Smart Grid

December 12, 2012

Dell Smart Grid Data Management Solution to Assist Pecan Street Research in Energy Systems

Dell (News - Alert) has joined Pecan Street’s industry advisory council, a not-for-profit energy and smart grid research and development organization based in the University of Texas at Austin.

This move will have Dell offer technology and IT expertise to Pecan Street, assisting it in its project regarding energy use in big data. Pecan Street is involved in an extensive and detailed research on consumer energy use in Austin, Texas.

The project covers consumer electricity and gas use and solar and electric vehicle integration.

David Lear, executive director of sustainability, Dell said, “Information technology and data management will be crucial to these smarter grids, and Dell is proud to put technology and expertise toward the goal of ensuring our energy future is efficient and sustainable.”

For this project, researchers are monitoring electricity and gas use from several circuits in 400 households every 15 seconds. This is expected to give the most extensive and deepest consumer energy use data.

The complex systems used in capturing the data include two-way communication between users, producers and transmitters of energy, and monitoring by optimized data management systems to deliver actionable information in real time.

The Pecan Street project will leverage the Dell Smart Grid Data Management Solution as a tested architecture encompassing servers, storage, networking and security services and software, making it a ready-to-deploy solution.

This will greatly help utility companies to optimally manage their distribution networks.

In its endeavor to help people and the planet, Dell has developed smart grids and other information-enabled networks to help utilities, businesses and consumers make better use of natural resources, said officials.

Dell Solution Centers will provide equipment to Pecan Street, including OptiPlex and Dell Precision workstations for researchers; PowerConnect network switches; PowerVault direct-attached storage for research sharing and SonicWall backup and recovery, along with Data center infrastructure.

Brewster McCracken, president and CEO at Pecan Street, remarked, “Dell’s experience in enterprise computing and its leadership in empowering customer solutions that integrate big data and smart grid technologies will be a great resource for Pecan Street. Dell has long been a supporter of Pecan Street’s mission, and we are thrilled that they have joined our consortium.”

In related news, OnStar is testing an app called EcoHub, capable of telling Chevrolet Volt owners how much it costs to charge their batteries. The new app will be evaluated by and available to residents of the Pecan Street demonstration project.

The app also compares the Volt’s energy use with the total energy consumed at the drivers’ homes – by day, month or year.

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Edited by Braden Becker