A new relationship between IBM and Hildebrand, an energy consulting firm, will combine the tech giant's data management software with energy monitoring devices in five European cities: Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester in the United Kingdom, and Plovdiv and Ivanovo in Bulgaria.
The deal was made possible by funding that Hildebrand received for a 30-month pilot into energy usage monitor -- and its associated effect on human behavior. The diversity of cities in the pilot should provide useful information about how weather, and cultural difference, affect smart metering usage.
The companies say that homeowners will be able to access their information online, viewing electricity usage state and then using the IBM analytics technology to analyze their usage against group dynamics or against known pricing information.
The folks at Hildebrand say the key to IBM's software is its ability to delivery this information quickly. Here's what the company's chief technology officer, Clive Eisen, had to say in a blog about the alliance"
"In the first proof-of-concept, we simulated three million homes sending readings once a minute and we were able to capture nearly 50,000 readings per second using only a quad-core, dual-processor Intel server. In the second, we moved to a slightly larger server and found we could deliver analytics response times of between one and three seconds for a similar load."