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Why New Daedalus?

Daedalus was the mythical great architect and artificer of the classical world. Today, embedded intelligence is enabling the most profound changes in the way we create and use buildings since his day.

Building Intelligence meets the Intelligent Building. The Intelligent Building negotiates with the Intelligent Grid. How will this transform how we interact with the physical world?

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Divvying Up Grid Interoperability

The NIST Grid Interoperability Workgroups began by splitting into work groups along traditional market segments. I think the initial cuts (I2G, B2G, H2G&V, T&D) (Industry, Building, Home (and vehicle) to Grid, and Transmission & Distribution) were necessary, I think keeping them makes it far too easy to pave the cow paths, to streamline existing market models while allowing minimal room for new markets to develop.

As I look across the groups, they feel to me as if they are split up incorrectly. The home deserves the same DR possibilities as does the office. A hospital may want the same grid information as does the data center. The privacy liability incurred by the utility developing intimate knowledge of the home operations may be as great as they would incur in a bank.


I was talking to representatives from The Green Grid yesterday. The Green Grid is about Grid Computing, not the Power Grid. Grid Computing is the most efficient process ever defined for converting electricity to raw business process, with a hundred % waste as heat.

The Green Grid concerns are the immediate supply chain issues for its raw materials and support requirements, primarily energy and cooling. The Green Grid questions, which it wants to ask to each battery, each power strip, each switch panel, each transformer in each substation, and even the grid as a whole:

  • How much more capacity can you give me?
  • How reliable do you feel ? Any risk you will fail in the near future? (same question whether battery or empty diesel fuel tank or overheating transformer or extreme DR event on the power grid)
  • What price is the current power? What about the additional capacity? (This should arguably factor cost of diesel, or natural gas, or even inefficiency of battery, but that is another question.)

These same questions are essentially the same as they ask the building’s cooling systems.

These questions are also the questions I might want to ask the thermal storage in the basement, or the PE power on the roof. If I am using waste heat from the Data Center for re-heat in my AC, I may want to ask the same questions. These are the generic questions to ask an energy resource within or without the building, whether in the off-grid home or in the site generating neighborhood, or in the office.

My memory stick is an instance of a USB storage device, and so has a user interface on my computer that presents the same as an internal disk drive. In the same way, these are all attributes of sources of energy, and make no pre-suppositions about the devices or process behind them. This kind of interface enables interoperability while not preventing future innovations, even radical new technologies.

I think we should incorporate the The Green Grid abstractions into the DEWG interoperability suite. But where?

My Proposal

I have proposes that we consider the interactions into a few business/semantic groupings. Grid interoperability should consist of surface interactions; deep interactions are a barrier to scalability and to innovation. The semantic grouping I propose are:

Capability & Reliability: (The Green Grid interactions, to be used in building system domains as well) Capacity / Capability / Availability (including time windows) / Anticipated Reliability / Marginal Price

Market Operations: Power Use curves, Negotiation & Contracts, Offer and Acceptance, Scheduling options, Periodic price curves. Settlement. Contracted Curtailment? DR

Multi-party & Mobile transactions: PHEV, Non-Utility vendors, identity, transactional charge override

Operational Information: does not need to flow across domains, primarily T&D for this discussion. Allied domains, say, inside building systems aligned on results rather than procedures.

Security: borrow compositional security from other domains.

Billing & Charge Processing: borrow from other domains

Attributes & Amenities: Carbon, Wildlife, Location…Optional attributed for later definition and market building.

Do I have them all?

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Reader Comments (1)

Well, there's transparency, which may be covered by operational information.
The problem with semantic groupings is that the field may be wider than originally defined, and that innovation may be precisely where the labels are not.
I like the proposal, though!

October 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLL

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