SAN JOSE, Calif. – A handful of smart grid users and vendors have formed a nonprofit group to create a test and certification program for energy demand-response systems. The Open ADR Alliance hopes to create within a year a test suite for existing Open Automated Demand Response standards.
Demand response systems let home and business energy users know the amount and price of the electricity they are using. The systems can be used to shift use from peak demand times when prices and highest to off-peak times when prices are lower, reducing the need to build more power plants. OpenADR standardizes a message format for sending data on energy use and price.
Initial members of the group include Honeywell, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and two California utilities— Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. Berkeley Labs published the original OpenADR specifications.
The specs continue to evolve with work in organizations. They include the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the Utilities Communications Architecture International User's Group (UCAIug), and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).
"There are 60 or so products out today, but people have implemented Open ADR in different ways so we have 60 different solutions out there," said Barry Haaser, managing director of the alliance.
"What we will do is take the OASIS work, along with requirements from NAESB and use cases defined by UCAIug and build a testing and certification program for the standard," said Haaser, who also manages two other smart grid related certification programs.
The work mainly involves setting down guidelines for XML software used in a wide variety of building controllers and utility servers. "I'm optimistic we could have a program up and running in a year or less," said Haaser.
"There's no question the widespread adoption of an OpenADR standard will lower the development, equipment and service costs for smart grid vendors and the utilities investing in these solutions," said Jeremy Eaton, vice president of energy solutions at Honeywell, speaking in a press statement.
"Improved availability of OpenADR-compliant products will also help electric utilities, like PG&E, satisfy the grid-reliability and load-reduction requirements set by public utility commissions," said Albert Chiu, senior program manager, demand response, for PG&E, in the press statement.