Home Area Network integration with DR Assets: Enabler for Residential Customers to Participate in Demand Response Programs

(By Javed Shaikh, Analyst, Customized Energy Solutions)


Interfacing residential DR assets with mainframe DR Backend engine is a critical task. It would be interesting to see how the technology players make this integration to work seamless.

Indian Electricity market is in the phase of rapid change. New advanced technologies like smart grid, smart meter, storage integration and net metering making electricity market customer friendly for both quality and reliable power. Higher participation of private players in this technology arena of electricity market is opening up the market for growth.

Growing popularity of Demand Response Programs across utilities has attracted residential and retail customers to participate in such events to cut down their electricity consumption cost. This allows utilities to manage their demand in much better way as the quantum of Demand Response event is not relied on industrial customers alone, but having said that there is limited proven technology or interface methods that will allow integration of residential DR assets with the mainframe DR Backend engine. In order to have this asset participate one cannot just cut of the entire residential power supply during an event to bring down the overall demand, if someone does so it will be called as load shedding not Demand Response. The technology should allow segregation of critical and non-critical load based upon user preference to support such events.

Integration of Home Area Network (HAN) with DR Servers is one of the proven interface methods. Home Area Network is a combination of a main system interface unit/master and HAN nodes. The individual home area nodes will be connected to critical and non-critical load within the premises of a residential customer and they will communicate with the main system interface unit forming a wireless peer-peer /Mesh Network. The main system interface unit will act as a master and collect all necessary information from the connected nodes over ZigBee and translates that to any industry standard communication protocol such as Modbus for its further communication to the DR Backend Server.

Various companies are building such tools and analytical platforms to support this requirement. Customized Energy Solutions(CES) has already started offering such tools to residential customers. The new wireless version of CES|SecureNet suit supports the functionality of Home Area Network. It is capable of communicating over wireless ZigBee protocol. The new version of SecureNet also support the additional feature of data logging at system interface unit level which is a much needed functionality for verification and settlement of financial incentives.

Besides the local hardware and communication tools, an analytical platform is needed which can act as a user interface to the residential customers. This analytical platform will allow the end user to define the critical and non-critical load, simulate the DR performance prior to the event, and prepare optimal DR strategy.



Figure 1: CES|GREEN Interface

CES|GREEN (Generation Reduction and Energy Efficiency Network) is an example of such analytical platform which allows user to build the DR strategy and translates that to the Hardware control function. CES|GREEN supports OpenADR 2.0 Standard which makes it highly interoperable.

2 years ago, Tata Power rolled out Demand Side Response Program with the help of Customized Energy Solutions (CES) for Voluntary Pilot Demand Response Program. Apart from appreciation at various forums, this program also received “Innovative Energy Service Award – 2012” by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) at national level in September 2012.

CES is also working on various challenges faced during program implementation and taking program to next level with Tata Power support. Power shortage and Peak demand issues are common for almost all DISCOMS in the country. Based on experience from this program, CES intends to help utilities to implement demand response programs for residential customers in India, in which residential customers from metro, tier I or tier II cities can participate and benefit from this program by exploring ways to improve reliability and reduced costs.


Note: Article is unedited and is not from IPS.com team.


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