APPLICATION AND COMMUNICATION PLATFORM FOR SMART GRID AUTOMATION

Period of Performance: 06/13/2016 - 03/12/2017

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Machfu Inc.
20271 Goldenrod Lane Suite 2004
Germantown, MD 20876
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing how we accumulate and analyze data. IIoT data has the potential to increase field worker productivity and improve asset efficiency by leveraging data across the enterprise for actionable knowledge. In spite of the great advances in hardware costs, software capabilities and cloud platforms there continues to be many barriers to scaling in the industrial space. The past Utility industry practices have resulted in an infrastructure that is dominated by legacy and proprietary systems with a reluctance to adapt to new open-standards-based paradigms that facilitate moving to a modern Smart Grid. This is certainly true for the North American “Smart Grid” that seeks to use digital technology to improve the energy performance of the grid. The solution to this problem is an application and communication platform for the smart grid starting from the foundation of a Linux kernel with an Android user space. This enables leveraging open source tool chains, APIs, and the large existing developer ecosystem for the smart grid world. Machfu’s SBIR Phase I proposal will create a software defined OpenFMBTM gateway platform as proof of the scale that can be created in Smart Grid. The platform will demonstrate the speed and ease with which products can be brought to market, reduction of skills required to create industrial applications and reduced application development time from traditionally man years of effort to man months or weeks enabling unprecedented scaling of Smart Grid Networks. At the end of the Phase I effort Machfu will demonstrate a software defined OpenFMBTM Gateway running on the Machfu curated industrial Android Gateway platform. The platform will provide an application development environment that supports using Android Studio with OpenFMBTM plugin, embedded libraries of device Protocols (DNP3) and IoT protocols (DDS, MQTT) with Android plugin, embedded library of OpenFMBTM UML semantic models exposed with Android plugin and interfaces for an enterprise facing security and authentication policy framework for apps, users and devices enabling management at scale. The commercial benefits are improved operational efficiency of the grid (e.g., improved uptime, asset utilization) through predictive maintenance and remote management, the emergence of software-driven services economy; innovations in hardware; and the increased visibility into products, processes, customers and equipment, new connected ecosystems coalescing around software platforms that blur traditional industry boundaries and collaboration between humans and machines. This will result in unprecedented levels of productivity and more engaging work experiences. Key Words: Smart Grid, Smart Communications Architecture, Open Framework, Application Development, Sandbox, Backward Compatibility, Peer-to-Peer, Application Abstraction, Grid Modernization, Grid Security