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Civita project can provide glimpse into future

By Max Burkhalter
September 28, 2012
When you think about what the world will look like in ten years, what comes to mind? I tend to consider everybody walking around with augmented reality glasses, pet robots and lasers. The Civita project, headed by the San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Sudberry Properties, provides a glimpse into what the future could really look like.

What the Civita project entails
Civita is a master-planned development in Mission Valley, an area served by the San Diego Gas & Electric Co. The housing community is owned by Sudberry and will host one of the world's more ambitious smart grid projects. While the scale of the pilot program is not too large, the breadth of the plan is.

Instead of just building a new smart grid system and putting it into action, Sudberry and SDG&E will work together to also implement many of the solutions that will, ideally, be deployed alongside smart grid. This positions consumers in the development to take full advantage of what smart grid has to offer and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Within this goal, the development will be equipped with electric vehicle chargers, battery storage, fuel cell generators and solar panels. These core technologies will be accompanied by consumer energy management tools. When combined with the smart grid, these various systems can enable the community to depend heavily on renewable power resources by storing excess energy and using fuel cells as the backbone of the utility grid when renewable sources are unavailable.

Marco Sessa, senior vice president of Sudberry Properties, said that these innovative systems could help establish Civita as a model for future development projects.

"With our focus on sustainability, we look forward to working with SDG&E to use the latest energy-efficient technology to simultaneously benefit the environment and provide useful services to residents," said Sessa. "We hope these innovations, coupled with the extensive water conservation measures that we are employing, will make Civita a model for future development."

The future as built on serial to Ethernet solutions
The Civita project provides a glimpse into what the future can look like, and it is one built on serial to Ethernetsolutionsas a key technological enabler. The smart grid and all of these supporting power generation and charging solutions are dependent on the ability to make serial-based technologies work within an Ethernet framework, making media conversion a critical factor in sustainable development moving forward.

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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