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Case Study In the Smart Grid

SAN JOSE, Calif., Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON), the world’s leading energy control networking solution provider, and TDJ Consulting, a leading consulting partner to many U.S. utilities, and Concord Municipal Light Plant (CMLP), a municipal utility responsible for electric service to the town of Concord, Massachusetts, today announced they have successfully completed a trial of Echelon’s innovative Edge Control Node (ECN) 7000 control node.

The pilot demonstrated valuable applications and set the foundation for CMLP’s continued exploration of additional smart grid functionality such as Transformer Monitoring, Power Quality monitoring, and more. The growing need for distribution grid sensor data has promoted innovative projects at CMLP. The municipal utility forecasts a growing need to monitor its assets on the low voltage grid and anticipates testing additional applications from TDJ and Echelon in the near future.

Concord, Massachusetts, is a picturesque New England village with a revolutionary past. It not only was the location for one of the first battles of the American Revolution and Walden Pond, but was also home to Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and Hawthorne. It is located 45 minutes outside Boston and has a population of approximately 16,000. Echelon’s ECN 7000 series nodes, part of its innovating Energy Control Networking Platform, were deployed at strategic locations within the town of Concord.

The ECN’s open architecture enabled custom hardware and software expansion to automate the collection of data from legacy non-AMI meters, extending the useful life of these meters while offering a means for back office integration and meter data analysis. In addition, one node was placed next to a critical distribution transformer, enabling it to also monitor the transformer and provide near real-time measurements of Power Quality data such as Voltage and Current at the distribution transformer level.

Turning such legacy transformers at key locations into "smart transformers" without forklift replacement offers Concord a very cost-effective way to track the health of its distribution transformers. Moreover, because the ECNs are part of Echelon’s NES system, the collected data was constantly available both locally and at the head-end.

"The ECN’s proven ability to continue to reliably operate and provide valuable information can really help our teams locate faults and minimize time to repair outages, particularly in the case of a disaster such as Hurricane Sandy. Tracking the distribution transformer in near real-time will allow us to see areas are or aren’t experiencing outages," said Mark Howell, CIO at CMLP and the Town of Concord, Massachusetts.

"The fact that the same platform also enables us to collect meter data from several different sources makes it an attractive choice for future Smart Grid deployments given the return on investment we drive."

"We are excited to be working with TDJ and the Town of Concord on one of their first smart grid implementations with our energy control networking platform," said Michael Anderson, senior vice president, Worldwide Markets, at Echelon.

"Our proven, open standard, and multi-application platform will enable Concord to quickly and safely build a best-in-class energy infrastructure and modernize their grid infrastructure."

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