Smart Grid Standards Needed Urgently, Report Says

October 15, 2009

Almost everyone by now knows the long-term benefits of a smart grid: It will displace much of our country’s oil imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But arriving there could take decades. Even arriving at a workable smart grid is a massive undertaking, necessitating the establishment of hundreds of standards so the grid’s many pieces and parts can work together in a reliable and secure way, according the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in its draft of a Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards (a mouthful right there).

A smart grid will not only be a system of systems, but a network of networks, the paper says, so interoperability is paramount to provide end-to-end services, from power distribution to home networking.

That means hundreds of standards must be adopted.

There is an urgent need to establish standards, the report states. “Lack of standards may impede the realization of promising applications, such as smart appliances that are responsive to price and demand response signals.”

Priorities for standards to be addressed by action plans include:

  • Demand response signals—by January 2010.
  • Energy use information—by January 2010.
  • IP protocol suite in Smart Grid—by mid 2010.
  • Interoperability standards to support plug-in vehicles—by December 2010.

Possible standards identified in the draft report and of interest to green tech watchers include:

  • OpenHAN—Home network device communication, measurement and control.
  • ZigBee/HomePlug Smart Energy profile—Home network information model.
  • Open Automated Demand Response—For demand response features to shut off appliances during peak and more expensive periods.
  • BACnet Data Communication Protocol and Control Networks  Standard 135-2008Building automation.
  • ISO/IEC 15045—Residential Gateway model for home electronic systems.
  • ISO/IEC 15067-3—Energy management for home electronic systems.
  • HomePlug AV—Content distribution for electronics equipment.
  • HomePlug Command and Control—Control and management of residential equipment.
  • 802 RF family—Popular WiFi networking standards.

The draft paper represents the first of three phases outlined by NIST, and is open for comment. Phase 2  will establish a Smart Grid Interoperability Standards panel, to be formed by the end of 2009.

Phase 3 will consist of smart grid conformity testing. The first Conformity Assessment Framework Organization Coordination Meeting will be held by Feb. 15, 2010.


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