Sandia's Anthony Lentine with the smart outlet. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Sandia National Laboratories has developed an experimental “smart outlet” that autonomously measures, monitors and controls electrical loads with no connection to a centralized computer or system. The goal of the smart outlet and similar innovations is to make the power grid more distributed and intelligent, capable of reconfiguring itself as conditions change.

Decentralizing power generation and controls would allow the grid to evolve into a more collaborative and responsive collection of microgrids, which could function individually as an island or collectively as part of a hierarchy or other organized system.

Read the rest of the article at R&D Magazine.

Read about this at Engadget.com and FellowGeek.com.