Demand response is a change in energy use in response to either a change in the price of electricity or a signal indicating system reliability is jeopardized. OpenADR is a standardized communications data model for sending and receiving DR signals from a utility or independent system operator to electric customers. It is built on a client (virtual end node, or VEN)/server (virtual top node, or VTN) architecture. DR signals conveyed to building and industrial control system clients trigger pre‐programmed actions that respond to particular DR signal characteristics (possibly including an option to not respond under certain circumstances), enabling a fully automated demand response appropriate to each resource. The concept of an open specification is intended to allow any facility to implement OpenADR. Because the price of electricity generally correlates inversely with its availability, consumers who shift or shed load away from high price periods provide benefits not only to their own bottom line, but also to other consumers, utilities, system operators, and society at large. In May 2010, OpenADR became one of the first 16 Smart Grid Standards supported by the U.S. Department of Energy the National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Interoperability Standards effort.

Examples of messages conveyed via OpenADR from VTN to VEN include:

  • PRICE_ABSOLUTE – The price per kilowatt‐hour PRICE_RELATIVE – A change in the price per kilowatt‐hour
  • PRICE_MULTIPLE – A multiple of a basic rate per kilowatt‐hour
  • LOAD_AMOUNT – A fixed amount of load to shed or shift
  • LOAD_PERCENTAGE – The percentage of load to shed or shift

OpenADR 1.0 was developed at LBNL in 2002, in response to the California electricity crisis, to provide a standardized interface that allows electricity providers to communicate DR signals directly to existing customers. OpenADR 1.0 created the technical framework to validate the concept of automated communication of price and reliability signals from utilities to customers. While going through formal industry standardization processes to make it fully compliant with the NIST Smart Grid Interoperabilty Framework, it was redesignated OpenADR 2.0 to identify a compliance based standard. The server component was redesignated VTN, whereas the client element is called VEN under OpenADR 2.0. In some cases, VENs can act as VTNs for other VENs. Two versions of OpenADR 2.0 exist: the 2.0a version is simpler, while 2.0b adds more options for pricing, telemetry, two way communication, etc. Because of these additions, OpenADR 2.0b supports dynamic price signals as well as reliability and emergency signals. It can communicate market participation information and improves load predictability because of its two way communication structure. OpenADR 2.0 includes advanced features and provides a testing and certification process to support growing global interest. Interest in OpenADR spans the United States and the world. It has been deployed at Bonneville Power Administration, NV Energy, NYSERDA, and by utilities in Florida and Chicago as well as Australia, Canada, Korea, India, China, Japan and Ireland. Efforts are underway at DRRC to facilitate the transition of OpenADR 1.0 clients and servers to OpenADR 2.0, as well as encouraging the adoption of OpenADR 2.0b into new construction.

For more information, please contact Rish Ghatikar.