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OpenADR Alliance launches new global communications standard for utilities

The OpenADR Alliance, the global industry body created to foster the development, adoption, and compliance of OpenADR, has launched a new version of its OpenADR communications standard. OpenADR 3.0 is designed to support utilities, operators, aggregators, and customers as they try to manage the growing range of distributed energy resources (DER) including renewables, energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) batteries and charging infrastructure, as well as demand response resources like commercial buildings or homes.

As an open standard, OpenADR provides highly secure, fast, and reliable two-way information exchange for utility applications with simple communications needs like dynamic price and event signals, allowing customers to modify their usage to save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

With the launch of OpenADR 3.0, device and equipment manufacturers will be able to add new functionality more easily into customer products, including smart thermostats, EV charging stations, energy storage, and control systems.

Managing & Technical Director for the OpenADR Alliance, Rolf Bienert, comments: “Renewable energy, along with battery storage, is providing a growing share of overall power capacity as we move towards a more sustainable energy future. This means that energy companies are having to manage more decentralised and distributed energy resources, scaling operations while ensuring compatibility and interoperability.

“OpenADR is critical in providing seamless communications between different devices and systems, and between utilities and customers. OpenADR 3.0 provides simplicity at a time when technology is becoming more complex, making energy management easier and future-proofing energy systems. It offers a new alternative using modern web service designs that are easier to use than older message style exchange formats, while also providing added functionality.”

With OpenADR 2.0 used by many utilities and vendors, there are no plans to replace it; OpenADR 3.0 is designed to complement older versions of the standard. Aside from the functionality of 2.0, OpenADR 3.0 simplifies messaging, including pricing, offering more dynamic pricing structures, as well as better enabling greenhouse gas signalling, grid code adjustments, and capacity management communication (e.g., dynamic operating envelopes).

Bruce Nordman, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and member of the team that created OpenADR 3.0, says: “OpenADR 3.0 opens up new possibilities for customers and customer devices. It is so easy to implement that it can readily be put into any customer device (even a Wi-Fi light bulb) for receipt of grid signals, and also used for communication between customer devices. OpenADR 3.0 also supports two mechanisms for capacity management between the grid and the customer.”

OpenADR 3.0 testing and certification

OpenADR certification encourages the development of a global ecosystem of standards-based products, eliminating single-vendor lock-in and ensuring interoperability. Members can apply soon for OpenADR 3.0 testing and certification, but only products or systems that have been through the OpenADR Alliance Certification Program can claim OpenADR certified status. Testing will be conducted at one of 10 approved test facilities using test assets created by the OpenADR Alliance in collaboration with other vendors.

The OpenADR Alliance has several companies now piloting the new OpenADR 3.0 standard.

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Launch of OpenADR 3.0 to help utilities manage growth in EVs and renewables

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OpenADR 3.0 testing and certification OpenADR certification encourages the development of a global ecosystem of standards-based products, eliminating single-vendor lock-in and ensuring interoperability. Members can apply soon for OpenADR 3.0 testing and certification, but only products or systems that have been through the OpenADR Alliance Certification Program can claim OpenADR certified status. Testing will be conducted at one of 10 approved test facilities using test assets created by the OpenADR Alliance in collaboration with other vendors. About OpenADR Alliance The OpenADR Alliance, a non-profit corporation created to foster the development, adoption, and compliance of OpenADR and related standards, helps utilities manage the growing pool of distributed energy resources, which includes renewable energy, energy storage, demand response and electric vehicle charging. The OpenADR standard supports communications to all DER resources to manage changes in load shape, energy inputs and power characteristics of DER assets. The recently added EcoPort standard additionally enables smart appliances to be connected. More information can be found at http://www.openadr.org/.

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Amanda Hassall

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