$10 million dedicated to smart grid facility research and deployment

New smart grid research facility gains $10 million budget.

By Donna Donnowitz
February 4, 2014

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has dedicated $10 million toward the construction of a new facility dedicated to smart grid research. As part of the company's Future Power Grid Initiative, the facility will be run in partnership with the Department of Energy, according to Sustainable Business Oregon. Research will focus on harnessing new types of renewable energy, as well as the management of power sources in conjunction with traditional types of energy.

"It's a multi-purpose lab but it will be the new home base for PNNL's smart grid research, and it includes an internally funded initiative that's related to the smart grid," said Franny White, a spokeswoman for PNNL. "It will give us power when we need it and not have blackouts. It's very future-leaning work."

Introducing improved research opportunities for smart grid enhancement will help address national concerns over power grid reliability and resilience, as well as the integration of new and old technologies. This includes focus on media converters, serial to Ethernet solutions and related hardware that facilitates data transmission.

The many benefits of smart grid deployment help utility providers optimize their investments into renewable resources and optimize the technology they are using, such as smart meters. However, these networks have to be supported with reliable solutions like serial to Ethernet converters in order to ensure that new technologies can interact with legacy technology securely. With the right tools in place, smart grids will be able to enhance factors such as demand response and help better manage the flow to energy to reduce the risk of brownouts and other issues caused by high demand over lower-quality networks.

The latest technology serves to better support smart grid needs on a broad scale. From directly reporting consumer usage data to helping monitor and control power flow at all times, these solutions become more necessary as providers seek to enhance the overall capabilities of their grids and embrace new trends such as renewable energy.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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