Energy Department Announces $15 Million to Integrate Affordable Solar Energy into Nation’s Electrical Grid

DOE1 The Department of Energy keeps the green pedal to the metal.

Supporting the goals of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department today announced $15 million in available funding to help integrate distributed, on-site solar energy systems into the nation’s electrical grid. With more solar power installed in the United States in the last 18 months than in 30 years prior, solar is shattering records. Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased more than thirteen fold – from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an estimated 15.9 GW today – enough to power the equivalent of 3.2 million average American homes. As more solar comes online, the Energy Department is working to address the challenges of solar power, such as the variability of available sunshine during the day, and developing solutions to better integrate solar photovoltaics (PV) with electric power systems throughout the grid.

To further spur widespread deployment of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar energy for all Americans, this funding is specifically aimed at supporting projects that enable low-cost, flexible and reliable solutions that successfully integrate solar PV power plants and energy storage. The funding opportunity will tackle the challenge of creating cost-effective and reliable distributed PV and energy storage solutions to help overcome the challenges associated with increased amounts of renewables. Eligible projects include solutions that will help revolutionize distributed PV and energy storage through:

Advanced operation in conjunction with smart loads and demand response,
Incorporation of solar and load forecasting,
Innovative uses of smart components and functionalities, and
Easily interoperable hardware, software and firmware technologies.

Full Story!

ControlTalk NOW for the Week Ending October 26, 2014

BelimoBelimo is ControlTalk NOW’s sponsor for the Week Ending October 26, 2014. Belimo products help create comfort, safety, and efficiency in buildings. Belimo customer satisfaction and loyalty have made Belimo a leader in HVAC throughout the world. Visit Belimo Projects to view an overview sampling of recent installation with energy savings.

KMC2ControlTrends People: KMC Controls’ Erich Kreuter: I had a chance to sit down and talk to Erich Keuter, from KMC Controls. Eric is the grandson of Ken Kreuter, the founder of Kreuter Controls which is now KMC Controls. Hear what Erich had to say about the company philosophy that makes KMC Controls different from most controls companies, as well as, what makes Simply VAV such a special VAV controls solution. Click here for a specification sheet on this easy to use VAV controller. [Read more...]

CoRE Tech 2014 – The Number One Program on Corporate Real Estate Innovation in the World!

A message from Jim Young, Co-Founder and CEO CoRE Tech: There are many moving parts in managing the real estate assets of a corporation; hundreds of processes, a great amount of data and many analog tools. Because of this, innovation, technology and automation will continue to significantly impact how we use and operate corporate facilities.

CoRE Tech 2014 will be at the epicenter of the Corporate Real Estate and Facility transformation. We have assembled the most innovative users of space, the ones taking the risks along with the solution providers at the forefront of these changes, all in one place.

There is simply no other place, no other education program in the world, that focuses on transforming corporate real estate and facilities through the use of innovation, technology or automation.

GC Valves TECH TIP: Sensible Precautions for Solenoid Valve Users (Part 2 of 2)

CS_GCV2ELECTRICAL & CONTROL DESIGN STRATEGIES: Solenoid valves can be economical solutions to flow control requirements. And they are easy to maintain. But any electro-mechanical device has limitations.

Here are a few choices that might add to your comfort level when applying solenoid valves:

1 — specify DIN coils and connectors to simplify assembly and reduce installation time
2 — investigate the use of rectified coils if “ac hum” is a concern, especially in residential installations
3 — consider DIN electrical connectors with integral surge suppression to protect control electronics
4 — use lighted DIN connectors to simplify troubleshooting
5 — evaluate magnetic latching coils for battery operation or when heat generated by the solenoid valve coil is a concern.

Click here to see Part 1.

And be sure to ask your distributor or regional manager about the availability of manual override if valve operation is required when power is interrupted.

Chuck Stevens – GC Valves Solenoid Valves
PO Box 2057 – Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania 16066
724-772-8900 – fax 412-202-9616
chuck.stevens@gcvalves.com

GC Valves — Solenoid Valve TechTip: Sensible Precautions (Part 1)

CS_GCVMECHANICAL & MATERIALS CONSIDERATIONS: Solenoid valves are your fastest acting option when controlling flow, they can be repaired in-line (without breaking plumbing connections in most designs), and they can be less costly than other electrically operated valves.

But there are a few measures that can increase your satisfaction with solenoid valves:

1 — install strainers or filters to prevent foreign materials from entering the valve and interfering with operation
2 — avoid teflon tape: those stringy leftover pieces can travel downstream and hang up in the valve
3 — use pipe dope sparingly: globs of it in the line can affect solenoid valves and other control elements
4 — add check valves to your design if it is important to prevent back flow through the solenoid valve
5 — consider plumbing solenoid valves in series (double-block) where any leakage is unacceptable
6 — ask for a plated operator to protect special grades of stainless steel from corrosion.

