On September 22, 2014, The Illinois Institute of Technology in partnership with ComEd, Silver Spring Networks and West Monroe Partners, opened The Center for Smart Grid Application, Research and Technology (CSMART).

CSMART is a lab dedicated to researching, testing and analyzing the latest smart grid technology innovations in a real-world environment. Built with the support of IIT, ComEd, Silver Spring Networks and West Monroe Partners, this partnership and lab is the first of its kind.

The Center for Smart Grid Applications, Research and Technology (CSMART) will address some of the most challenging issues facing the utility industry over the next decade in an open and collaborative manner. CSMART will leverage the unique capabilities of academia, utilities, and private enterprise to determine the best ways to deploy and support advanced smart grid technologies in an effort to manage the growing amounts of renewables, energy storage, and microgrids in a secure and reliable environment. The lab will support and publish research on the impacts of these cutting edge technologies on new and existing business models. The open business environment at CSMART will help advance the development in these key areas not just in Chicago and Illinois but across the United States.

CSMART Lab Space

Smart Street Lights
This pilot program reduces operating and maintenance and energy costs by up to 75% by using LED lights that are controlled by a smart grid network. The software will provide remote access, scheduling of lights and event lighting if needed in seconds as well as automatic outage detection.

Old High Pressure Sodium Fixture

New Networked LED Fixture

   Pilot installation on IIT’s Campus

Distributed Resource Management – ConnecttheGridTM
A cloud-based application that provides work-flow management and an online dashboard for utilities to manage distributed generation application approvals as well as provides asset tracking, reporting and forecasting.

200 kW Keating Hall Solar Installation, IIT

ConnecttheGrid web portal

Data analytics and Real-Time Interactive Dashboard
Smart Grid communications networks are used to monitor operations and collect data from throughout IIT’s electric microgrid in order to optimize electrical efficiency of the system and predict faults prior to their occurrence.

Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is on the forefront of Smart Grid technology and workforce training with faculty research initiatives that provide innovative approaches to existing problems, passionate students who are ready to take the necessary steps to advance our nations aging grid, and a host of committed partner companies that are collaborating to provide faster realization of new technologies. IIT has the unique benefit of owning and operating its own microgrid, which provides the campus grid improved economics and resilience. Key parts of this system are renewable energy sources, onsite electricity storage, and a high reliability system to distribute power and provide real time monitoring and control. This system and our unique partnerships are used to educate the next generation of engineers and scientists, improve the understanding around smart grid technology, and establish the City of Chicago as a HUB for Smart Grid education and research.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. As a partner in the Center for Smart-grid Applications, Research, and Technology (CSMART), ComEd is continuing to fulfill the promise of the smart grid by fostering collaboration and providing a robust test environment for individuals and companies as they create smart grid related innovation to benefit its customers.

Silver Spring Networks
Silver Spring Networks is a leading networking platform and solutions provider for smart energy networks. Silver Spring’s pioneering IPv6 networking platform, with over 19 million Silver Spring enabled devices delivered, is connecting utilities to homes and business throughout the world with the goal of achieving greater energy efficiency for the planet. Silver Spring’s innovative solutions enable utilities to gain operational efficiencies, improve grid reliability, and empower consumers to monitor and manage energy consumption.

West Monroe Partners
A leading business and technology consulting firm based in Chicago, West Monroe Partners provides holistic business and technology solutions for the transforming energy and utilities industry. West Monroe Partners has released ConnecttheGridTM – a cloud-based platform that supports utilities to more effectively enroll, track, report on, and forecast their service territory’s distributed generation resources. For more information, visit ConnecttheGridTM’s product overview page. http://connectthegrid.com/
©2014 Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation.