Maps Are Awesome

What’s not to love about mapping?

The ability to visualize geography is an immensely powerful tool – one that helps inform better decisions while enhancing the reading and understanding of complex data sets.

What does it mean for demand-side management (DSM) programs? It makes new value streams. 

Up until now, the focus of typical DSM programs was on system-wide dispatch. This means that utilities send aggregate signals to large groups of bundled assets and they will all perform the same action (4 degrees offset on a thermostat, vacation mode on water heaters, etc.). We have been beating the drum about real-time, individualized control for quite some time now, but the use cases continue to pop up. The newest one? Localized dispatch.

What is localized dispatch? The ability to segment devices into geographies and call unifying events on those devices. These geographic regions can be anything but are usually tied to a particular part of the distribution grid.  This opens up the door to the holy grail of demand-side management – enhanced reliability.

Electric vehicle penetration keeps even the most forward-looking distribution engineer awake at night. That’s because he or she knows that eventually when everyone is driving electricity, certain circuits on the distribution system are going to be stressed and potentially fail. But the ability to run localized dispatch – controlling groups of devices that are on a potentially overworked feeder – can keep the lights on in the short term and reduce investments in new infrastructure over the long term.

Localized dispatch also captures value from another increasing trend – non-wires alternatives (NWAs). This means that in parts of the country where utilities are able to recover costs on stuff that doesn’t need to get built, those utilities are even more incentivized to manage the peaks on those parts of the grid.

Below are some screenshots (and a video!) of our new mapping functionality, which has been rolled out to all our customers already.

Not a customer yet? We’d love to show you more. Get in touch!

Bill

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Virtual Peaker is a cloud-based Distributed Energy Management System (DERMS) that connects to in-home smart devices such as water heaters, EV chargers, and thermostats to allow utilities to run residential demand response programs, develop new revenue streams, and exceed their customer engagement goals. By being able to integrate new devices in weeks instead of months, Virtual Peaker can integrate new devices in weeks instead of months using their API and other open standards without the installation of any additional hardware in the home. Virtual Peaker hopes to help innovative utilities maximize operational efficiency and usher in the age of renewable energy.

About The Author
Bill Burke blog author

Bill is a serial entrepreneur with a PhD from UC Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence and 10 years of experience with high performance residential energy management and connected appliances. He was previously at GE as an Advanced Systems Engineer in the Connected Home Software Group, but left that role in May 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship full time. Bill grew up in Louisville and returned with his family in 2010 after a long stint in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves Louisville and is working to make it a better and more attractive city for high tech startups.

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