Home-DR start-up Greenlet Technologies recently completed a 20-home pilot for Israeli Electric Corp “with very good results, from both the utility and consumer point of view,” Itai Karelic, director of business development, told us yesterday. The trial, set in and around Tel Aviv, is now being expanded to 150 homes, he said.
Greenlet (greenlet.net), which specializes in letting utilities control residential consumers' plug loads through simple hardware installed by the homeowner, debuted its wares at the Autovation conference last September in Denver (SGT, Oct-01). Since then it has grown to 10 employees from six and nearly doubled its capitalization.
The Israeli pilot showed that consumers “liked being able to understand how much power their major appliances connected to our system cost them,” he said. Cycling wall air conditioners did not distress consumers, even with cuts of up to 50%, so long as the comfort level did not decline unreasonably, he said.
Not all the 20 homes were behind the same substation, so the pilot did not demonstrate much about how Greenlet's technology affects utility load, Karelic acknowledged. But the larger pilot will do so, he said.
In the US, trials of Greenlet's technology are under way for three months at “one of the three big West Coast IOUs,” Karelic said, citing a nondisclosure agreement. Three East Coast utilities are conducting lab tests or installing it in some employees' homes, he said.
Greenlet's product is meant to be bought by utilities for use by consumers. It consists of modules that sit between an appliance and a wall plug, as well as an energy-management system run by Greenlet on behalf of the utility. Compared with the initial version of the project, the recently released beta version adds more power-quality data, something utilities have been requesting, Karelic said.
The main competition continues to be Tendril, which offers whole-home as well as plug-based DR. But Greenlet offers “far more power-quality data, and more DR verification,” than Tendril, he said. Another emerging competitor is start-up Sequentric Energy Systems, of Wilmington, NC, he said.
Source: Smart Grid Today