Member spotlight 11.27.13: Qualcomm, GE, Microsoft, ABB, PNNL

Qualcomm advances smart, connected homes: It makes sense that connected cities will have connected homes, and Council Lead Partner Qualcomm has upped the ante on the latter with a new embedded processor line through its Atheros subsidiary. The idea is to transform networking devices like home gateways, routers, and media servers into 'smart home' platforms.  “Just as Qualcomm helped propel the smartphone experience and ecosystem, we are now employing the company’s mobile DNA to enable the smart home as a platform to deliver an advanced class of content, applications and services that can be enjoyed throughout the home," said Amir Faintuch, president, Qualcomm Atheros. Learn more >>

GE helps Holly Springs modernize its electric grid: The Mississippi town is setting a national example of how cities can tackle 21st century utility challenges, Council Lead Partner GE said in a press release announcing its 10-year agreement with Holly Springs to provide grid-modernization technology. Holly Springs contracted GE to provide its subscription-based Solutions as a Service (SaaS) package that includes grid monitoring, outage detection and asset management capabilities. Learn more >>

Microsoft partners with Scytl on smart governance platform: Scytle, a leader in secure online voting and election modernization, launched its Smart Governance for Smart Cities solution as part of the Microsoft CityNext initiative. The offering is a comprehensive and secure online citizen engagement platform that connects citizens with one another and with city officials. ” We believe it provides long overdue enablement of efficient interaction between cities and their citizens for efficient decision-making processes,” said Scytl VP  Mikel Irizar. “Working alongside Microsoft in their CityNext initiative is the icing on the cake." Learn more >>

Emissions down, greenhouse efficiency up with ABB's Power2:  Two gas engines enhanced by Council Associate Partner ABB’s two-stage turbocharging solution, Power2, have facilitated a 10% improvement in power efficiency at a French market garden in Serres Vinet. After over two years fault-free operation, the exhaust gas that is usually a waste product from the engines is now routinely turned into a prime resource for growing crops.  Known as a “combined heat and power” (or CHP) plant, the setup in the greenhouse generates power flexibly and supplies it to the local electricity grid. Facilitated by Power2, these engines generate all the hot water and electricity required for the market garden’s extensive tomato, cucumber and lettuce greenhouse cultivation. Learn more >>

PNNL packs energy savings into a sensor suitcase: A 2009 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab demonstrated that in a large sample of existing buildings, retrocommissioning – assessing and then fine-turning energy performance -- could save as much as 15 percent of a building's annual energy use and pay for itself in less than a year. In large commercial buildings, where the cost-effectiveness of retrocommissioning is highest, it's becoming more common. But what about smaller commercial buildings that may not have the budget to invest in energy improvements? The Pacific Northwest National Lab, a Council Advisor, is working with the Berkeley Lab in a Department of Energy funded project to develop a solution: the Retrocommissioning Sensor Suitcase. The Suitcase, as described by Jessica Granderson of Berkeley Lab, "is a turn-key hardware and software solution that non-experts can use to generate low or no-cost recommendations automatically on how to improve a building’s operating costs, comfort and energy performance.” Learn more >>