BPL Global, a smart grid software and technology company, has bolstered its energy distribution intelligence services by acquiring Connected Energy and its energy demand management platform.Â Connected Energy owns patent-pending web-based software called COMSYS, which provides a virtual, real-time control center forÂ management of remoteÂ energy resources.Â The COMSYS system can be used with any type of energy production facility, including wind farms, solar arrays, diesel generators and turbine generators.Â The system allows monitoring and control of these facilities to improve their efficiency.
The COMSYS system is theÂ subject ofÂ two related patent applications, U.S.Â Application Pub. No. 2007/0208434 (‘434 Application) and U.S. Application Pub. No. 2003/0109942 (‘942 Application).Â Â The applications discloseÂ an interface apparatus that is standardized to be manufactured relatively cheaply on a large scale yetÂ versatile enoughÂ to work with a wide variety of industrial equipment.Â TheÂ interface apparatus canÂ connectÂ machines having different data format and storage configurations and different electrical interface characteristics.Â ThisÂ versatility is achieved throughÂ the apparatus’s “personality files,”Â data files thatÂ configureÂ an electrical interface and a programmable data translator according to the particular machine to which the apparatus is connected.Â
The personality files areÂ theÂ customization engine of COMSYS.Â They contain human readable textÂ of a set of data definitions (e.g.,Â network communications port settings, data point monitoring parameters and user interface screens) that respondÂ to and match the parameters ofÂ the particular industrial machineÂ the user needs to monitor and control. Â The electrical interface can be manufactured to configure to a particular industrial machine, or the interface device can hold a variety of personality files and the configuration can take place in the field.
The ‘434 Application is a continuation of the ‘942 Application (see my previous post on continuation applications), which was filed back in 2001.Â Â Connected Energy fought a long battle with the U.S. Patent & Trademark OfficeÂ (PTO) over the ‘942 Application, including filing an appeal with theÂ PTO Appeals Board.Â Â Its persistenceÂ paid off:Â a patent has been granted and will issue this Tuesday, March 18th.Â The ‘434 Application also seems likely toÂ result in an issued patent:Â it claims a narrowerÂ invention than the ‘942 Application.Â