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Juice Technologies gearing up for "smart grids" and plug-in vehicles

Juice Technologies is helping the University of Toledo "go green." But that project -- an effort to audit and upgrade the campus's energy infrastructure -- is only a fraction of what the company believes awaits it within an evolving automotive and electric utility industry.

At the University of Toledo, Juice Technologies is helping the campus both with an extensive energy audit and in managing the evolution of the institution as one that will, in the future, leave no "carbon footprint."

Rich Housh, Juice's president and CEO, says that project is paying the start-up's bills for now. But he sees a future in which his company is also leader in management of plug-in vehicle charging and energy management technologies that tie into utility "smart-grid" infrastructures.

Developed under the Plug Smart brand, products include the Plug Smart Pal and Plug Smart Solo, cordset devices that can be carried in a car's trunk to allow charging anywhere. Both collect, store, report and calculate emission statistics that can be viewed at a Plug Smart-hosted website. The technology is expected to be in the marketplace sometime next year. Meanwhile, the company is advancing charging station technology that can communicate directly with a utility company to authenticate the vehicle and owner as well as information needed to bill the owner through his or her home utility bill.

The 12-person, Columbus-based company -- which appropriately shares a location with the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research -- is also developing prototypes of a networkable energy management system to let homes and businesses tie into a utility company's advanced meter infrastructure using a web server to view energy statistics, configure their own energy strategies, and control their usage.

Source: Rich Housh, Juice Technologies
Writer: Gene Monteith

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