IIT, ComEd, Silver Spring and West Monroe Partners open smart grid center

Representatives from Illinois Institute of Technology, ComEd, Silver Spring Networks and West Monroe Partners dedicated The Center for Smart Grid Application, Research and Technology.

CSMART is dedicated to researching, testing and analyzing the latest smart grid and smart city technology innovations in a real-world environment. Located at IIT’s Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation and built with the support of IIT, ComEd, Silver Spring Networks and West Monroe Partners, the center together academic, industry and utility experts to provide a fully-functional test environment for smart grid and smart city technology.

The smart grid provides improved reliability and gives customers information they can use to take control of their electrical usage. CSMART will leverage the unique capabilities of academia, utilities, and private enterprise to determine the best ways to deploy and support advanced smart grid technologies.

The center will support and publish research on the impacts of these cutting edge technologies on new and existing business models. The open business environment at CSMART will help advance the development in these key areas not just in Chicago and Illinois but across the U.S.

CSMART provides the platform to conduct a wide range of smart grid and smart city R&D analysis projects. Some of the initial demos include:

·       Smart street lights operational testing — Intelligent and adaptive networked street lights can reduce operating and maintenance and energy costs by 75 percent through LED lights that are controlled and connected by a network. The software helps provide scheduling, remote on/off and dimming features as well as outage detection notification for faster repairs to ensure the safety of citizens and the community. Smart street lighting networks can also establish a platform upon which additional smart city applications can be deployed.

·       Distributed Energy Resource Management — ConnecttheGrid — cloud-based application that provides work-flow management and an online dashboard for utilities to manage distributed generation application approvals, including roof top solar, as well as providing asset tracking, reporting and forecasting.

·       Data analytics and real time interactive dashboard — Smart-grid communications networks are used to monitor operations and collect data from throughout IIT’s electric microgrid in order to optimize electrical efficiency of the system and predict faults prior to their occurrence.

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