Control & Automation
Building grid connectivity
After returning from a very successful ConnectivityWeek—with a record attendance of 1,300 energy and business leaders gathered in Santa Clara, CA—I am now convinced more than ever that building automation and the grid will be the first major demonstrations of a truly smart grid. You will see that this conclusion was the first of my Takeaways from ConnectivityWeek 2010.
Even if your local electrical grid is not yet smart, it will soon be forced to change its ways and engage in the incredible opportunity that is smart grid. The easiest first step is to manipulate the large existing connected loads in automated buildings by offering incentives in the form of dynamic pricing to achieve a proven successful building-to-grid (B2G) relationship.
Environmentally unsustainable policies, coupled with high loss transmission, can no longer be our growth model. Grid load management of existing building loads with new found connectivity to grid provides an almost immediate solution to load shape locally and on the complete grid. The linking of supply and demand is an obvious solution.
Standards efforts have been united by the NIST. The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technologies) is the US federal technology agency that works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards. The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) will support NIST in fulfilling its responsibilities under the 2007 US Energy Independence and Security Act.
A ConnectivityWeek Wrap-Up can provide more insight into the complete smart grid movement
The SGIP will identify, prioritize and address new and emerging requirements for Smart Grid standards. It will further develop the initial NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0, which was released January 2010.
Be sure to watch the YouTube video of Vinton G. Cerf vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google the Opening Night Keynote.
This video will provide broad insight into the part the Internet will play in all this B2G connectivity. Vint is a fantastic speaker with incredible insight into how this may all play out in the Internet of things.
Cerf is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for Google. Widely known as a “Father of the Internet”, Vint is the co-designer with Robert Kahn of TCP/IP protocols and basic architecture of the Internet. In 1997 President Clinton recognized their work with the U.S. National Medal of Technology. In 2005 Vint and Bob received the highest civilian honour bestowed in the U.S., the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It states that their work on the software code used to transmit data across the Internet has put them “at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment”.
The real benefit of connectivity is not limited to grid. In the article, The Future of Cloud Connectivity for BAS by Nirosha Munasinghe, the following is noted:
“The primary beneficiary of cloud computing architecture is the end customer. Facility managers can devote more time to enhancing the value of using the BAS by managing onsite mechanical and electrical assets and less on day-to-day challenges of networks and servers. The technology behind cloud computing is transparent to the user, making the cloud computing incredibly user friendly. The cloud concept greatly benefits multi-building/multi-national sites situated globally such as universities, department stores, fast food outlet chains, banks and hotels. In the current situation, such sites have multiple servers taking up real estate and databases with duplicate and redundant data. In a cloud environment, it can operate in one application instance and database accessed via the web browser from anywhere in the world. This yields significant cost savings in real estate, which translates into reduction in energy consumption for power and cooling costs of servers. The facility manager has access to global view of data collected from the control networks, which translates to better decision making process to improve issues such as energy management and carbon foot print reduction. Also, as the capacity of the valid data increases, more opportunities arise to use the data as intelligence for BAS to provide proactive solutions to the challenges of managing a building.”
And he leaves us with this thought: “As BAS converges with the IT networks, web and cloud model integrating with many other applications, it is very important for the integrators to continually educate the support staff.”
Building Connectivity is our future.
Ken Sinclair is the editor/owner of AutomatedBuildings.com.