ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Smart Grid: New NEMA Concept Measures the Intelligence of the Electricity Supply Chain


New York, Feb 11, 2008

Imagine if your water heater could tell the power plant that you do laundry on Saturday afternoon, or if your office building could communicate that most people are gone by dinnertime.

Defined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, “Smart Grid” technology adds monitoring, analysis, control and communication capabilities to the national electricity delivery system, allowing homeowners and businesses to utilize electricity as efficiently and economically as possible.

A new concept from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), will take Smart Grid a step closer to reality, increasing the efficiency and reliability of the entire U.S. electrical system.

A new NEMA white paper outlines a framework for measuring the intelligence of each link in the electrical supply chain and quantifying its contribution to the overall performance of the system. Electrical equipment is categorized based on its ability to communicate, compute, sense and react, take independent actions, and adapt. Levels of intelligence range from “dumb” appliances (level 0) like old water heaters to level 5 systems where power suppliers can share supply and demand data across the country.

Intelligent equipment and systems enable producers to anticipate peak load times and maintain the balance between supply and demand. Since there is no large-scale storage capacity for electricity, the ability to anticipate electricity needs based on quantity and location is of particular importance for conservation efforts.

For more information, view the NEMA press release or visit www.nema.org/levelsofintelligence.

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