A closer look at smart grids
What makes smart grids smart is information technology, which is used to optimize supply and consumption of electricity on the power network. One facet of this is monitoring residential energy consumption through networked smart meters in order to supply electricity more efficiently.
In contrast, HEMS are focused on energy consumption. These systems illustrate how much electricity is being consumed by a variety of networked home appliances in real time, so that users can ensure efficient consumption. Sony is moving ahead in original HEMS R&D aimed at developing systems that are not only practical but also enjoyable to use, hoping to leverage proven expertise in innovative power sources, energy-efficient products, energy storage solutions, and entertainment.
Sony is participating in the Pecan Street Smart Grid Demonstration Project in Austin, Texas, to test a smart grid through a pilot program slated for early 2012. A Sony HEMS will be installed at up to 500 households in an exploration of a promising smart grid business model, in which communities can enjoy managing their energy consumption.