ASHRAE and NEMA Debut Draft of Smart Grid Model

08/23/2012 |

ASHRAE and NEMA are proposing a new building standard that will lay out a path to smart grid compatibility.

The proposed ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201P is intended to provide a common basis for buildings consuming electrical energy to describe, manage, and communicate electrical sources and loads with utilities and the smart electrical grid.

The proposal would lay out an object-oriented informational model that would enable building appliances and control systems to manage loads and generation sources by communicating with the smart electrical grid and to inform utilities of load information.

“Historically, electricity consumption has been viewed as a collection of dumb loads at the end of a distribution system,” says Steve Bushby, the chair of the committee writing the standard. “There has been almost no interaction between the loads and those responsible for electricity generation and distribution. In a smart grid world, facilities become full partners in supporting and managing the electric grid.”

The standard would benefit both energy providers and consumers, Bushby adds. Utilities and other service providers could interact with varying types of facilities in one common way. Facilities would benefit from the changes in the marketplace, which could result in products designed for multiple types of facilities or better ability to use products designed for residential and other non-commercial buildings.

The standard is part of ASHRAE’s supporting efforts for the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, a public-private partnership created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The organization aims to encourage development of interoperability and cyber security standards necessary to create a nationwide smart electric power grid.

ASHRAE and NEMA’s standard will coordinate with work by the North American Energy Standards board to develop a basic energy usage data model standard and create a facilities data model, which would provide additional data elements on energy usage – namely, lighting, heating, HVAC&R and other electrical loads – for commercial and industrial buildings.


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