August DOE Release: A Framework for Characterizing Connected Equipment

eere_illust_bldg For those of the ControlTrends Community following the most recent DOE referee guidance concerning the direction and pace of technological innovation in the Smart Grid industry, which includes “the dynamic management of residential and commercial building end-use loads,” brought about by the increasing connectivity available within the residential and commercial space, and/or the ability to control the equipment externally/remotely, this August 2014, DOE, EERE, Building Technologies Program report, articulates and illustrates, very succinctly, the intelligent minutiae being used to unfold the inevitable universality and implementation of the Smart Grid.

We think it’s important: DOE Issues Notice of Availability and Request for Public Comment on the Framework Document for the Physical Characterization of Grid-Connected Commercial and Residential Buildings End-Use Equipment and Appliances.

Introduction: The Department of Energy (“DOE”) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (“EERE”) recognizes that the market is developing portfolios of clean energy technologies that may require new innovative solutions and implementation techniques to achieve large scale deployment. One set of solutions, given the direction and pace of technological innovation in industry, may include the dynamic management of residential and commercial building end-use loads brought about by the connectivity installed within, or externally controlling the equipment.

As demonstrated by some utilities using innovative technologies from industry, dynamically engaging building end-use loads can enable integration of intermittent renewable resources at scale and enhance grid reliability and resiliency, while unlocking potential new value streams for homeowners and building owners and operators. In support of EERE’s objectives to engage industry, the Building Technologies Office (“BTO”) is beginning to study how the use of grid-connected appliances and equipment (hereafter “connected equipment”) in residential, commercial, or industrial buildings (hereafter “buildings”) may provide multiple service benefits for building owners, including cost savings, while enabling the scale integration of variable renewable resources and other national-scale benefits. Therefore, connected equipment may directly benefit consumers as well as provide benefits to the grid.

Industry has traditionally supported these types of benefits made available through the management and control of equipment. Furthermore, many in industry envision a future where connected equipment may provide new value streams through delivery of recognizable services to consumers, building owners, third-party service providers, or electricity providers. To realize this future, characterization protocols and associated metrics may be needed to adequately describe the potential of connected equipment to deliver services that can scale and act as in a trustworthy manner. With respect to this framework, DOE is committed to the core principles of working with and convening industry, minimizing the burden of characterization on stakeholders, separating characterization of connected equipment responses from communications and interoperability, and driving characterization via use cases and known (or potential) services. The purpose of this characterization framework is to engage industry on a voluntary basis.

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