The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) recently submitted principles developed by its Smart Grid Task Force to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These principles clarify how appliances can effectively operate within a Smart Grid environment while providing consumer acceptability.
AHAM submitted comments on July 9, 2009, in response to a Federal Register notice seeking industry comments to the sixteen published Smart Grid Interoperability Standards. The sixteen standards represent the first standards of hundreds that will be needed to complete a Smart Grid network. AHAM will remain active in the development of Smart Grid standards that are pertinent to the home appliance industry. AHAM’s principle positions state:
- All message protocol definitions from the Smart Grid should exist in an open standards format to ensure inclusive manufacturer participation and to enable appliances to achieve maximum interoperability.
- Initially some Smart Appliance systems and corresponding standards may support one-way communication, while others may support two way communications. Since the utility can determine responses to commands by monitoring the Smart Meter measurements, this requirement seems reasonable. A limited number of messages will be used for this communication.
- Next generations of Smart Appliance Systems may consider two way communications. This communication will likely be through an in-home managerial control system. As stated above, a limited number of standardized messages will be used to support this communication. This does not preclude additional protocols and messages from being used for communication with Smart Appliances from the in-home managerial control system.
- In all cases, the Smart Appliance will retain control of the appliance response. The Smart Appliance will always allow the consumer the option to override a power reduction command, if the consumer desires.
- The Smart Appliance may respond to rate level instructions from the utility in one of the following ways: 1) shedding load at a limited number of levels (for example, four or five possible power consumption levels) all under direct control of the appliance, 2) responding to commands from the in-home managerial control system (which is interpreting or managing the information from the utility, or 3) presenting the consumer with information that would encourage the consumer to delay use at that time. The consumer will always have the option to override these actions and resort to full power usage or different energy modes.
- AHAM members are also concerned that the rate structures being considered do not incentivize or educate consumers. Thus, consumers may not be inclined to utilize smart products and a large part of the demand response opportunity will be lost.
These AHAM principles were also presented during an Open SG User Group meeting held in Columbus, Ohio, from July 13-16, 2009.