Smart Grid Research Center Opens

September 24, 2014 By Karen Henry

CSMART-lab-energy-manageIllinois Sen. Dick Durbin joined representatives from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), ComEd, Silver Spring Networks and West Monroe Partners at the dedication of the Center for Smart Grid Application, Research and Technology (CSMART). CSMART is dedicated to researching, testing and analyzing the latest smart grid and smart city technology innovations in a real-world environment. The Center is located at IIT’s Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation and built with the support of IIT, ComEd, Silver Spring Networks and West Monroe Partners.

CSMART will leverage the capabilities of academia, utilities and private enterprise to determine the best ways to deploy and support advanced smart grid technologies. It will support and publish research on the impacts of smart grid technologies on new and existing business models. The open business environment at CSMART will help advance the development in these key areas in Chicago and Illinois and across the United States.

CSMART provides the platform to conduct a wide range of smart grid and smart city R&D projects. Some of the initial demos include:

  • Smart street lights operational testing: Intelligent and adaptive networked street lights can reduce operating and maintenance and energy costs by 75 percent through LED lights that are controlled and connected by a network. The software helps provide scheduling, remote on/off and dimming features as well as outage detection notification for faster repairs.
  • Distributed energy resource management: ConnecttheGrid is a cloud-based application that provides work-flow management and an online dashboard for utilities to manage distributed generation application approvals, including rooftop solar, as well as providing asset tracking, reporting and forecasting.
  • Data analytics and real-time interactive dashboard: Smart-grid communications networks are used to monitor operations and collect data from IIT’s electric microgrid in order to optimize electrical efficiency and predict faults before they occur.

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