GRXXXXXGE GRID OPTIMIZATION
cal services for Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). Smallwood has been in information
stry for the last 15 years. As director of IT Operations at the Electric Reliability Council of
The technology was conceived at Duke Energy and
developed through industry-staffed working groups
assembled by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel
(SGIP), which recently merged with the Smart Electric
Power Association (SEPA). The National Renewable
Energy Lab (NREL) had a hand in development of the
Following is a look at OpenFMB origins and how
this solution is enabling grid-edge intelligence and
Initially the brain child of engineers at Duke Energy, OpenFMB was expanded and developed by SEPA’s (formerly SGIP’s) OpenFMB Technical Working
Group. The first OpenFMB reference implementation, which utilized the
working group’s microgrid use cases as implemented at a Duke Energy’s test
center, was demonstrated at the 2016 Distribu TECH Conference by Duke Energy’s Coalition of the Willing II (COW-II) vendor partners.
In March 2016, OpenFMB was ratified as a model business practice by the
North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). By November 2016, the
OpenFMB Technical Working Group had launched an OpenFMB Collaboration Site, www.openfmb.io, and it is available to any industry player wanting
to leverage OpenFMB open-sourced software and implementation tools for
grid modernization efforts.
“What OpenFMB does is provide a framework with a set of common pro-
tocols, including DDS, MQTT and AMQP. That allows us to take different pro-
prietary communication protocols and convert them into a selected common
protocol, which for our implementation is DDS,” said James Boston, manager
of market intelligence and grid modernization for CPS Energy. “As long as the
software you’re running uses pub/sub (publish-and-subscribe) message struc-
tures based on CIM semantics, you can pull data from any of the sources.”
Boston explains that this allows utilities to do publish-and-subscribe data
applications, where each device has a certain set of data and other devices
can subscribe to obtain only the information they need. “That allows you to
pick and choose the data you want, which lowers the amount of bandwidth
you need,” he said.
OpenFMB also allows utilities to control devices that use different communications protocols at grid-edge.
THE GOAL: INTEGRATE
While OpenFMB was a Duke Energy brainchild and developed through industry participants, Stuart Laval, technology development director at Duke
Energy, said much of the work to get the framework operating in real life began with a 2014 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding opportunity. His
Deep in the heart of Texas,
there’s a microgrid powering
a library on a military base.
Connected to it, you’ll find
several pieces of equipment
that were never designed to
talk or play nice together.
And yet, they do because
the gear is linked via an
open field message bus
called OpenFMBTM. It’s an
architecture for connecting
devices to facilitate real-time exchange of data and