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Patent US20110231028A1
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Patent US20110231028A1

How to mathematically guarantee the least cost, optimal set of dynamic dispatching signals for your customers

Optimize demand dispatching alongside your local distributed resources, including appliances, electric vehicles, solar, wind, and storage. Even without smart meters.


Most utilities still cling to traditional “top down” system operations where generation and transmission assets react to changing loads in real time. Any imbalances result in disruptive customer impacts, higher operating costs, large capital expenditures, and potential over investment to ensure reliability. IDROP changes that paradigm by providing direct choreography of distributed loads and resources so optimal balances between supply and demand can be achieved by tweaking specific demands in certain ways. This creates a virtual storage capability that levels demand without changing energy.

With IDROP you can now proactively predict loads, control their shapes, and manage demand in the same way you handle generation resources, but you can do so from the demand side. Instead of traditional load following, IDROP allows you to do plant following, wind following, and even cloud following (for solar intermittency). It also lets you optimize your assets more effectively by enabling small, virtually unnoticeable shifts in customer demands. And what’s more, smart meter signaling is not actually necessary since IDROP works with any in-home load control device via broadband, wireless or other options.

IDROP allows you to cost effectively manage system load costs through its patented dispatching engine that couples a sophisticated set of algorithms with energy management applications that provide you with the mathematically guaranteed least cost option. It also forecasts and controls actual end-use loads, subject to constantly shifting factors such as customer needs, solar or wind availability, EV charge needs, and existing storage options. And it adjusts loads based on varying price signals (or estimated costs in non-ISO markets), grid needs, and/or new program opportunities.

In most cases, it is far more effective to utilize potential demand rather than investing in expensive storage or generation. And the more successfully you choreograph your resources, the lower your system marginal costs become. IDROP uses industry-leading financial valuation methods and IA’s fast and highly detailed analytical engines to accurately value blended combinations of energy efficiency and demand response options. This allows you to create optimal portfolios in real time, specific to your context, your customers, your weather, and your costs. Plus IDROP knows immediately (or every 1 to 5 minutes) which set of dispatching strategies are most cost-effective under changing weather patterns, variable grid constraints, and forward market price scenarios.

If you are not valuing your strategies and resources in this way, then you’re probably grossly undervaluing them. To date IDROP has demonstrated peak load reductions of 9% to 30% through changes so small that no customer has noticed any impact or loss of comfort. Of course, IDROP can also help you optimally reduce energy, in which case it has demonstrated cost savings of two to four times more value than traditional demand response paradigms that work with simple peak and off peak periods.

The unprecedented level of insight and control that you get with IDROP means load management is no longer just a reliability play or an emergency tactic. When you use IDROP, load management also becomes an efficiency play, as well as a cost management strategy, that helps balance supply and demand in real time, reduce costs, enhance distribution resource efficiency, and maximize customer satisfaction.

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Patent US20110231028A1
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