New measurement science and industry standards are needed to enable building systems and consumers to interact with a future “smart grid,” which supports the national goal to modernize the electric system by making it more robust and reliable. In the United States, commercial and residential buildings consume 72% of all electricity. As building-scale renewable energy systems become more common, buildings will increasingly become generators of electricity as well as consumers. Future electric vehicles will be charged through plug-in connections managed by home and building automation systems. Utility-scale renewable generation systems will require responsive loads to match the fluctuations caused by varying wind and solar conditions. Consumers will need access to their own energy consumption data to make informed decisions about their energy consuming habits. For all these reasons, integration of building systems with the grid is a critical part of the stability and success of the smart grid.
Objective: To develop the measurement science for industry standards that will enable interconnection of home and building automation and control systems with a future "smart" utility grid, provide consumers with energy usage information, and support industry efforts to develop the needed standards.
What is the new technical idea? The new technical idea is to integrate homes and buildings into the next generation “smart grid” by developing the technical basis for standards governing real-time pricing, distributed energy resources (DER) (including demand response (DR), distributed generation, and energy storage), electric vehicle charging control, and consumer access to energy usage information. This project will develop information models, data representation methods, and communication protocols to enable these activities, working with industry stakeholders to analyze use cases and develop approaches that can be adopted through consensus standards. In addition, this project will perform research into novel facility control methodologies based on DER availability, electricity price, and local markets, with testing in a simulation environment, in the NIST Virtual Cybernetic Building Testbed (VCBT), and in the NIST Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERF).
What is the research plan? This project addresses communications, interoperability, and control approaches for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings via three research components: (1) information model development to enable data exchange within building systems and between buildings and the smart grid, (2) building controls research for optimal response to dynamic pricing and demand management signals in commercial and residential buildings, and (3) simulation and testing in the Virtual Cybernetic Building Testbed and Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility. EL collaborates with industry stakeholders in the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) to identify interoperability standard gaps and research needs.
The information modeling effort includes definition of the building-to-grid communications interface, identifying key information elements needed for grid-to-facility communications, and development of priority facility interface standards as identified in the NIST Framework. These include price, demand response, energy usage and load, and communications for distributed energy resources (generation and storage) including load forecasting.
This work is resulting in
The building controls research component will develop load and generation prediction algorithms, and DR optimization strategies for residential and commercial building interaction with the smart grid. These algorithms will take into account: DR signals; future electricity price, weather and occupancy information; availability of renewable energy (including storage); and user inputs.
In parallel with the other activities, the simulation and testing component will utilize unique NIST laboratory facilities (the VCBT and NZERTF) to test and demonstrate success of the information models and control strategies, and provide input into building codes and standards.
EL will also support the broader NIST smart grid program, providing technical direction and leadership within the SGIP on issues related to building interactions with the smart grid. EL will also provide leadership within the ASHRAE BACnet, ASHRAE Facility Smart Grid Information Model, OASIS Energy Interoperation, and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Project Committee (PC) 118 committees to advance these standards.
 NIST Special Publication 1108R2, NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, February 2012.
Potential Research Impacts:
Realized Research Impacts:
New Functionality for Building Systems:
Impact of Standards and Tools:
 “New Guide Will Allow Electric Utilities to Develop Green Button Web Tools,” NIST Tech Beat (February 6, 2013), available at http://www.nist.gov/el/button-020613.cfm
Start Date:October 1, 2011
Lead Organizational Unit:el
Project Leader: Dr. David G. Holmberg
Related Programs and Projects:
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8631