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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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« The Human Side of Energy Micromarkets | Profiling Economic Actors for Transactive Energy »

Profiles for the Economic Actors in Distributed Energy

This post is part of the continuing Paths to Transactive Energy series. You can find them all listed by clicking on the matching metatag at the bottom of each post.

As this series continues its survey of Transactive Energy, we get, at last to what I see are the essential agent personalities. The Agent Personalities are a mid-level abstraction that makes it easier for the appliance supplier and the EMS/BMS maker to know what is being attached. Every appliance at the local store could be a pluripotent transactive agent, but this does not aid the brain-developer in understanding what you just bought. A wine cellar may not be on the list of known appliances, but it is useful to know that it is similar to the refrigerator and to an air conditioner in how it approaches the in-home energy market. 

These agent types interact based on the principals of transactive energy. The non-power services provided and mechanisms used by each system are not known to the energy market. The precise mechanism of each system is not known to the market. Each system uses the market to achieve its own goals.

The creator of a system can identify which economic best suits the system. Some systems may be most easily represented by aggregate roles, wherein each role remain simple.

For example, an air conditioning system and a refrigerator may each act as intermittent consumers. When in the same market, each system can optimize its own costs by buying when the other does not. The air conditioner produces an equilibrium of comfort, the refrigerator produces an equilibrium of the conditions to store food safely, and the market achieves a punctuated equilibrium of power use with lower peaks. An ice maker may act as a pre-consumer, buying power when it is cheap to have a supply of ice at the target time. A pre-consumer buys when others do not, so long as its delivery time and product (ice) can be met. These two agent types may coexist in a single interface just as the two roles coexist in the same refrigerator.

These agent profiles indicate patterns for market interaction. But the market doesn’t care what kind of agent you are. User interfaces, which is to say human interfaces, that want to augment information beyond market summaries, will need to look for another means to discover that information.

The ASHRAE Facility Smart Grid Info Model (FSGIM) allows for communication of expected forward load curves, I think. A controller needs to know more than a partner’s present state. The partners trading position is Inflexible until when? Shiftable until when, then available for how long? How adjustable (shed levels)? Etc. These are all things that higher-level controllers need to get from lower-level controllers. A higher level controller could pass DR-related signals to lower level controllers: it may choose to alter them for its own purposes.

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