This pilot project aims to connect the local power company (LPC) electricity distribution system with residential customers through smarter home controls and a free, open-source software platform and mobile app.
Recognizing the need to foster smart and connected communities, researchers at the Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) joined with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and ACE IoT Solutions in 2019 to create open-source implementation of a home energy management system (HEMS) platform. Open HEMS started with core programming that would allow multiple electric devices in a home to connect with other homes and utilities to create communities that were resilient and increasingly efficient.
“ORNL has long been a global leader in computing, and we have some of the most extensive research facilities dedicated to building technologies available. This allowed us to develop the complex optimization and control software we needed, then pair it with sensors and controllers and test it in the lab before moving it to deployment in an actual test home. Those capabilities combined with EPRI’s technical expertise really formed the core of Open HEMS.”
Teja Kuruganti, ORNL
In 2021, TVA’s Connected Communities initiative selected ACE IoT Solutions to complete a pilot project that would enhance the Open HEMS technology to meet the needs of TVA’s local power companies across its seven-state service region. Through the pilot, ACE IoT developed a best-in-class mobile app that residential customers can use to engage with the Open HEMS technology.
“This type of next-generation, grid-interactive technology will be key to creating the flexible, secure and resilient grid that is required for our region’s energy future. Combining the expertise and resources of DOE, ORNL and several private sector partners allowed us to create an open-source technology that TVA, local power companies across the Tennessee Valley and other utilities across the country can use to deliver game-changing benefits to homeowners and power providers alike.”
Georgia Caruthers, TVA