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Published: 24 April 2012

CSIRO smart-grid technology goes global

Worldwide use of a distributed energy technology co-developed by CSIRO is now on the cards, thanks to a recent acquisition by global energy technology company Pacific Control Systems.

‘GridAgents’ software, co-developed by CSIRO and US company Infotility, is designed to alleviate peak demand problems from uses that contribute significantly to peak demand, such as air-conditioner use.
Credit: iStock

Infotility, a US-based company which partnered with CSIRO for a two-year project in distributed energy research and software development, has been acquired by Pacific Control Systems. Pacific Control Systems provides remote energy management solutions for buildings and utilities, based on cloud computing. The technology helps to regulate the temperature of office buildings, and can reduce the need to upgrade infrastructure in existing buildings by optimising air-conditioning and heating.

‘Our scientists were involved in the initial development of the “GridAgents” technology. Pacific Control Systems’ global reach could mean that CSIRO’s science may soon be having a significant impact around the world,’ says Glenn Platt from CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship.

Infotility software, based on some of CSIRO’s initial research, is used for integration of communities of renewables and distributed energy resources, microgrid management, intelligent load control and smart charging applications.

The technology aims to alleviate peak demand problems from air-conditioner use and other uses that contribute significantly to peak demand. Greenhouse gas production can also be reduced with the wide-scale deployment of this load responsive system.

CSIRO completed the first implementation of the GridAgents software framework and built a demonstration system of ‘smart fridges’ at the CSIRO Energy Centre in Newcastle. The ‘smart fridges’ worked as a network of distributed fridges, each fitted with control technology that allowed them to communicate with each other via a network to share and store the energy provided by renewable-power generators.

Source: CSIRO

More information

Smartening up the grid, ECOS, July 2011

Intelligent Energy: finding smarter ways to use electricity, CSIRO

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