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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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Coordinating Energy Use and Supply (3a of 3)

This is the third of three posts on the late September conference revisiting the smart grid priority action plans. The first post discussed semantic issues. The next addressed the conflict between the business models for Managed and Collaborative Energy. In this one, I discuss the architecturally significant interfaces of the smart grid, updating my earlier musing on SGIX. There is too much new information to fit into a single standards post...Next live energy usage and ancilary standards planned or required.

Within smart grids, the interfaces at economic boundaries, that is where energy and energy services are bought and sold are the most significant. These interfaces enable negotiations over how and when and why energy is used. The legacy grid is monolithic, without well developed markets and little room for competitive intermediation services. Informational market enabling standards that expand situation awareness between participants, that enable values-based decisions, and that provide an economic basis for technology adoption are the ones that matter.

The smart grid will be transactional, with each decision to buy or sell power a separate transaction at a separate price. The price of these transactions will vary dynamically, as a live energy market determines the clearing price at each moment for each sale or purchase. The smart grid will be open and transparent, wherein consumers can choose what kind of power to buy, and providers can prove that they are selling the kind of power they promise.

What follows is a updated snapshot of Smart Grid Information Exchange (SGIX). SGIX, the suite of informational and economic protocols that will charge markets and unleash innovation. These interfaces will use Common Information Models (CIMs) of the domains they connect, especially but not exclusively the IEC TC57 CIM for Power Management. The interfaces will apply the e-commerce disciplines of symmetry, transparency, and composition.

I call this approach collaborative energy, as it uses economic signals to induce the end nodes of the grid, homes, commercial buildings, and industrial sites, to participate in energy use management, storage, and production. There is a parallel effort to support Managed Energy. Managed energy uses direct control signals to interact with some very small, very inexpensive systems without minimal integration. While there is some blurring in the middle, managed energy and collaborative energy are quite different approaches and use different technologies.

SG-Energy Interoperation

OpenADR, the tested specification for automated demand response, was contributed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the California Energy Commission to the OASIS Energy Interoperation Technical Committee (TC). This committee is well underway. Collaborative energy embraces enterprise interactions as well as building systems. By ceding control to the building inhabitant, in commercial building, factory, or home, we anticipate being able to induce a larger response and wider participation. The committee will also draw upon European work in transmission, distribution, and cooperative energy use, and will include discussion of security and privacy requirements.

Utilities and other energy market participants are working within the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) to define the business use cases and requirement for Demand Response (DR) and Distributed Energy Resources (DER). This work, due next month will be contributed to the Energy Interoperation TC as well as to parallel efforts developing managed energy.

SG-Market Information

The Energy Market Information Exchange (EMIX) TC has begun meeting. EMIX is defining an XML vocabulary for exchanging price and energy characteristics (hydro, hard coal, nuclear, wind, etc, with a place for carbon information). EMIX will facilitate energy markets and device understanding to enable dynamic pricing of energy.

EMIX is being designed to interact easily with financial and commodity market mechanisms. It will adopt market definitions and interactions from financial transaction standards such as ISO20022 and FIX. EMIX also anticipates the development of new energy products that allow energy choice based on environmental issues as well as price.


Coordination of energy supply and use is critical to smart grid markets. Time of day market clearing is essential to managing parallel energy markets on the same wires. Just as IEC TC57 defines the Power Management CIM, so the calsify workgroup in the IETFdefines the semantics of schedule, interval, and coordination. CalConnect, the Calendar and Scheduling Consortium, has already updated two of the three calendar IETF standards (ICalendar and TIP). By year end, they will produce a standard XML dictionary for calendaring.

WS-Calendar will build on this work to define light loose schedule components for use in web services and other e-commerce transactions. These components will be used in collaborative energy, and their semantics will be re-used in managed energy. Because the work of the Consortium is used enterprise and personal scheduling, and will soon be adopted by building systems and perhaps finance, WS-Calendar will provide a common understanding of schedule and interval across many domains and for more purposes than energy.

SG Managed Energy

I use this term to encompass the entire range of direct load management and control technologies used to manage very small footprint devices without requiring a premises-based system for customer input. Managed Energy includes ZigBee Energy, SEP, OpenHAN, et al.

A full peer to collaborative energy, Managed Energy will adopt the vocabulary of the Power Management CIM and the business models defined by the NAESB processes mentioned above.

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