IEEE has made two standards announcement. The first involves the ratification of IEEE 1815 Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3) standard for electric power systems communications. This new standard, which is said to improve device interoperability and strengthen security protocols, was fast-tracked for completion and was delivered in only seven months. Scheduled for final publication in July 2010, IEEE 1815 is expected to play a significant role in the development and deployment of smart grid technologies.
The accelerated deployment of smart grid technologies, as well as thousands of new and legacy device installations in process automation settings like the electric utility, energy, and water industries, dictated the need for IEEE 1815.
IEEE 1815 is said to be a robust, multi-layered protocol which specifies an agile, forward-looking architecture enabling better optimized and more secure information gathering, exchange, and use, particularly in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Expanding on widely used industry protocols, the comprehensive standard also preserves previous significant infrastructure investments by remaining backward compatible with existing object models, while incorporating emerging smart grid and other new technologies.
The second standards announcement from IEEE relates to the notice of draft standard IEEE P1547.8 for establishing a common technical platform for distributed resources interconnection applications. The proposed standard expands upon IEEE 1547, while incorporating industry and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommendations for improved interconnection performance functionality. It also addresses energy storage challenges coming into play across the distributed resources and smart grid industries. Ratification of IEEE P1547.8, which is sponsored by the IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 21 (SCC21), is targeted for calendar year 2012.
More specifically, IEEE P1547.8 provides greater support for intermittent renewable energy sources, and more flexible use of inverters such as those found in home solar power systems, enabling easier and more robust connections to the grid. It also addresses energy storage devices, hybrid generation-storage systems (ES-DER), and ES-DER aspects of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), as well as taking into account a variety of industry-driven recommendations. IEEE P1547.8 is targeted to distributed resource owners, interconnection contractors, equipment manufacturers, system integrators, area electric power system owners, planners and operators, and regulatory agencies.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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