Varentec Introduces Transformative Technology for Smart and Dynamic Control of the Electric Grid

January 28, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

Varentec, Inc. is announcing its product ENGO for electricity grid control and monitoring at the DistribuTECH conference and exhibition in San Diego. ENGO, which stands for Edge of Network Grid Optimization, delivers accurate control of grid voltage, and at the same time provides distribution line monitoring, power quality alerts and grid analytics, all in one solution. Visibility to what is happening on the grid and precise control provides multiple benefits to utilities, including: improved integration of renewable energy, improved system reliability, energy conservation, and reduced peak demand events.

Dr. Deepak Divan, President and CTO of Varentec said, "We are excited to introduce a new paradigm in distribution grid control — truly distributed fast controllers that deliver high value to our utility customers." The ENGO solution is already in field trials with utility customers. Mehrdad Hamadani, VP Product Development commented, "We have been extremely excited to demonstrate the advantages of the ENGO solution in our first customer trials."

ENGO-V is the power hardware aspect of the ENGO solution: the eyes, ears and muscle required to deliver Volt / VAR Control, grid monitoring, power factor correction, and wireless communications — all with one hardware device. Multiple ENGO-V devices distributed along a feeder provide utilities with unprecedented grid optimization and monitoring capability.

Key features of ENGO-V include; fast response, autonomous behavior, voltage / current sensing, secure communications, mitigates voltage dynamics (i.e. solar, industrial loads), scalable: 10 - 1,000 kVAR, low cost and easy installation.

The heart of ENGO-V is Varentec's proprietary advanced power electronics technology, which delivers maximum performance at remarkably low cost. Today's power networks require a new class of faster, dynamic (variable response) power hardware to mitigate effects of dynamic sources (PV solar) and dynamic industrial loads. This makes it possible to lower the set point and implement Peak Demand Reduction or CVR as much as 33% better than existing solutions. Benefits include; accurate Volt/VAR control, improved energy conservation, flatter voltage profiles, stabilize dynamic loads & renewables, higher reliability, and actionable real-time data.

Varentec's ENGO solution features fast responding devices that are deployed along the length of a distribution line, placing the right amount of control, at the right place, acting at the right time. ENGO is capable of responding quickly and frequently to voltage fluctuations that can be put on the grid by intermittent renewable energy sources or dynamic industrial loads. The same ENGO hardware units contain low cost sensing and wireless communication modules that can take advantage of a utility's existing networks, or operate in a stand-alone configuration. The unique features of ENGO give a utility customer full visibility to grid voltage and power quality, and also provide dynamic, automated and fast control at each and every installed node.

"Varentec provides a solution that addresses both the immediate needs for grid reliability, and a future-proof solution that enables integration of renewable energy on our nation's grid," stated Andrew Dillon, Co-founder and VP of Business Development.