Fujitsu is also developing a computer system to maintain electricity consumption data for each household, using cloud computing, which significantly reduces the cost of building smart grids.
There are nearly 1,000 small and midsize electric utilities operate in the United States, which give Fujitsu a potentially huge market for its devices. Although Fujitsu, best known for cameras and laptops, is a newcomer to the smart meter market, its strategy is to earn a track record in the United State which leads the world in building smart grids. Once established there, it hopes to expand its business to sell equipment for grids in Japan, Britain, Germany and China. The company’s stated goal is to have Y100 billion in sales of smart grid equipment by the end of fiscal 2014.
Kit Carson Electric, which serves 30,000 households, will begin installing the smart meters at customers’ homes on a trial basis in March and then will gradually expand the service to include all homes in its service area.
Fujitsu, along with Google, has joined the Internet Protocol for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance, bringing the total membership to 53, which also includes Bosch, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, SAP, Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments. Through the Alliance, Fujitsu will support standard Internet protocol for communications between smart objects.
Alliance chairman Geoff Mulligan notes, “Not only will consumers be able to use the products and services of IPSO Alliance member companies to connect their home to the grid, they also will be able to monitor how those appliances, and their entire home, are consuming energy.”