Australian home energy management system developer carbonTRACK has announced the launch of an ‘intelligent smart meter’ that promises to benefit households, electricity retailers and grid operators alike.
For end users, the units will deliver all the benefits of the company’s EMS, and can take the place of the standard meters usually installed with residential solar PV systems.
The company says in a press release that the meters will also help to stabilise the grid and prevent blackouts. From the press release:
If supply of electricity fails to meet demand, blackouts occur. Blackouts negatively impact business, government, and households, and can damage grid infrastructure. carbonTRACK’s new Smart Meter solves this problem.
If the supply and demand can be normalised, the electricity production infrastructure can operate in an optimal manner, and peaks and troughs can be reduced.
Suppliers of electricity have very limited visibility over demand and users have no idea of its varying costs throughout the day. This market blindness has previously been unavoidable, because technology hasn’t existed that provides both sides of the market with live visibility and the ability to interact and respond instantly.
Electricity is something we take for granted, but the electricity sector is a complex mix of physical assets regulators and consumers. Electricity must generally be used the moment it is produced. Because of this, demand and supply are unable to interact the way they do in normal markets. carbonTRACK’s Smart Meter has the ability to create smart grids.
A smart grid is created through the increased use of digital information and controls technology to improve reliability, security, and efficiency of the electric grid. It involves the dynamic optimisation of grid operations and resources through the development and incorporation of demand response, demand-side resources, and energy-efficiency resources and the deployment of `smart’ technologies (real-time, automated, interactive technologies that optimise the physical operation of appliances and consumer devices) for metering, communications concerning grid operations and status, and distribution automation.
The meters will retail for about $400-$450 each, plus installation costs. Several pilot programs are already underway; the units will be commercially available from the middle of 2017.
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