Ready for the BSI
Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 11:47PM
Toby Considine in BIM, EMIX, Energy, Enterprise Interaction, Microgrids and Distributed Systems, Schedules, Smart Grid, Standards, oBIX

I want to get back to buildings soon. Smart grids are engaging, but I think our goals for the future will be met by buildings.

For months, all my writing has been about smart grids. More particularly, for November, it has all been about smart grid standards.

As I write this, the essential market interfaces of the grid are in review. A common communication of schedule and interval, suitable for sharing schedules between grid and enterprise and building and finance finished public review last Tuesday. We have nearly 80 comments to settle, but soon we will be ready to discuss using ws-calendar not only in smart grids, but in buildings.

Energy Market Information (EMIX), the critical description of energy product and price has two more weeks for public review. Energy prices always have a schedule, and EMIX uses WS-Calendar. EMIX supports demand response, but more importantly, full participation of buildings in all energy markets. EMIX is in review until the 17th.

Energy Interop was released for public review last Saturday. EI (as we call it) defines the essential e-commerce framework for interactions between grids and aggregators and utilities and, yes, buildings. EI is locked for review until December 27.

Now, I am reeling from a week at Grid-Interop, at which I have spoken 5 times, sat In two meetings of the Smart Grid Architectural Committee, and practiced politics (difficult for me) in numerous other meetings. In October and November I put three of the four market interfaces of the smart grid out for public review. Light, loose, market oriented, interfaces that transfer incentives for participation to the buildings. Now I am longing to talk of buildings again.

Today, at Grid-Interop, the focus shifted to buildings as microgrids, each responsible for managing energy use, generation conversion, storage, and, only as a last resort, market operations to make up the difference. This is what I wanted to accomplish when I got started on Smart Energy. No grid control, which would strangle in-building innovation. Maximum grid incentives, all delivered to a single energy services interface (ESI), the locus of market bidding for the building.

Now I turn back to the building, Now I want to think of the Building Systems Interface (BSI), the abstract interface to building systems. Some of it is building services as in BAS, abstracted with system metadata, and associated with the space it supports, the space that the tenants recognize. Some of it is simple appliances, and the way the communicate in homes. Some of it is the live or plug load, perhaps discover able, perhaps mappable to space using PLie.

So what are the essential building services? There is energy management, accessible for low integration re-hosting in the clouds, There is performance contracting, also in the clouds. There is energy auditing, which must be based upon the zero integration costs (because the metadata is already in the BSI). Energy auditing? Well what if we call it a live LEED rating, or perhaps 3rd party verification of the performance of the performance contractors… BIFER (BI for emergency responders) may even come from that mix.

There is an enterprise service, that links between the occupants and their activities and the BAS and its performance. It communicates to support business activities while using the common schedule communications developed for smart grids. It is aware of the market conditions and deals made with the grid though the ESI. It knows whether the volatile energy of the renewables-based grid is scarce or abundant. It can report back to the enterprise how and where energy is being used right now.

This needs some standards to fly, to be cheap enough to let these cloud-based services flourish. PLie needs to be advanced to a standard. oBIX trends for energy management must be accessible form self-metering systems and from switch panels, and be able to support the NAESB Energy Usage Information standards. There must be a light-weight BIM, my vote is for GBXML, able to act as the spatial lens through which to view energy use.

I want to define the BSI…

But now, rest, and sleep.

Article originally appeared on New Daedalus (
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