Posted to IEEE Spectrum by Robert Charette
I came across an interesting article in Government Technology magazine about a smart grid project in Tallahassee, Florida. Tallahassee's public utility will be soon linking electric, natural gas and water services utilizing some 220,000 smart meters that have been installed in the area over the past few years.

A new battery design promises to even out fluctuations in solar and wind power

If we’re ever to run our electric grid on the on-again, off-again power that wind and sun provide, we’re going to need better batteries.

By Bill Sweet of the EnergyWise Blog on IEEE Spectrum
Excerpt from Spectrum Magazine

The vision of a smarter grid is of course a lovely thing to behold: an electric power system that's much more interactive and interoperable, reliable and robust.

Virginia Tech announced today that it has posted a beta version of the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse (SGIC) web portal to invite comments and suggestions on usability from both consumers and the smart grid community

Nuclear Reactor Renaissance

Since the first commercial nuclear power reactors went critical more than half a century ago, their basic design hasn’t much changed. Needless to say, reactor design is in desperate need of revival.
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Source: CNN

University of Minnesota Professor Massoud Amin, a leading expert on the U.S. electricity grid, a senior member of IEEE and Chairman of the IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter, who pioneered RD&D in smart grids during his tenure at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and directed all Infrastructure Security, Grid Operations/Planning, and Energy Markets at EPRI after the tragic events of 9/11, comments on skyrocketing blackouts.

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Most utility installed energy meters are primarily intended to support a utility's billing function. They report only the aggregate energy consumption of a home or business over intervals as long as a month. In contrast, disaggregated energy usage data broken down by individual devices or appliances offers a much richer dataset...

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The first requirement for any intelligent household energy management system is to be able to accurately measure energy usage in the home. Whole-home energy measurement is cheap and easy to set up because only one sensor is placed where the home connects to the power grid. The collected data can provide useful information for large appliances. However, the only way to monitor the energy usage of smaller devices is to install an energy meter on every device of interest. This creates a very detailed picture of household energy consumption, but requires a lot of additional hardware -- one meter per device in the home. This article explores an alternative, more practical, approach to monitor household energy usage including small devices by using circuit-level power measurements. We have developed and evaluated two algorithms to disaggregate the circuit-level data into device-level estimates. Our evaluation resulted in an average error less than 5.35% for each device. We therefore believe that this approach enables the development of highly intelligent automated energy management systems.

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Under the game-change metaphor, strategies developed to address hard problems will potentially lead to breakthroughs in many different interrelated cybersecurity areas. For software assurance, a game change should focus on improving resiliency and hardening new technologies that implement moving-target defenses and tailored trustworthy spaces.

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Although researchers have spent considerable time on smart-grid cybersecurity issues, major problems remain unsolved. This article presents a high-level review of authentication and encryption solutions for smart-grid architectures.

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