Posts tagged ‘smart grid’

May 13, 2012

Appliances Ready for the Smart Grid

The smart grid is a digitally managed network offering two-way communication through smart meters installed at users’ homes, enabling higher efficiency, analysis and more accurate monitoring in real time. While this may seem like a futuristic dream, many consumer electronics manufacturers are trying to facilitate its acceptance by introducing appliances that could help save energy or use it more efficiently.

LG Smart Fridge

LG recently introduced its new Smart Fridge, a successor of their Internet Fridge from a few years ago. The new equipment can push an inventory update to its owners’ mobile devices and features a touchscreen, which even suggests recipes based on the content. Its power consumption can operate in three savings modes, including the ‘smart grid’ option, which can utilise the planned ‘time-of-use’ pricing.

Last year LG also announced the so-called THINQ system for fridges, ovens and other household equipment, consisting of various pillars. The ‘Smart Grid’ option ensures that appliances use the least electricity at the possibly lowest rate – thanks to a smart meter. The ‘recommend time’ feature offers the most efficient operation in peak times, while the ‘lowest rate’ option shows approaching non-peak times.

GE also offers a wide range of Smart Grid-compatible appliances, which are linked to a smart meter set up in the house. As the aim is to use electricity at the lowest rate, which usually means off-peak times, the system may delay for example the start of the washing cycle until midnight – instead of peak evening hours. In the case of an appliance that has to be up and running round the clock, like fridges, smart solutions include the launch the defrosting cycle in non-peak periods. GE has even set up a Smart Grid Technology Centre of Excellence in Atlanta, with the aim to research and develop state-of-the-art solutions for future smart grids.

Similarly, Whirlpool is committed to provide a range of smart grid-friendly appliances to users,
starting this year, and at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 a panel discussion took place on smart appliances, involving the main consumer electronics companies, like Panasonic and GE.

As more and more multinational giants believe in smart grids, they supply newer and smarter appliances, which even let you check electricity consumption on the go via mobile apps. And once the smart grid becomes reality, consumers can start saving money and electricity any time.

Written for the Energy Saving Warehouse

Image: Guardian

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