Why Energy Flexibility Platform & Interface Energy Flexibility Platform & Interface
EF-Pi is the second technology that is part of the PowerMatcher Suite. EF-Pi and PowerMatcher are complementary but can also be used on their own.
Over the years a lot of different Demand Side Management (DSM) approaches have been developed. Unfortunately these DSM approaches are not interoperable. A similar issue can be identified on the appliance level. Appliances provide the flexibility that is being exploited by DSM. To begin with there a lot of different appliances (washing machines, Combined Heat Power Systems, PV panels, fridges, etc.). They also use different protocols for communication (Zigbee, Z-wave, WiFi, PLC, etc.).
All this variety on both the DSM and appliance level presents Energy Management Systems (EMS) with a big challenge.
Nowadays most EMS’es are tightly coupled to a particular DSM approach. This results in a vendor lock-in for consumers. A switch to another DSM approach/service almost always requires the installation of another EMS (hardware box).
The Energy Flexibility Platform & Interface (EF-Pi) is a runtime environment where on one side smart grid applications can be deployed and on the other side appliances can be connected, see it as a gateway operating system. The EF-Pi provides interfaces to interact with the environment,such as a User Interface, and connect devices and smart grid apps. Part of the interface definitions are the Control Spaces and Allocations.
EF-Pi aims to create an interoperable platform that is able to connect to a variety of appliances and support a variety of DSM approaches.
This way the EMS hardware does not need to be changed when a consumers switches from one service to another.
At the same time the Energy Flexibility Platform & Interface makes it easier for service providers to introduce new services, since they do not have to provide the EMS hardware to their consumers to go with it.
Developers of services do not have to deal with a new specific interface for every type, brand and model of a device. They only have to communicate with the standard Energy Flexibility Interface as specified by EF-Pi.
Lastly smart appliance manufacturers only have to provide a single driver in order for their device to be interoperable with a variety of services.
Download the full whitepaper here.