Berkeley Labs Advances Open ADR

by | Dec 5, 2012

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In 2002, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory introduced its non-proprietary Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) – the standard for open automation of building electricity demand response and price communications.

According to Berkeley Lab, although OpenADR 1.0 was developed for US markets, it is now becoming an integral component of the international Smart Grid, as well.

The demand response (DR) interface facilitates open, standardized communication that enables power providers and managers to securely communicate wholesale and retail price and reliability as well as DR program information with customers using existing electronic communications.

In 2009, the OpenADR developers donated it to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), where it became the basis for the formal international Energy Interoperation 1.0 standard. In 2010, OpenADR 1.0 became a US Smart Grid standard supported by the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Today it supports more than 250 MW of automated demand response in California alone, and cleantech market intelligence firm Pike Research predicts that it will be used in nearly 170,000 sites by 2018.

The OpenADR Alliance, a member-represented non-profit organization, is working to simplify demand response adoption. Open to all interested stakeholders, the OpenADR Alliance is creating a series of OpenADR 2.0 profiles (a, b, and c) that address increasing levels of technological complexity and device and market requirements.

OpenADR 2.0a was released in August 2012, and 2.0b is currently in development. The OpenADR 2.0a profile specification addresses cyber-security requirements and facilitates global interoperability standards. It enables commercial, industrial, and residential customers to automate their response to high energy prices and grid instability through demand response; helping them better manage their energy costs during peak demand periods, while helping utilities maintain grid reliability during those high points of electricity demand.

To accomplish this, OpenADR 2.0a offers secure, two-way communication between DR servers and automated DR clients and continuously communicates DR and dynamic price signals to customers. It is the only data model that bridges communications between utility and customer-owned control systems. OpenADR 2.0a supports activities, such as lowering temperatures or switching off lights to reduce electricity demand, which is applicable for most of the current DR markets; future profiles will support more complex actions to support wholesale DR markets and closer links to electricity generation.

The following OpenADR 2.0a-certified devices were released in September 2012, and more vendors are interested in certifying the products:

  • The EnerNOC Site Server is a communications gateway or a secure client that interfaces with a building’s control equipment to collect aggregated stream end-user data to EnerNOC’s Network Operations Center, supporting a customer’s ability to manage its energy in real time.
  • Akuacom, a Honeywell company, released its Demand Response Automation Server (DRAS), which securely broadcasts price, reliability, and other DR signals. The server passed both the required and optional OpenADR 2.0a functional tests. Akuacom currently provides commercial-grade DRAS for California utilities’ automated DR programs, which are based on the OpenADR 1.0 specification.
  • The Energy Interop Server & System (EISS), from IPKeys, is a server that enables energy providers to securely exchange two-way market signals with customers. Another IPKeys product, EISSBox, is a client that interfaces with a building’s equipment to automatically receive and respond to DR and price event signals. IPKeys is unique in providing both server and client products.
  • Universal Devices ISY99i Z Series is a standalone energy management, monitoring, and automation client that supports different protocols and devices such as ZigBee, INSTEON, A10, and X10 products. The products were all pre-tested using a test tool developed by QualityLogic and certified by a test lab, Intertek, helping increase the confidence of electricity service providers, aggregators, and customers in purchasing and implementing this equipment to automatically manage energy use.

The use of OpenADR outside of the United States is beginning to gain inroads in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Australia, India, and Japan. For example, in China, as part of the US-China Energy Cooperation Program, Honeywell has teamed with the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area to conduct a pilot study with commercial and industrial facilities in the area. China Light & Power in Hong Kong is conducting a similar pilot study. In addition, projects in South Korea and Japan are evaluating the feasibility of DR automation to address issues with increasing demand and integration with renewables. Ireland, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, India, and Turkey have also expressed interest in discussing potential OpenADR applications in their Smart Grid plans.

OpenADR 2.0b, expected to be released by the end of 2012, is designed for high-end embedded devices, and features a flexible reporting mechanism for data reports and wholesale DR markets. OpenADR 2.0c would address sophisticated controls and high-end computer systems, and support all services and markets, including energy transactions (two-way buying and selling of electricity) and aggregators; however, the North American Electric Reliability Council has suggested that the OpenADR 2.0b already meets the need of wholesale DR markets. The development of 2.0c profile will be based on research progress and market need.

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