News

Webinar: Home Area Network (HAN) Security Considerations - May 23, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Webinar: Home Area Network (HAN) Security Considerations
Thurs., May 23, 2013, 11:00AM - 12:00PM PST

The cost of deploying smart meters throughout the US has been justified by a combination of benefits to both utilities and consumers. Utilities would receive operational benefits from the use of modern Smart Meter communications capabilities (i.e. Advanced Metering Infrastructure – or AMI) for both automated meter reading and enhanced monitoring of the power distribution grid. Consumers would benefit from newly available services that would allow near real-time readout of energy usage – both power and price – and enable, through ubiquitous Demand Response (DR) signaling, cost-saving automatic responses to changing energy price conditions. At this point in time, some of the utility goals related to the “back end” or AMI communications systems have been achieved. However, many of the benefits promised to consumers, such as enhanced control over their energy consumption and related bills, have yet to materialize. Although the installed systems are technically capable of utility-to-residence communications, some utilities have not yet enabled smart meter communications into the home. The reluctance on the part of utilities to enable wireless communication between smart meters and residential devices (e.g. thermostats, energy displays, etc.) has been the primary factor in limiting the availability of these new consumer services. While some of this reluctance has been based on technical shortcomings of the currently selected communications technology (ZigBee PRO and ZigBee SEP 1.0), the overarching issue has been concern about the level of security provided by this particular set of network and application-level protocols. This webinar will provide insights about architectural considerations related to HAN security. It is based on a report published earlier by LBNL that can be found here.

Separately, LBNL will soon publish a follow on study discussing the status of Home Area Networks and the use of advanced smart meters as gateways to HAN systems.

The Demand to Grid Lab: Testing and Demonstrating Smart Grid and Customer Technologies in Berkeley Lab

Monday, May 6, 2013

At the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Guest House, guests who have business with Berkeley Lab can get a comfortable night's sleep—while experiencing a living example of some of the laboratory's scientific research. The Guest House is one of the demonstration sites and the testing site (or test bed) for the Demand to Grid (D2G) Lab in the Demand Response Research Center (DRRC). Over the past year, the D2G Lab has been testing and improving strategies and standards for demand-side interoperability, wired and wireless communications, communication architectures, devices, and monitoring and controls technologies. All of these strategies and standards are part of research that will improve the efficiency of the nation's electric grid and the way it responds to fluctuations in demand or supply of electricity.

GridWise® Architecture Council Awards Outstanding Technical Papers at Grid-Interop 2012

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The GridWise® Architecture Council, or GWAC, recognized four outstanding technical papers at this year’s Grid-Interop Forum. The GWAC leaders who presented the awards say these papers help industry chart a clearer vision for smart grid interoperability, or demonstrate how the various components of an advanced electrical power system can and should work together.

"The ideas represented in these research papers can have an impact in our national effort to help modernize and expand America's electric power system to ensure our economic wellbeing and national security," said GWAC Chairman Erich Gunther.

Erich Gunther and GWAC Administrator Ron Melton presented the awards during the forum's closing ceremonies in the categories of architecture, cross-cutting issues, information interoperability, and business and policy.

Architecture:

"Understanding Microgrids as the Essential Architecture of Smart Energy" (PDF 392KB), by Toby Considine, principal, TC9; William Cox, principal, Cox Software Architects LLC; and Edward G. Cazalet', CEO, TeMIX, Inc.

Cross-Cutting Issues:

"Testing and Certification for Green Button" (PDF 358KB), by Dr. Martin J. Burns, president, Hypertek, Inc.

Information Interoperability:

"The Critical Next Step for Interoperability: Designing and Implementing Interfaces between Standards" (PDF 419KB), by Gary McNaughton, vice president, Cornice Engineering, Inc.; Linda Rankin, Test Architect, QualityLogic; and James Mater, general manager, smart grid and director, QualityLogic, Inc.

