IBM, Consert disclose initial data from smart grid trial in North Carolina

IBM and systems integrator Consert tout potential energy savings of 40 percent per household from smart metering project.

Another example of why even the smallest adjustments to our energy consumption behavior can make a difference.

IBM and Consert, a smart grid software and integration company that also happens to be an IBM Business Partner, are talking up the results of a smart grid pilot project that the two companies have completed in Fayetteville, N.C. The pilot touched 100 commercial and residential customers of the Fayetteville Public Works Commission.

The project was focused mainly on allowing the participants to control the energy consumption of appliances and other power-hungry devices during peak usage periods. The technology involved in the project included controllers placed on devices such as air conditioners and water heaters. These devices communicate to a gateway device hooked in the utility meter, and a 3G wireless connection from Verizon Wireless was used to collect profile information about the devices being monitored. Consumption patterns could be checked and adjusted via an Internet connection. According to IBM and Consert, participants were able to save up to 40 percent per household on their energy usage by controlling these devices in near real time.

Aside from Consert's technology and integration, the solution uses IBM DB2, WebSphere and Tivoli.

The companies have posted a demonstration video of their system at this link. The music is a little corny, but the animation provides an easily digestible explanation of what's going on in the trial.