Fast DR: Controlling Small Loads over the Internet
Current state-of-the-art demand response systems are expensive due to extreme reliability constraints in telemetry, control, and metering. The typical cost of enabling a site for regulation services is between $50k and $80k. These costs are orders of magnitude too high for small loads to participate in high-value grid services. Traditional demand response (DR) schedules events in advance and provides basic on/off control. We developed fast DR measurement and communication technologies, which are scalable cost-effective demand response systems with sufficient reliability for real-time control and monitoring of loads over the internet, and we demonstrated an example system for under $100. We installed FastDR systems for lighting, motor, and thermostat control along with power metering at a total of 10 sites, including 6 commercial buildings and 4 residential buildings. This demonstration addressed the following important methodological questions: 1) Can we reliably control loads simultaneously and with low latency across multiple sites within a specified response time; 2) How reliable is using the internet or 4G cellular network as the mode of control and metering; and 3) Can existing Smart Meters provide data for real-time telemetry services. Testing shows fast DR is capable of control to response in 4 seconds and loads complete transition in seconds to less than one minute depending on load type. We demonstrated 4s regulation services and synchronized load control, and we successfully met specifications for ancillary services across the US. Telemetry via the 4G cellular network demonstrated 94.5% success rate, and residential Internet demonstrated a 98% success rate.