In February 2012, 99 "discrete series reactors" were installed on the Tennessee Valley Authority 161 kilowatt transmissions lines east of Knoxville according to news reports. They were part of an experiment to see whether a "Smart Wire Grid" (Oakland) could divert current from overloaded lines to under-utilized lines. If so, the power grid was expected to be able to work at a higher efficiency and better adapt to distributed power users and providers. The Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Administration (ARPA-E) sponsored project went live a year and a half ago. Have there been any results or insights gained? These man portable distributed devices certainly look a lot smaller and practical than the massive "shunt reactor" that I saw moved through and installed in western Connecticut 2 years ago. Overall, how are the electric companies doing in this space?
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.