ATLANTA - Under a national Smart Grid effort, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) are jointly developing a standard to provide a common basis for electrical energy consumers to describe, manage, and communicate about electrical energy consumptions and forecasts.

ASHRAE hosted a kickoff meeting to begin work on the proposed standard Aug. 30-31 at its headquarters in Atlanta. More than 60 people attended, and the committee approved the title, purpose, and scope of the standard. Participants also reached consensus about how the standard should interface with other ongoing Smart Grid standardization efforts.

ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201P, Facility Smart Grid Information Model, will define an object-oriented information model to enable appliances and control systems in homes, buildings, and industrial facilities to manage electrical loads and generation sources in response to communication with a smart electrical grid and to communicate information about those electrical loads to utility and other electrical service providers.

“Smart grids lead to smart meters lead to smart systems,” said ASHRAE president Lynn G. Bellenger, PE. “As the smart grid adjusts to suit load distribution and maintain power quality and reliability, one of the steps will be to communicate with building metering systems which, in turn, will communicate with building systems and equipment. This ties into demand response control to reduce peak demand. One day in the future, we likely will have real-time pricing with dramatic differences in power costs dependent upon the time of day or grid load.”

“NEMA and the members of their smart grid and high-performance buildings councils see the creation of this standard as a strategic element in driving development of a nationwide smart electrical grid while increasing energy efficiency, occupant productivity and cost-effectiveness in safe, secure buildings,” said Jim Lewis, NEMA’s manager for high performance buildings.

At the meeting, the committee established five working groups with assignments to begin working on specific issues in parallel and report back to the full committee, which will meet again several times before the end of January 2011.

The standard is part of ASHRAE’s supporting efforts for the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, a public-private partnership initiated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to speed development of interoperability and cyber security standards for a nationwide smart electric power grid.

Publication date:09/20/2010