Powertech has opened a new certification and testing lab for Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) certification and testing of electric load communications and for conducting electric utility OpenADR demonstration projects.
OpenADR is an effort for research and standards development in energy management led by North American research labs and companies. The typical application is to allow electric utilities to send information and signals to cause electrical devices to be turned off during periods of high demand.
Several years ago, industry stakeholders established the Open ADR Alliance to standardize, automate, and simplify demand response initiatives. The Alliance—which now has more than 130 members, including utilities, device manufacturers, national labs, and others—has developed a certification program for OpenADR to ensure compliance and interoperability. The certification program is being adopted in North America, Europe, China, Japan, and Korea.
Powertech’s OpenADR Lab
Powertech’s new lab is the first such facility in Canada approved by the Alliance for testing and certification of OpenADR communications. We work with device OEMs, such as makers of electric vehicle charging stations, smart thermostats and other electrical equipment, to test and certify the communications systems associated with the products for OpenADR. Certification allows the products to participate in utility OpenADR programs.
We also help electric utilities conduct OpenADR demonstration projects to test protocols and incentives for demand response in a limited scope before launching large-scale public programs. For example, an electric utility might enlist electric vehicle owners in a demand response pilot initiative and collect data on participation and usage before designing a broader effort.
The Powertech Advantage
Powertech Labs is one of the few lab facilities to offer both OpenADR certification for product communications systems and support for utility demand response demonstrations.
For communications, Powertech has outdoor and indoor lab facilities for a wide range of services, including design, network planning, equipment evaluation, and validation of field devices and their communication links. Our team has the expertise to carry out system and network design, evaluate new communications technologies and products, and perform in-house certification tests for third parties.
For demand response, Powertech has a history of working with electric utilities such as BC Hydro to develop pilot and demonstration projects. Services include interconnection studies, portfolio design, and operation planning and simulation. Facilities are available for testing smart technologies for industrial and commercial energy management, including load control, smart metering, and Cisco mesh network-based demand response technology.
“It is great to see our first Canadian OpenADR Test Facility coming online” says Rolf Bienert, OpenADR Alliance managing & technical director. “As OpenADR continues to spread globally, it is important for the Alliance to provide convenient test locations for our members.” – Rolf Bienert, OpenADR Alliance
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