Business and Policy:

"Demand Response Providing Ancillary Services – A Comparison of Opportunities and Challenges in the US Wholesale Market" (PDF 295KB), by Jason MacDonald, senior scientific engineering associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Peter Cappers, Principle Scientific Engineering Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Duncan Callaway, Assistant Professor, University of California; and Sila Kiliccote, Program Manager, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The Grid-Interop Forum is an annual event focused on smart grid interoperability standards and technologies – defining the interoperability framework necessary for smart grid efforts to flourish.

 

Enlisting Data Centers in the Campaign Against Energy Costs

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When robber Willie Sutton wanted some quick cash, he went where the money was—banks. By the same principle, though more benignly, when utilities want to save energy, they head to where the demand is — including big data centers.

Data centers cram energy-hogging computers into tight cages like hens in an Arkansas chicken factory. By one estimate they consumed more than 85 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2010 across the country. Since about 20 percent of them are located in the Pacific region—many in Silicon Valley and other parts of Northern California—PG&E has long promoted the latest energy-efficient practices in the industry as part of its energy-efficiency mission.

OpenADR Continues to Move the Smart Grid Forward

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR)—the standard for open automation of building electricity demand response and price communications—has gained considerable attention since it emerged from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (Berkeley Lab's) Demand Response Research Center in 2008. This non-proprietary DR interface facilitates open, standardized communication that enables power providers and managers to securely communicate wholesale and retail price and reliability, as well as DR program information, with customers using existing electronic communications. Developed as an effective means for DR service providers to maintain grid reliability and for customers to benefit (and profit from) demand reduction, OpenADR is now becoming an integral component of the U.S. and international Smart Grid.

Berkeley Labs Advances OpenADR

Thursday, December 6, 2012

In 2002, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory introduced its non-proprietary Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) – the standard for open automation of building electricity demand response and price communications. According to Berkeley Lab, although OpenADR 1.0 was developed for US markets, it is now becoming an integral component of the international Smart Grid, as well.

Open, Automated Demand Response Goes Big in California

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It’s official: California’s big three utilities are getting behind OpenADR 2.0, the latest version of an open standard for turning buildings, motors, microgrids and other distributed forms of “demand” into grid assets. Starting next year, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric will ask their partners to support OpenADR 2.0-certified products and platforms for locational dispatch of both emergency and price-based programs.

Open SMART Energy Gateway (OpenSEG)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

 

Open SMART Energy Gateway (OpenSEG) (formerly Residential Energy Display Survey (REDS) Pilot)

Security concerns have hindered the widespread development of Home Area Networks (HAN) that can allow users to monitor their energy consumption and respond in near real time to changing prices for energy.  Recognizing the need for an architecture that would allow direct display of near real time energy consumption, LBNL developed a simplified approach to getting near real time information from the SmartMeter to the consumer.  The result is a specification for a utility HAN / residential local area network gateway that allows transmission of energy usage without incurring the security concerns raised in conjunction with more complex messaging. This specification covers only the design of the gateway itself and anticipates the use of existing display devices (e.g. smart phones, TVs, computers, etc.).

Promote Demand-Response Tech - 10 Fixes for the New Energy Crisis

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Within an electric grid, timing is everything. "It's not how much power you use, it's when you use it," says Mary Ann Piette, who directs the Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The biggest benefits of adjusting demand come with automation. Piette and her colleagues have spent nine years developing standards for how utilities communicate with buildings' controls. Each state must adopt standards individually, but researchers this year are agreeing on grid specifications that all states can share, easing widespread adoption. Piette says, "With minimal retrofit to controls, today's buildings can provide a significant reduction to their peak electric loads." Shifting load by just a few minutes can make a crucial difference—for example, temporarily dimming warehouse lights by 10 percent. Such technology can lower prices and reduce the need for new transmission lines and power plants.

OpenADR Alliance Releases 2.0a Profile Specification and Compliance Test Suite

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Morgan Hill, CA, Aug. 8, 2012: The OpenADR Alliance today announced the release of the OpenADR 2.0a Profile Specification, the only existing open data model to exchange messages for Demand Response (DR) events between a service provider, aggregator and end-user in commercial, industrial and residential markets. OpenADR 2.0a is one of a suite of Smart Grid communication profiles that provides dynamic pricing, grid reliability and transactional signals using a server-client model to convey information rather than a network based control structure. Read more.