And be sure to let your distributor or region manager know about everything in the line fluid: additives in air, water or other fluids can change the soft-seal requirements.

Thanks to Jesse Smyers of Sunbury Controls for offering technical input on this topic. For those efforts he receives a GC Valves coffee mug filled with a variety of “old fashioned” candies.

Chuck Stevens – GC Valves Solenoid Valves
PO Box 2057 – Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania 16066
724-772-8900 – fax 412-202-9616
chuck.stevens@gcvalves.com

Gotta TechTIP? If we choose your tip or question for this email program, you’ll win a GC Valves coffee mug filled with our candy of the month. Hershey’s Kisses? Atomic Fireballs? Jelly Beans? Who knows? Of course, we’ll also give a tip of the hat to recognize your technical savvy.

Simply email your idea to the Region Manager: chuck.stevens@gcvalves.com.

Sorry, we can only acknowledge winners. GC Valves employees not eligible. Open to those of you located in the Northeast US and Eastern Canada.

2014 ICS Cyber Security Conference October 20-23, 2014 in Atlanta, GA

ics_cybersecurityAs the longest-running cyber security-focused conference for the industrial control systems sector, the 2014 ICS Conference will cater to the energy, utility, chemical, transportation, manufacturing, and other industrial and critical infrastructure organizations. The conference will address topics covering ICSs, including protection for SCADA systems, plant control systems, engineering workstations, substation equipment, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and other field control system devices.

The 2014 ICS Cyber Security Conference will address the myriad cyber threats facing operators of ICS around the world, and will address topics covering ICSs, including protection for SCADA systems, plant control systems, engineering workstations, substation equipment, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and other field control system devices.

Bigger and better than ever before, select sessions of interest in the 2014 ISC Conference will include:

* A summary and status of the two utilities performing Aurora hardware mitigation projects in conjunction with the Department of Defense
* A summary and status of the two utility ICS cyber security test beds (the equipment is the same as in water, oil/gas, pipelines, chemicals, etc.
* A summary and status of the Department of Defense ICS cyber security test bed
* A summary of the recovery and remediation actions from one the most significant ICS cyber incidents to date – complete loss of DCS logic with plants at power
* A summary of Project Shine findings
Discussions of recent non-North American ICS cyber incidents
* Immerse yourself in the reality of managing a plant under cyber-attack: Play KIPS, the Kaspersky Industrial Protection Simulation

Online Registration!

Cyber Security EYE-OPENER: Project SHINE (SHodan INtelligence Extraction) Reveals Magnitude of Internet-connected Critical Control Systems

lock-cyber-security2ControlTrends thanks Marc Petock, VP, Marketing Lynxspring, Inc for this Cyber Security eye-opener article about Project SHINE that revealed that 2.2 million SCADA and BACnet devices were identified as being directly or indirectly exposed to hacking.

In review of Rasshid’s article, Marc writes, “Project SHINE Reveals Magnitude of Internet-connected Critical Control Systems. We have witnessed that SCADA, building management and energy management systems can have security weaknesses, such as inadequate password protection, software that can be breached and various unmonitored/unprotected access points within the network.”

Excerpts from Fahmida Y. Rasshid’s October 6th, 2014, Project SHINE article in securityweek.com:

Project SHINE was undertaken to determine the magnitude of SCADA/control systems’ devices that are exposed directly to the Internet. The results were astounding. Roughly 2.2 MILLION devices were identified as being exposed either directly or indirectly related to SCADA or control systems.

Researchers identified 182 manufacturers who were considered traditional SCADA and control system manufacturers, and built relevant search queries based on those names to find devices. That was a surprise, considering the team expected only a dozen or so manufacturers. In the end, the team sampled about 2.2 million devices during the course of the project.

The project didn’t end in January because the team found everything. “We didn’t see an end to this effort, so we decided to put a stake in the sand and say, ‘At this point we have enough data to report about this.’ This is a snapshot,” Radvanosky told SecurityWeek.

Of the sampled devices, roughly a quarter of them, or 586,997 industrial systems—such as RTUs and PLCs—were manufactured by vendors such as Allied-Telesys, Niagara, DIGI International, Intoto, Siemens, Lantronix, Moxa, EnergyICT, and VXWorks. EnergyICT, Siemens, and Moxa were the most widely used.

