Intel is moving to develop smart grids and monitoring systems with Germany companies, the results of which it has been showing off at the CeBIT 2014 expo in Hannover.

Intel has been working with Westfalen Weser Energie to build smart monitoring systems for the regional utility's electrical substations.

Hannes Schwaderer, Intel's director of energy and industrial applications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa said that in Germany there are more than 1 million secondary substations, which transform electricity from medium-high voltages down to the 220 volt supply found in homes and offices.

Core i5s

Two substations have been equipped with industrial PCs built around Intel Core i5 processors. The next phase of the joint project is to develop software tools to handle a more challenging data flow.

On the server side they are working on "big data" techniques to glean useful business information from the mass of measurements received. Meanwhile, on the client side, the pair are testing ways to pre-screen the data, reporting only short summaries of it when all is going well, and raising an alarm and forwarding more data when an anomaly is detected.

The Core i5 processor was chosen because it includes Intel's Active Management Technology that allows remote troubleshooting and recovery of the system, and reporting on the presence of software security agents.

Intel's security division is working with embedded OS developer WindRiver to deliver end-to-end protection for the smart grid to make such networks harder to hack.