A "perfect storm" that's good news. (Falling prices on comms and sensing)
Quick Take: If you watch the mobile phone market from the corner of your eye, then you know that sensor prices have been plummeting for years. That's one reason today's smart phones are stuffed with sensors such as accelerometers, thermometers, hygrometers, ambient light, GPS and more. At the same time, the cost of communications modules is falling as well. And, at the same time, we're finally figuring out the analytics to make sense of all the data those sensors produce.
This perfect storm of good news is about to converge on the smart grid space. As evidence, I offer this press release from the maker of a distribution transformer monitor (DTM). Five hundred dollars for a DTM including communications? Weren't they going for more like $8,000 just a few years ago?
And this is just one example. I believe prices will plunge to the point where you can't afford NOT to take advantage. Where there's no excuse not to have full visibility into your distribution network.
Of course, prices for the sensors themselves are just part of the picture. You must also consider the cost of installation, operations and maintenance, and the analytics. And you must seek products that support open standards, so you can mix and match products from multiple vendors. (You can't benefit from falling prices if you are locked into one system).
But with those caveats in mind, I think many utilities should take another look at their grid monitoring roadmaps. You may be able to afford much more than you realize, to the benefit of your system's reliability and performance. - Jesse Berst
GRID20/20 introduces: CAMPAIGN 500
Pairing Best-in-Class Products with Similar Pricing
Beginning May 12, 2014 GRID20/20, a leading Distribution Transformer Monitoring (DTM) solutions provider will introduce its unique "CAMPAIGN 500”. For a limited time, GRID20/20 is making its patented DTM hardware devices available for only $500 each through a Rebate Program.