generation of Wireless, Information Technology, RFID and Integrated Sensors (WITRIS) technologies. President Obama's stimulus package (called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA) that contains approximately $4.4 billion for Smart Grid represents perhaps a starting point for investment to modernize the grid.

While every major media source today is talking about the Smart Grid due to its importance to the national energy policy agenda, it is still unclear to many as to what this grid of the future will look like. In-fact, it is like trying to predict what an iPhone would have looked like in the year 1984 (25 years ago), when a cell phone was simply a mobile telephone. There is tremendous opportunity for creativity, experimentation and research in the defining of the Future Smart Grid. Throwing open this opportunity to students in universities or entrepreneurs in industry could result in new and currently unimaginable possibilities for this grid. Therefore, while the utility community is trying to determine this singular vision of the grid of the future, the eventual outcome is impossible to predict, but we need to ensure that those who want to experiment with meritorious ideas get the right resources, opportunities and incentives to do so. The innovative ideas of today would get impetus with funds from ARRA to become the creative Smart Grid ideas of tomorrow.

While the long term vision - 25 or 50 years - for the Smart Grid may be difficult to predict, the community needs to come together to define short and medium term goals that are achievable in the next one to five years. Early successes would require some consensus in the short-term vision of the Smart Grid. Therefore, at the Thought Leadership Round Table, we will start with three panel discussions - the first representing a government perspective on goals, regulations, standards, policies and incentives around this infrastructure, the second representing a utility perspective of the Smart Grid Communications infrastructure in the short to medium term, and the third representing industry perspectives on innovation, startups, business models, investments and opportunities. The panels will be moderated by Faculty / Researchers from UCLA WINMEC.

The remainder of the day will involve all participants contributing on the following topics:

Objectives of UCLA WINSmartGridTM Connection
The objective of the WINSmartGridTM Connection is to advance novel Wireless Internet Smart Grid technologies in university labs, perform testing in the labs, transition technologies into the field for scaled testing, and work with partners in industry and government for demonstrations and eventual rollout and deployment.

What is UCLA WINSmartGridTM?
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 system connects home appliances and smart meters to a gateway, which can wirelessly receive information from smart utility web services that provide live price feeds on instantaneous price of power, future prices, etc. Based on knowledge-based models that can be pre-programmed, the gateway sends control signals wirelessly to the appliances in real time. Important features of the system include low-power, generic/flexible/reconfigurable technology, two-way communication capability, open-architecture for integration with sensors, devices, networks and appliances, and, standards-based interfaces.

This technology would provide utilities - at the edge of the network - an enabling technology to link with incentive-based consumption of energy by consumers during off-peak hours, and, 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. With the consumer intelligently operating appliances via a wireless open architecture approach within the home using WINSmartGridTM, the utilities would eventually benefit by reducing peak power requirements during the day and getting a more balanced load curve.

Technology
The WINSmartGridTM system is based on the 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 tri-layered (that derives from the WINRFID Middleware and Edgeware research - http://winmec.ucla.edu/winrfid) as follows: i. hardware integration via Edgeware, ii. the control, setup and data functions via the Middleware and iii. the decision making via the Centralware.

The Edgeware is a combination of software and firmware that monitors 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 utilizes wireless protocols such as Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPRS and RFID, however, now it increasingly clear that the 802.15.4-based low-power protocol (that includes Zigbee) appear to hold strong promise. 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 body or the Centralware. The Middleware provides functionality such as data filtration, aggregation and messaging on the raw data from the Edgeware, extracts meaningful information, and routes it appropriately to the correct destination / web service.

The Centralware receives dynamic price feeds and other similar data from the utilities, and utilizing a basic set of rules, generates the command decisions that need to be executed.

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).

The UCLA WINSmartGridTM technology has the potential to provide an enabling Open Wireless Internet Platform to smoothen out power consumption within households, thereby assisting with the goal of a potentially improved demand response for the electric grid.

Characteristics of WINSmartGridTM include:

Current and Future Benefits to Utilities

Other Research Projects that will be investigated using the open WINSmartGridTM and other technologies from UCLA and partnering institutions:

Benefits of these projects include reduction of labor costs and ability to monitor the above variables more frequently, automatically, accurately, and with less human intervention.

Schedule of Meetings
If you are interested in participating at this Thought Leadership Round Table, please fill an application at the following web site: http://winmec.ucla.edu/smartgrid/2009-06/

Space at this meeting is highly limited and therefore we may not be able to accommodate all the applicants at this meeting.

Participants:
Boeing
California Energy Commission
California Institute for Energy & Environment
California Public Utilities Commission
Cisco
Constellation Energy Group, Inc.
CSC
Defense Energy Support Center
Electric Power Group
EPRI
Global Quality Corp.
Hughes Network Systems
ISGEC Group, India
Ismb - istituto superiore mario boella
JETRO Los Angeles
LanTech, Inc.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Motorola, Inc.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
San Diego Gas and Electric
Sempra Energy/The Gas Company
Southern Contracting Company
TDG Aerospace
TechnoCom Corporation
Tennessee Valley Authority
UCLA - WINMEC
UCLA Facilities Management
UCLA Institute of the Environment
UCLA ITA
Universal Devices, Inc
University of South Carolina
USAF- Edwards AirForce Base CA
USC
USC ISI
Utility Consulting Group
Boeing
California Energy Commission
California Institute for Energy & Environment
California Public Utilities Commission
Cisco
Constellation Energy Group, Inc.
CSC
Defense Energy Support Center
Electric Power Group
EPRI
Global Quality Corp.
Hughes Network Systems
ISGEC Group, India
Ismb - istituto superiore mario boella
JETRO Los Angeles
LanTech, Inc.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Motorola, Inc.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
San Diego Gas and Electric
Sempra Energy/The Gas Company
Southern Contracting Company
TDG Aerospace
TechnoCom Corporation
Tennessee Valley Authority
UCLA - WINMEC
UCLA Facilities Management
UCLA Institute of the Environment
UCLA ITA
Universal Devices, Inc
University of South Carolina
USAF- Edwards AirForce Base CA
USC
USC ISI
Utility Consulting Group

Participants from our March, 2009 event:
A2Insights, Current Group LLC, Electric Power Group, Qualcomm Ventures, 3Di Systems, Utility Consulting Group, University of California, San Diego, OPUS Consulting Group, Capgemini, Los Angeles Dept Water & Power, Litton Consulting Group, Inc., BC Hydro, CSULB/TMAssociates, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sempra Energy/The Gas Company, NERC Cyber Security CIP Program, Siemens, On-Ramp Wireless, Inc., Oracle Corporation, Qualcomm Incorporated, H2scan Corporation.

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

Smart Grid Technology Leadership Council
Select utilities, government labs, and, companies are being invited to serve on the UCLA-WINMEC's Smart Grid Technology Leadership Council. For further information, email smartgrid@winmec.ucla.edu, subject "Smart Grid Technology Leadership Council".




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

Equipment Sponsors:
Impinj, RSI ID Technologies, Printronix, Symbol, Maxell, Motorola Inc., Zebra, Quantum Route, Inc., Convergence Systems Limited, Magellan Technology (Australia), Confidex, Alien Technology, Intemec, UPM Raflatac, TagSense, Albis Technologies, Tescom Co., Metalcraft Inc.

Media Sponsors:
EcoSeed, Smart Grid News, RFID 24-7, Smart Grid Library


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