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Echelon Introduces New Applications To Protect Electricity Distribution Transformers, Improve Service Reliability And Assure Revenue

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON), a global leader in energy control networking for smart grid, smart city and smart building applications, today announced the beta availability of three new Control Operating System (COS) software applications that run on Echelon control nodes and are managed at the utility's data center. The apps enable network operators to monitor the health of distribution transformers, rapidly detect and respond to outages, and identify technical and commercial losses in the low voltage network. These COS Apps will be demonstrated in booth D25 at Metering Billing/CRM Europe in Amsterdam, October 9-11, 2012.

"We're leading the market by providing new innovative software apps on Echelon's Energy Control Networking Platform.  These apps provide quick and precise visibility into the stress points that grid operators face at the edge on a daily basis. By distributing intelligence on control nodes at the edge of the network and making local decisions when appropriate instead of simply routing everything to the data center, operators can benefit from greater responsiveness and lower backhaul costs," said Varun Nagaraj, senior vice president of product management and marketing at Echelon. "Our proven smart grid platform with value-enhancing software applications provides a great return on investment for our customers."

Monitor and Protect Transformers

In many countries, the installed base of distribution transformers is aging, with less than one percent being monitored in real-time.  Echelon's COS Transformer Protection App enables operators to remotely monitor electrical parameters such as energy and maximum current per phase, along with physical parameters relevant to the transformer's health, such as temperature, moisture level, and door open/close status. With distributed intelligence, only critical exception data is reported to the operations center where it can be visualized and acted upon.  As a result, utilities can:

  • Trend transformer performance over time and detect gradual degradation
  • Identify inefficient transformers and energy loss
  • Receive real-time alerts before transformers fail due to overheating or overcapacity
  • Reduce number of field visits to transformers that are hard to reach
  • Improve public safety by alerting the utility when transformer doors are open

Increase Quality of Service with Faster Response to Outages

Power outages are not uncommon in the developed world, costing the EU €150B 1 and the U.S. up to $180B 2 a year. Additionally, in the future, the quality of power such as delivered voltage is likely to be compromised as more distributed energy sources such as photovoltaics or heavy temporal loads such as electric vehicles are incorporated into the grid. It is estimated that losses caused by poor power quality already cost the EU industry and commerce €10 billion annually, a number that is expected to increase. 3 Utilities would prefer to proactively identify and respond to outages and power quality incidents rather than reacting to customer complaints.

Echelon's COS Service Quality Assurance App can continuously pull and analyze power quality and other status information from all smart meters on the distribution network. This data can be reported in total or on an exception basis. Alternately, in order to further reduce data deluge, the app can instead pull and analyze data from a subset of meters that are strategically located at the middle or at the end of feeder lines. With this functionality, grid operators can:

  • Quickly narrow down the location of outages
  • Dispatch repair crew or begin to take other recovery actions even before the customer calls with a complaint
  • Know the exact time of interruption and recovery so there is no over reporting of outages to regulators
  • Identify incidents of over voltage, under voltage, harmonic distortion, phase loss, etc., to meet power quality service obligations mandated by EN 50160 – a standard that describes the voltage characteristics of public distribution systems

Preserve Revenue and Improve Grid Efficiency

Even the most advanced countries in the world have energy losses of 6-8 percent 4 in the transmission and distribution network. Reducing these losses has significant economic benefits. For example, it has been estimated that a 10 percent gain in efficiency could have saved the U.S. $5.7B in 2006 5.  In addition to technical losses, a medium-sized U.S. utility may experience 1-2% loss from theft resulting in $5 - $20 million of revenue lost annually 6. Outside the U.S., in many high growth economies, it is not uncommon to see theft of service as high as 30 percent annually. With revenue assurance, savings for many utilities can be substantial.

Echelon's COS Revenue Assurance App identifies areas of loss on the distribution network by tracking energy usage at distribution transformers, and comparing it with usage at meters attached to that transformer. Exception data can then be reported to the operations center so that utility personnel can be deployed most efficiently.  This enables utilities to:

  • Quantify losses in the distribution network
  • Correlate instances of tampering at the meter with lost revenue
  • Reduce manual process and time needed to pinpoint the specific opportunities for revenue enhancement

Availability

Echelon's COS apps are currently available for beta testing through the end of 2012. Interested utilities can get more information about participating in the beta trial by contacting Echelon at COSapps@echelon.com.

About Echelon Corporation

Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) is an energy control networking company, with the world's most widely deployed proven, open standard, multi-application platform, selling complete systems and embedded sub-systems for smart grid, smart city and smart building applications. Our platform is embedded in more than 100 million devices, 35 million homes, and 300,000 buildings and powers energy savings applications for smart grids, smart cities and smart buildings. We help our customers reduce operational costs, enhance satisfaction and safety, grow revenues and prepare for a dynamic future. More information about Echelon can be found at http://www.echelon.com.

Echelon and the Echelon logo are registered trademarks of Echelon Corporation registered in the United States and other countries. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

This press release may contain statements relating to future plans, events or performance. Such statements may involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with market acceptance of Echelon's technology, including the Control Operating System software apps, by itself or combined with other applications or offerings; the risk that Echelon's technology and offerings by themselves or combined with other applications or offerings do not perform as designed or do not offer the expected benefits and savings; risks associated with international sales; and other risks identified in Echelon's SEC filings. Actual results, events and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Echelon undertakes no obligation to release publicly the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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