The Powernet project proposes a platform for real-time control of net loads relying on Distributed Energy Resources (DER). It is built on the principle of connecting information networks to the power network (“Bits to Watts”). Each home will have a hub called Home Hub (HH). It aggregates resources in a home and connects them to a Cloud Coordinator (CC). The CC optimizes power set points for each HH in order to minimize cost while increasing consumer Quality of Service (QoS). The HH enables every home to operate connected or disconnected from the grid. It minimizes information exchange and includes built-in fail-safe and security mechanisms. It also implements Smart Disconnect, a power electronic device for each individual circuit in a home that increases safety and enables low cost load control.


Continuously performed data analytics quickly detect anomalous conditions and place the home in a safe mode. It is important to note that this system is adaptable and robust in response to variations while implementing efficient power sharing in the network. It also provides the platform to utilize net load control to provide grid services in a cost-effective manner.

Powernet-enabled homes are able to simultaneously enjoy the benefits of dynamic pricing optimization and the revenues from grid services on the assets they choose to share. Powernet is open-source and open-design to encourage adoption and standardization.

This proposal aims to build fundamental components of Powernet: Home Hub, Multiscale Optimizer, an open protocol OpenDER, and Data Analytics. It then implements a grid regulation service application. The system will be validated using large-scale simulations, a hardware-in-the-loop simulation with more than 100 devices, and a field test in a Navy base.

This is a joint project between Stanford University and SLAC. Two laboratories will be used as sites to develop the individual pieces of the system and simulate a number of homes with their actual loads and DERs. One of the labs will be located on the Stanford campus in the Y2E2 building, and the other lab will be located within the Smart Grid Lab on the SLAC campus.

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