New Industry Products

Next-Gen Smart Grid Products Revealed at Distributech 2024

March 09, 2024 by Kevin Clemens

The power distribution industry got together in Orlando, and EEPower was on site to give you an insider view. Here are a few of the innovative products unveiled at the show.

The first Distributech International took place in 1990 to address the power distribution technologies used to move electricity from source to end user.  Since then, it has become the premier annual event for electrical power transmission and distribution, and the conference and exhibition offer its participants education, information, and solutions driving the industry forward. 

At Distributech 2024, more than 17,000 participants, 400 technical speakers, and over  600 exhibitors explored distributed energy resource management (DERMs), renewable energy, smart cities, and EVSE interconnection while discovering advances in resiliency, reliability, and advanced metering.


Distributech 2024.

Distributech 2024. Image used courtesy of EEPower


While there, EEPower learned about the innovations and advances moving the industry into the future. 


Hitachi Energy Unveils Hybrid Wireless Router

Hitachi Energy is adding to its TRO600 series of high-throughput and low-latency industrial wireless communications devices with the introduction of the TRO670 router. The device expands Hitachi’s ability to host smart grids and industrial Internet of Things applications.


TR0670 router.

TR0670 router. Image used courtesy of Hitachi Energy 

Suitable for outdoor applications, the TRO670 router combines multiple communications technologies, including public and private LTE, Wi-Fi, and broadband mesh (2.4 GHz and 5GHz) within a single router. The device is specifically designed to deliver reliable, resilient connectivity for critical applications such as distribution automation, asset management, advanced metering infrastructure, and smart-city applications.


Virtual Peaker Aligns Distributed Energy With Grid Requirements

Virtual Peaker, located in Louisville, Kentucky, uses its end-to-end distributed energy resource management system (DERMS), called Shift, to match distributed resources with power grid needs. The cloud-based system provides a more flexible dispatch capability for a variety of utility customers. 


Virtual Peaker platform

Virtual Peaker platform. Image used courtesy of Virtual Peaker


The Shift system is ideal for DER program managers, grid operations and planning staff, and generation and transmission co-ops with joint action agencies. By maximizing flexibility and efficiency, DER programs can add to the reliability and robustness of electrical power grids. 


Laki Power Launches Compact Line Monitoring Unit

Laki Power, an Iceland-based company and leading manufacturer of power line monitoring solutions, has introduced the compact LKX MULTI monitoring station. The LKX MULTI includes optical cameras, a meteorological station, and line sensors and can be used to assist utility companies in protecting their power lines during changing weather extremes. 


Grid monitor.

Grid monitor. Image used courtesy of Laki Power 


Laki claims the monitor can enhance transmission capacity by up to 40 percent by accurately measuring wind conditions and providing dynamic line ratings, depending upon weather events. The system can also provide ice load monitoring and smoke and fire detection


Looq Uses AI To Enhance Digital Physical Mapping

Looq AI has an innovative AI-powered digital tech technology for surveyors, engineers, contractors, and asset owners. The system offers the ability to digitally map physical world infrastructure—including electrical power grids—with survey-grade accuracy in just minutes. 


Monitoring utility grids.

Monitoring utility grids. Image courtesy of Looq AI 


Maintaining and expanding utility grids requires timely, accurate information and precisely placed resources and assets. Looq AI uses an integrated hardware/software platform that includes the Looq Q-Camera, automated cloud processing, and a web-based application for visualization and analysis, resulting in accurate location and geospatial data. 


Garderos Launches Rugged Router for Smart Grid Automation

Garderos, a Germany-based company, has launched its R-8500 series of electrically hardened substation-capable routers with features such as optical networking interfaces, wireless interfaces, and virtual remote terminal unit applications. 


R-8500 router.

R-8500 router. Image courtesy of Garderos 


Electricity network operators can use the robust router in applications where substations are connected, allowing wireless communication with each other and a control center, even if optical communications are interrupted. Linemen can also use Wi-Fi access to download information, diagnose issues, and communicate with a control center if a public cellular network is down. 


California-Based SPAN and Switzerland-Based Landis+Gyr Partner Up

Two companies deeply involved in the electrical power industry used Distributech as an opportunity to announce their partnership. Smart panel and electrification company SPAN and Landis+Gyr, a global provider of integrated energy management solutions, plan to work together to advance electrification, create grid flexibility, and build resilience.

The partnership will help utilities improve utilization of existing assets while also enhancing DER flexibility and improving customer awareness of energy usage. The initial joint product will offer circuit-level billing-grade metering and DER visibility. It will also allow the balancing of loads to maintain peak power within the existing capabilities of the grid, improving the prospects for increased home and transportation electrification.