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Advancing Interoperability In The Smart Grid

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The promise of Smart Grid initiatives to improve the reliability of the grid and give consumers more control over their electric bills depends, in large part, upon a myriad of standard technologies working together. The Plugin at Grid-Interop 2012 in Irving, TX, last week highlighted the significant progress that has been made. QualityLogic (, the independent test tool partner of the OpenADR Alliance, participated with the Alliance and demonstrated how the interoperation of multiple smart grid protocols might be implemented.

Interoperability in the smart grid

QualityLogic Chief Test Architect Jim Zuber demonstrated usage scenarios including a transform between OpenADR 2.0, SEP 2.0, and Transactive Control Protocols. According to Zuber, “Attendees were very interested in seeing how OpenADR, SEP, and Transactive Control might interoperate in a real business scenario. We demonstrated the awesome potential of these emerging web service/XML based standards, which share many common data objects, to interoperate with each other.”

The three protocols demonstrated represent important and emerging Smart Grid standards:

  • The OpenADR 2.0 protocol allows utilities and building managers to use automated demand response to conserve power at peak usage times to reduce stress on the electric grid. With OpenADR, electric utilities can offer electricity incentive programs, based on automated demand response, that are more reliable and predictable than traditional non-automated solutions.
  • The Smart Energy Profile 2.0 will be the standard for applications that allow consumers to manage home energy with both wired and wireless devices that support the Internet Protocol.
  • The Transactive Control Protocol is central to the ARRA-funded Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project ( It provides the two-way communication of value between producers, distributors and consumers of electricity that enables distributed control based on economic signals. Although not yet a recognized standard, Transactive Control is one of the leading implementations of Transactive Energy concepts.

“Interoperability in the smart grid is critical,” said James Mater, QualityLogic Smart Grid General Manager. “QualityLogic is developing interoperability and conformance test solutions that span the grid – from energy wholesalers to retailers, and from utilities to commercial and industrial customers, small businesses, and residential consumers. Our demonstration last week proved that the protocols required by these diverse needs have the potential to easily work together.”