Carmel, IN -
Steffes Corporation, specializing in electric thermal storage (ETS) technologies, builds extremely energy-efficient heating products. Most of the energy industry’s focus has been on reducing energy consumption to reduce costs and balance utility load. Such solutions are designed to solve an energy deficit. However, what happens when energy sources spike suddenly and produce more than the grid can handle?
Rapid fluctuations in power load can cause a host of problems, potentially causing damage to the grid as well as affecting consumers downstream. Even if a fluctuation goes unnoticed in regular home use, a single millisecond of instability can damage computing systems or other sensitive equipment.
“Most people don’t know that the grid has to operate within a very small window to remain stable at about 60 hertz,” says Kelly Murphy, Business Development Specialist at Steffes. “So it’s fine-tuning all the time by throttling generators up or down. And as you add more unpredictable, variable energy generation to this system, you have volatility on one side from demand and on the other side from the addition of renewable energy. And that’s where we’re discovering just how difficult it is to balance these three things: existing generation, new generation from renewables, and the unpredictable part of demand.”
To create a regional, fast-response storage asset from a distributed network of water heaters, Steffes designed the Grid-Interactive Electric Thermal Storage (GETS) system with help from Mesh Systems. “Steffes devices are orchestrated by an innovative concept called the ‘Power Tower’,” explains TJ Butler, Chief Software Architect at Mesh Systems. “The Power Tower is a real-time mirror of every end unit in the cloud and has sophisticated logic which helps blend, sync, and use greater volumes of renewable energy.”
By taking advantage of cloud technologies, Steffes can connect and control thousands of water heaters simultaneously to create a virtual storage asset for utilities. The devices store energy whenever it is produced—which might be at night for wind generation, or midday for solar—so that it is available on demand.
The IoT Smart Energy system is being deployed by Hawaiian Electric and as a result Steffes was honored with a Grid Edge Award by Greentech Media. Mesh Systems congratulates Steffes for their award which demonstrates advanced work in the area of distributed energy and grid integrations.
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About Mesh Systems
Mesh Systems™ is an IoT software, services, and solution provider that rapidly delivers turnkey systems that include hardware, software, and networking frameworks for Smart products. With the MESHVista® IoT cloud platform as the cornerstone, Mesh Systems helps companies get new Smart products to market faster with more scale and reliability than ever imagined.
Steffes Corporation is a leading provider of innovative energy management and heating solutions, and other manufacturing solutions for multiple industries. The company is a North Dakota manufacturing company and a global designer of energy solutions
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