Another 13,475 devices were HVAC and building automation systems from Bacnet International, Bosch Automation, Honeywell, Lennox, and LG Electronics. Heatmiser and Honeywell accounted for the most of the devices in the sample. Considering HVAC and automation systems as part of SHINE’s data set was important considering many attackers are using these systems as an indirect avenue of attack, Radvanosky said. These systems let attackers come into the network and scan to find out what other systems are accessible. Consider what happened with Target, and with a number of healthcare organizations recently, he said.

FahmidaFahmida Y. Rashid is a Senior Contributing Writer for SecurityWeek. She has experience writing and reviewing security, core Internet infrastructure, open source, networking, and storage. Before setting out her journalism shingle, she spent nine years as a help-desk technician, software and Web application developer, network administrator, and technology consultant.

Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) – 2015 Funding Opportunity Announcement

DOE1The Building Technologies Office (BTO)’s Emerging Technologies Program has announced the availability of nearly $8 million under the Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovations Technologies (BENEFIT) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001166. This FOA combines an early-stage research and development topic (Innovations) with a later-stage research and development topic (Frontiers) that complements the core funding provided to the national labs. The FOA allows all interested parties, including corporations, universities, and non-profits as well as the national labs, to contribute to advancement in two of these core technological areas: non-vapor compression HVAC technologies and advanced vapor compression HVAC technologies. It is anticipated that six awards will be made and range from $500,000 to $1.5 million

Applications for this funding opportunity are open under the following topics:

INNOVATIONS: Non-vapor Compression HVAC Technologies – This topic includes developing approaches and technologies for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) that replace vapor compression technologies, which are currently the dominant HVAC technologies due to their scalability, relatively compact size, high reliability, and other attributes. However, vapor compression technologies make use of conventional refrigerants. This research topic seeks to explore long-term non-vapor compression solutions that result in HVAC equipment that does not use refrigerants. Solutions for both natural gas and for electric HVAC equipment are of interest.

FRONTIERS: Advanced Vapor Compression HVAC Technologies – Regional HVAC solutions offer significant energy saving potential for new construction and the existing building stock. Today’s vapor compression equipment has limited cooling control. This topic seeks to develop equipment optimized for specific environments and that can provide dramatic improvements in energy efficiency with modest increases to equipment costs. Because the building stock increases by only a few percent annually, concepts which are applicable only to new construction will have limited energy savings potential. Therefore, concepts that are applicable to both new construction and retrofits of existing buildings are particularly encouraged.

HOW TO APPLY: This funding opportunity is open to individuals, corporations, universities, non-profits, as well as national labs. The final funding amount is subject to congressional appropriations.

Project Haystack Announces Haystack Connect 2015 Conference

Project HaystackThis is THE EVENT that Connects Community and Ecosystem — Driving Smart Data, Smart Devices, Smart Buildings and Smart Business!

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO –October, 14, 2015 Project Haystack, a non-profit, 501C organization focused on developing common standards to streamline the interchange of data among today’s smart devices announced the dates and venue for the Haystack Connect 2015 conference.

Taking place May 18-May 20, 2015 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs Colorado, Haystack Connect 2015 is an open forum conference where the community of leading technology suppliers, systems integrators and forward looking end users come together to advance the state of the art in managing, presenting and analyzing the vast amount of data generated by today’s smart devices and equipment systems.

Haystack Connect provides a unique venue for professionals involved in automation, control and the Internet of Things to come together to learn and share the latest techniques for connecting systems and utilizing device data in applications including intelligent buildings, energy management, remote monitoring, and other smart-device applications. Session topics will include data acquisition, communications, protocol translation, data visualization, analytics and methods to effectively bring data together for improved systems and equipment performance.

What Is Project Haystack? The devices that make up the Internet of Things – automation systems, metering systems, sensors and smart devices – produce tremendous amounts of data. This data is very hard to organize and use across different applications because it is stored in several different formats; has inconsistent naming conventions and very limited data descriptors. In essence it lacks information to describe the meaning of the data. And without meaning a time-consuming manual effort is required before value creation can begin.

Taking cues from other data intensive applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and others who utilize tags and semantic data models, the work developed by the Project-Haystack community addresses this challenge by defining and easy to use methodology to describe the meaning of data. This enables software applications to automatically consume, analyze and present data from devices and equipment systems.

Project Haystack is an open, flexible, extensible, data modeling approach and standard for today’s common equipment systems and devices that makes it easy and simple for software applications to consume, analyze and present data from devices and equipment systems in the same way and with the same meaning.

Since its formation in March of 2011, Project-Haystack.org has grown tremendously providing the industry with an open-source, collaborative environment where people and organizations work together to address the challenge of utilizing semantic modeling (also known as tagging) to streamline the interchange of data among software applications. The community has developed a flexible, extensible, data modeling approach and standard models for common equipment systems. The standard includes detailed documentation describing the data modeling techniques, significant libraries of equipment models, and software reference implementations to easily enable software applications to consume smart device data that is “marked up” with Project-Haystack data descriptions. More information on Project-Haystack can be found at: www.project-haystack.org.

