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Why Energy Flexibility Platform & Interface feature image

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.

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