Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Alliance pushes to create standard for DC smart meters

Steve Rogerson
September 14, 2016
The EMerge Alliance, a professional organisation dedicated to advancing standards for direct current (DC) technology, has started a project to develop a standard for DC smart meters for grid tied and remote microgrid applications.
The standard aims to define requirements for revenue grade metering of medium or low voltage DC in various types of hybrid AC-DC and pure DC microgrids and other power systems for either grid tied or off-grid applications where no grid is available.
“The motivation for this action arose from requests from our members in both the utility domain and those working on building and campus microgrids who see the need to define the requirements for certifiable revenue grade meters for direct current applications,” said EMerge chairman Paul Savage.
Market applications driving the use of DC in microgrids and other power systems include: solar, wind and other native DC renewable energy use in buildings, campuses and communities; energy storage and net metering; DC fast charging of electric vehicles; increasing use of electronic devices and brushless DC motors in appliances and professional and consumer equipment; and servicing remote microgrids with limited or no access to utility grids.
David Lawrence of Duke Energy, an EMerge member, added: “While there are many experts on AC metering, the field of direct current metering is an evolving technology, so it’s most appropriate EMerge take on the challenge to bring together experts in both metering and DC technology to accomplish this important mission.”
An EMerge public webinar will kick-off the project at 2pm EDT (11am PDT) on September 20, 2016. The webinar will begin a series of on-line sessions intended to recruit participants and establish working groups to design the content of the standards.
Stakeholders include utility metering experts, DC microgrid experts, DC device and system OEMs, AC and DC metering device OEMs, DC academic experts, and government and regulatory experts.
The EMerge Alliance is an open industry association including commercial, government and academic organisations developing standards leading to the rapid adoption of hybrid AC-DC microgrids in commercial and residential buildings. The standards integrate building and campus infrastructures, power, controls and devices in microgrid platforms to facilitate the hybrid use of AC and DC power. The standards facilitate buildings to improve energy efficiency, safety, resiliency and sustainability while increasing the potential to use of clean, renewable on-site energy.
Safety science organisation UL has announced an advanced inverter testing and certification programme. As electric utilities continue to modernise their grids through the use of larger amounts of distributed generation and renewable energy sources, the UL service portfolio has expanded to meet the ever-changing needs for safety, performance and grid support functionality. This programme uses the UL 1741 Supplement A (SA) to test and certify inverters and other utility interconnected distributed generation equipment for grid support functions to enable smarter, safer, reactive grid interconnection.