About Haystack Connect 2015: Connecting Companies, Communities and People who are re-defining smart and connected systems, Haystack Connect 2015 is the event that brings together the systems integrators, technology suppliers and customers who are leading the way to more efficient and sustainable buildings and advanced smart-device applications. Haystack Connect is a unique “open forum” conference organized and sponsored by the community, for the community.

Contacts:

John Petze
Project Haystack, Executive Director
Principal, SkyFoundry
john@skyfoundry.com

Marc Petock
Project Haystack, Secretary
Lynxspring, Inc. Vice President, Marketing
marc.petock@lynxspring.com

ControlTalk Now: The Smart Building Podcast October 12, 2014

Contemporary ControlsControlTalk Now: The Smart Building Podcast October 12, 2014 is sponsored by Contemporary Controls, nominated for 6 ControlTrends Awards. Contemporary Controls is your ideal automation partner for applying ARCNET®, BACnet®, Controller Area Network, Ethernet, Modbus®, Niagara Framework®, and Sedona Framework™ technologies to your automation project.

PatFarewell and Happy Retirement to Pat Marley: Pat Marley recently ended his 24 year career with Stromquist Company and started on a new journey called retirement. Pat worked in our Orlando branch and was indeed a tremendous asset to our team. We will greatly miss having him as part of our Stromquist family, and we wish him much happiness and fulfillment in the future years. Cheers Pat! Enjoy the next phase!

GoogleWhere is Google Nest Going? Google Invests $145 Million in 82-MW SunEdison Project! Funds Over $1.5 Billion in Renewable Energy in Three Continents! SunEdison and TerraForm Power announced that Google will provide $145 million in equity financing for the Regulus photovoltaic (PV) power plant located in Kern County, California.

Mike WelchMike Welch and The Niagara Dali Lighting Solution: Mike Welch of Control Network Solutions is excited about DALI’s future, literally, and not just about DALI’s integration of low-hanging light-fruit, but the future-proof solutions DALI offers building owners. Mike’s article “How to Avoid Stranded Investments in Intelligent Buildings” explains in great detail, that DALI is a converged solution and as changes are made within the building space, control over the DALI lighting remains absolute.

BelimoUpdateBELIMO Americas — Communication Update! BELIMO Americas’ headquarters has moved to its new facility located at 33 Turner Road, Danbury, Connecticut. The move has gone as planned and we are fully operational again. Contact Marialisa Aversano, Customer Service Manager, to expedite your orders and shipment(s). Belimo truly appreciates your continued business and support!

cybersecurity_imageOctober is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Excerpt from Automated Buildings, October, 2014 Edition. Article written by Marc Petock, Vice President, Marketing, Lynxspring & Connexx Energy. Go to LynxSpring CyberPro Newsroom for the latest cyber security information.

Dan FControlTrends People: Dan Flaherty from Johnson Controls, stopped by last week. Hear what Dan has to say about recent Johnson Controls acquisitions, the 2014 ControlTrends Awards, and the 2015 Johnson Controls ABCS Conference, to be held in Orlando, FL, where the country’s top JCI distributors and contractors will attend. Stay tuned for more information!

AlpertAlpert Üzmezler: What is New at BASSG Graphics? ControlTrends had a chance to catch up with Alpert Üzmezler, the Managing Partner at BAS Services and Graphics. The very talented Alpert gave us a demo of his new look and feel visualization software and showed us some very cool looking thermostats. Founded in 2004, BASSG has been an innovator in Building Automation Technology and BAS Analytics delivery that reduce implementation and facility management energy costs.

building_americaOffice of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: Building America Program. Dear Building America colleague: The October 2014 issue of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Update newsletter is now available! Read the full October issue for the latest news and information from Building America. Learn more about the Building America program and receive measure guidelines, case studies for new and existing homes and technologies, and more!. Please forward this notice to interested colleagues.

CiscoRealcomm’s Jim Young asks Cisco’s Rick Huijbregts, “Are You Back?” Cisco’s venture into the building space with the Mediator came and went — leaving a lot of unanswered questions behind. In response to Jim Young’s first question, “Is Cisco Back?” Rick Huijbregts, VP, Industry Transformation and General Manager, IoE Smart + Connected Communities at Cisco Canada, answers, “Yes,” and that “Cisco is here to stay,” as he reviewed Cisco’s past, present, and future positions — and reminded everybody that Cisco enters billion dollar opportunities quickly, as they did in the telephony, video, and data center markets.