Regen to test swarm logic for managing electric vehicle loads

My Clean Break column today revisits Toronto-based Regen Energy, which I first wrote about a couple of years ago. The company has developed a wireless device that uses “swarm logic” to manage the operation of large energy-consuming appliances. Some energy management systems are based on a central control model that tells individual devices when to turn on and off. Swarm logic, on the other hand, relies on these individual devices to work it out themselves. This collective negotiation process achieves a superior outcome, and much cheaper than using a complex command-control system. Hell, it works for bees, right?

Regen has since realized that its devices could be ideal as a way to manage the charging of electric cars. The fear utilities have is that a number of people in a neighbourhood will plug in their cars at the same time and overwhelm a transformer, causing a community to brown out. Affluent communities in California, where homeowners are most likely to adopt the first generation of electric cars, are particularly vulnerable. Regen is in talks with one California utility and several engineering colleges to test out its swarm logic devices as part of a pilot project, to see how good the devices are at managing EV charging. I look forward to seeing the results.

2 thoughts on “Regen to test swarm logic for managing electric vehicle loads”

  1. Makes sense to me- while I have never heard it described as Swarm Logic, there are several different Networking Protocols tha allow peer devices to negotiate certain roles or communication paths, and this communication is ongoing to allow for changes in the Network. For security and redundancy, a decentralized mesh network would be a far better choice for a Smart Grid than a centralized one.

  2. Interesting technology. I hope it works because we don’t want to frighten people away from buying electric cars when there are already too many obstacles put in the place of people who want to go electric.

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