Over the recent year, seven Israel-based companies joined the consortium, among them Motorola Solutions, ECI, CEVA, Winetworks, Yitran Communications, Powercom and Control Applications.
Furthermore, scientists from the Hebrew University, Ben-Gurion University, the Holon Institute of Technology and the Ariel University Center will take part in the initiative.
The lion's portion of the funds will go to the Chief Scientist's MAGNET program (pre-competition generic research and development program) and will be allotted over a three-year period. The MAGNET program aims at promoting research and development in knowledge domains such as optical communication or solar energy.
The Israel Smart Grid consortium (ISG) began its activity a year ago upon an initiative by Motorola Solutions. Last year, Motorola and the Israel Electric Corporation received four million euro from the EU to fund the development and integration of an automatic system for the management and control of electricity production and consumption.
The consortium is charged with the task of developing a state-of-the-art electricity grid which as oppose to traditional grids, includes advanced management capabilities and two-way data communications to all parts of the grid. Similarly to the internet, the smart grid can transfer data both ways and manage electricity consumption in real-time,
'Grid to benefit IEC, consumers alike"
Research and development in the field includes the development of hardware and software for TDM and MESH protocol based data-communications over the electricity grid; the development of technologies to manage and balance electricity peak loads on the grid; the development of consumption forecasting algorithms; the construction of user profiles and the planning the grid's architecture.
Over the past year, the ISG consortium engaged in two main research activities: command and control of the electricity grid, carried out by Motorola Solutions, and the development of a designated electricity grid for the IEC, led by Yitran.
"Surveys by McKinsey forecast that by 2012 the smart electricity grid market will hit $31 billion", said Business Development and Technology R&D Manager at Motorola Solutions Israel, Boris Kantsepolsky in an interview to Calcalist. "On the other hand, the financial losses caused to US electric companies from power cuts alone reach some $150 billion a year."
"A smart electricity grid can help manage consumption – both on part of the IEC which will know how to rout peak loads and on part of consumers who will have control over the consumption of their home appliances in real time. Research shows that exposing consumers to their own levels of consumptions in real time can affect a 20% cut in their electricity consumption," Kantsepolsky added.
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