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Collecting, Clarifying, Quantifying, and Qualifying Connections

By Ken Sinclair

Not sure that any of us could have projected the amount of things our buildings would be connected to and interact with. Today our understanding of the possible of connection is much of the value we provide. As an industry we need to start collecting, clarifying, quantifying and qualifying all of the possible connections to our buildings. Our November issue provides a start but I would like all our readers to join in helping us build "Our Connection Collection."

Here are some great examples of the possible connections to our buildings.

"Connected Building Roadmap" The intent of the session was to ask the attendees to look into the future, and tell BC Hydro what connected buildings would look like in ten years, and what technologies or other items of interest might appear in the meantime - Graham Henderson P.Eng. Sr. Program Manager, Commercial Marketing Energy, Regulatory & Business Planning BC Hydro

I was very pleased to be part of the selected group helping "Building the Map."

Background: On June 25, 2015 a selected group representing various trades in the commercial building space was invited to BC Hydro’s Dunsmuir office for an afternoon discussion on the implications of connected buildings. The group consisted of customers, BAS vendors, contractors, and consultants. The intent of the session was to ask the attendees to look into the future, and tell BC Hydro what connected buildings would look like in ten years, and what technologies or other items of interest might appear in the meantime. The resulting roadmap was intended to provide information about the following:

• Trends and drivers: factors that shape the industry environment, both internal and external.

• Performance targets: technical or market-based industry goals.

• Technology barriers: obstacles to technology deployment (technical, financial, regulatory, information-based, or otherwise).

• Research, development, and deployment needs: technical and other activities required to move the industry from its current state to its performance targets.

• Potential BC Hydro role: areas where BC Hydro can make an effective contribution

The session produced a list of ideas, which were subsequently grouped into six themes.

Author's Note: This document is meant to be read in electronic format (to access the web links), and in conjunction with the associated roadmap (Visio doc).

"Take the NIST Transactive Energy Challenge" We are actively building up the teams and seeking to bring in new participants and form new teams. Potentially there could be a buildings-focused team to address the use of TE inside a building or campus. - David Holmberg, Researcher, Mechanical Systems and Controls Group, NIST Engineering Laboratory

Transactive energy (TE) systems hold the promise of achieving efficiency and reliability across the nation’s changing electric power system. Through pricing and other market mechanisms, TE can be an especially important means to optimize the distributed grid. Increasing intelligence in appliances and control systems and the evolving “Internet of Things” create opportunities for automating energy transactions with flexibility, so that distributed intelligent agents can work collaboratively to balance the electric power system while maximizing value for consumers.

TE is a key vehicle for effectively integrating buildings into the evolving smart grid. Forward and real-time energy markets will enable buildings to respond to the dynamic conditions on the grid, caused, for example, by fluctuations in renewable energy supply. Anticipated benefits for building owners include energy cost savings, lower operating and management costs, carbon and renewable energy credits, and even increased comfort for occupants.

These and other tantalizing potential benefits have motivated much interest in TE, spawning a range of ideas on how to structure TE systems and, not surprisingly, lots of questions and concerns about how such systems would actually operate across an already vast and intricate technology system that will continue to grow in complexity.

To help industry and policymakers address these issues while pursuing the promise of TE, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has initiated the TE Modeling and Simulation Challenge for the Smart Grid. This new collaborative effort is bringing researchers and companies with simulation tools together with utilities, product developers, and other grid stakeholders to create and demonstrate modeling and simulation platforms while applying transactive energy approaches to real grid problems. The improved simulation and analysis tools that this effort will yield should make the exploration of TE possibilities and pitfalls more productive, delivering useful results that can help to inform policy decisions and utility investments. Since TE implementation will require enabling legislation at the state level, reliable, robust simulation tools will be especially valuable to legislators and governors.

Since NIST launched the Challenge in September 2015, 26 companies, universities, and federal laboratories have formed teams and new teams are welcome. Organizations have an opportunity to get involved at the upcoming TE Challenge Interim meeting, December 3-4 at NIST’s Gaithersburg, Md., campus. Registration is open.

Part 2: 'Perfect Storm' for Internet of Things in Buildings


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posted on 11/3/2015