PNNL develops open-source 'OS' for energy management

Peter Saunders
September 11, 2018
September 11, 2018 - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), has joined the Eclipse Foundation and developed Volttron open-source software to offer a new 'operating system' (OS) for energy management and building control.

The not-for-profit Eclipse Foundation, a global organization with more than 250 members, will continue to steward Volttron as an open-source platform to help users deploy new controls for energy applications and systems. Research conducted on the PNNL campus showed engineers using the software could consistently reduce peak electricity consumption by 15% without affecting building occupant comfort.

Several organizations around the world, including Canada's SES Consulting, are already using Eclipse Volttron on thousands of devices to manage and save energy. It can run in the cloud or on a single-board computer, such as a Raspberry Pi or Linux-based system.

The foundation is now discussing the potential scaling-up of Eclipse Volttron for large deployments by building owners and electric utilities.

"We want to help foster a vibrant and sustainable community of global developers and organizations benefiting from and contributing to Eclipse Volttron," says Mike Milinkovich, the foundation's executive director.

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