Nanogrids, Power Distribution, and Building Networks

February 24, 2011 - 12:00pm

Electricity consumption and information technology are inexorably drawing closer. The usual approach to this from either the building control or ‘smart grid’ tradition is generally centralized and top-down. However, there are alternatives. In addition, power distribution is usually not considered an interesting or important topic as our AC supply systems in buildings are generally uniform and without capacity constraints. This presentation covers “work in progress” on how both control and distribution can be done on a bottom-up, distributed basis. Distribution is accomplished with “nanogrids” that can be interconnected with each other, and with a building-scale microgrid, as well as the utility grid. Control is done via room-scale networks, that when aggregated form a “building network”. A critical proposition is that power distribution and functional control should be kept separate. Then, Bruce will describe functionality being worked on in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) on energy/power reporting which addresses both the network and power distribution aspect. Finally, he will provide an update on “building networks” and how that relates to the Internet of Things and the IETF.

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