Energy and Data Converge in Microgrids

Nimble, resilient microgrids will be an important part of creating a smarter energy infrastructure, but machine-to-machine middleware platforms like Real Time Innovations’ DDS are important to keep them up and running.

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The Siebel Energy Institute, a grant-making and research organization founded by software entrepreneur Thomas Siebel, estimates that $2 trillion is being invested this decade in upgrading the power infrastructure globally. One of the ways utilities, technology companies and energy producers are working toward modernizing the grid is by building microgrids. These are small electrical grids designed to accommodate and quickly switch between a variety of energy sources, including renewable energy generated in neighborhoods or by businesses.   Microgrids use sensor networks and real-time analytics and control systems to provide a framework for quickly responding to demands for electricity, and for ensuring the most efficient use of its various power sources. (Earlier this year, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a member organization working to accelerate the deployment of industrial Internet of Things technologies, announced that it was partnering with a range of vendors, including Real Time Innovations (RTI) National Instruments (NI) and Cisco, to create the Communication and Control Testbed for Microgrid Applications to develop a repeatable industry framework for building and managing microgrids.   RTI, which provides messaging software that is used to connect a range of devices such as microcontrollers or actuators that control processes in distributed systems such as microgrids, has announced RTI DDS 5.2, a major upgrade to this machine-to-machine middleware. Built on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard, which describes a common language to enable distributed systems used in any industry to send and receive data messages and commands, RTI DDS 5.2 has more than 40 new features. Key enhancements include support for data exchange both within devices and in the cloud-based applications, and support for load transaction processing via a message queuing service.

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