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Fortnightly Magazine - March 2010

64-Gigawatt hours of on-peak electrical consumption to off-peak periods every year, reducing exposure to costly peak power and improving the reliability of the electrical grid. The project will be implemented by SCPPA member utilities throughout Southern California.

Toshiba established U.S.-based sales and technical support for its new product, the Super Charge Ion Battery, SCiB. This nano-based lithium technology is noted for its rapid charging capability of 90-percent charge in less than 5 minutes, long life of more than 10 years even at rapid charge rates, and excellent safety performance. Toshiba’s international headquarters in Houston, Tex., will support the SCiB product line, and the product team will focus on business development activities, battery pack design, prototyping, assembly, technical support, and service.


Itron announced two major delivery milestones for both its legacy Centron electricity meters, as well as electricity and gas end points for its smart-grid platform, OpenWay. To date, more than 30 million Centron meters have been shipped to utilities throughout the world. Introduced in 1998, Itron’s Centron electronic residential meters helped the company expand its business in digital meters and automated meter reading (AMR) systems—a cumulative market share of nearly 50 percent in North America and 30 percent globally. Coinciding with this milestone, Itron also announced the shipment of 1 million OpenWay units. The shipments support several utilities’ smart-grid deployments including CenterPoint Energy (Texas), DTE Energy (Mich.), and in California, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Glendale Water and Power.

Morgan Technical Ceramics (MTC) introduced its piezo electric ceramic components and ultrasonic sensors for flow measurement of utilities, including gas, heat and water. Ultrasonic flow measurement devices are a key component of smart meters. MTC’s piezoceramic components for measuring flow, distance and level have excellent acoustic sensitivity and mechanical strengths to withstand high pressures. MTC offers a range of electrode materials and geometries to help customers with efficient high-volume manufacturing. Ultrasonic flowmeters are a solid state technology with no moving parts, making them more reliable than conventional mechanical meters. They suffer no pressure loss, offer nearly maintenance-free operation and are more accurate than many competing systems. In addition, they are more adaptable to electronic displays of energy use.

ecobee unveiled its second product, the ecobee energy management system (EMS), at the 2010 AHR Expo in Orlando. Designed for the commercial market, the ecobee EMS is intended for applications where a simple thermostat doesn’t provide adequate controls and functionality and a full-scale building automation system is too complex and cost prohibitive. The ecobee EMS was designed to: 1) be extremely easy to use; 2) reduce operating costs; and 3) deliver increased energy conservation. The EMS comes with a dedicated Web portal that allows users to remotely control and monitor HVAC systems and also to identify, analyze and troubleshoot performance issues. Using the EMS, a building manager can create standard operating procedures across multiple properties and compare, contrast and audit energy consumption levels for each property. Users also can configure the ecobee EMS to send alerts and service reminders.

Smart Grid

S&C Electric announced an investment in the future of