Qualcomm Incorporated showcased its new innovations in cellular communications for smart grid last week at GridWeek 2011. Its new embedded chipsets will be targeted at a new generation of smart energy devices which range from smart meters, electric vehicle charging stations, substation routers, communication nodes, to smart devices securely and reliably connecting with utility systems in near real-time.
One of the many companies using Qualcomm’s new chipsets is Ambient Corporation. Ambient provides a smart grid communications platform which includes communications nodes equipped with 3G cellular capabilities. The majority of US utilities are using cellular communications for their smart grid networks and the UK government recently announced its commitments to build a cellular network for its smart grid. Currently, Ambient biggest customer is Duke Energy, based in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, and has been using Ambient’s smart grid platform since 2008.
Additionally, SmartSync and Digi International will be using Qualcomm’s new smart grid chipset technology. SmartSync will be deploying 3G cellular-enabled smart meters for Texas Electric Transmission and Distribution service provider (TNMP) and over 150 other utilities across the US and Canada. Digi International’s smart grid products will be used to connect and securely manage local or remote electronic devices over the network or via the Web through its Digi X-grid solutions, and iDigi Device Cloud.