Key to unlocking the power of the Smart Grid is widespread adoption of Smart Energy solutions. But without a universally applicable, affordable and scalable management standard, the potential of Smart Energy remains 'potential'. TNO and strategic partner Alliander have joined forces to create the Flexiblepower Alliance Network (FAN), dedicated to accelerating innovation in Smart Energy solutions and creating a universal platform for development.
With the increase in smart devices and electric vehicles, scalability and affordability challenges also increase. Decentralised, two-way energy flows and interoperability require effective communication between appliances and applications. Consumers using Active Demand want a user-friendly interface to manage usage. By creating a platform through which all devices – current and future – can effectively communicate with Smart Energy management applications, FAN is accelerating the progress towards effective solutions. FAN is a non-profit, open-source alliance that offers a universally applicable set of Smart Energy management standards and a launching application, so that stakeholders have a head start in their innovations. FAN guarantees the interoperability of smart appliances and the Smart Grid, and has built-in flexibility for adaptation in the future. Offering the standards for free, with an open-source license, FAN eliminates the barriers to faster, more effective solutions.
In addition to knowledge and expertise, TNO developed the software and architecture to make the FAN standards scalable, cost-efficient and applicable worldwide. Distribution System Operators (DSOs), energy suppliers, equipment manufacturers and software developers can use the standards and the PowerMatcher platform to effectively utilise and manage power supply and demand. With this, FAN ensures that Smart Energy solutions will work in the real world, and will remain flexible in the future. The platform brings benefits to the entire value chain. Consumers have more opportunities to save energy, make use of locally created energy, and gain valuable insight into their own energy use and creation. FAN also gives DSOs a business case to utilise a Smart Grid: a time- and cost-saving alternative to grid expansion. Also, new entrants in the Smart Energy market, like energy suppliers, software developers and equipment manufacturers have proven standards upon which to base their innovations.
Thousands of consumers have already successfully connected to the grid with FAN. But true success will come when stakeholders take advantage of this cost-effective, time-saving solution on a wider scale around the world. Stakeholders wishing to apply the FAN standards need only to download them from www.flexiblepower.org. Those who wish to join the alliance, and help accelerate the advancements in Smart Energy are welcome to contact us. FAN is seeking international partners with an eye on advancing the industry at all levels – from DSOs and energy suppliers to hardware and software companies. After successful pilots and small-scale application, FAN is preparing for worldwide adoption and utilization of these effective standards. Together with our partners in the alliance, TNO stands ready to apply FAN standards in a fast, cost- and time-efficient way. With FAN, the energy ambitions of tomorrow are applicable today.