Application and Communication Platform for Smart Grid Automation

Period of Performance: 07/31/2017 - 07/30/2019

$1000K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

Grid modernization requires adoption of modern information technologies in an incremental manner to continue support of legacy assets and use case while enabling seamless integration of and transition to modern paradigms. Empowering domain experts and stakeholders to easily customize modern technologies to the unique needs of grid operation and maintenance is critical. In the Phase I effort Machfu demonstrated an edge-computing platform that was capable of communicating directly with grid equipment using native/legacy protocols. The platform also extended secure access to the grid equipment utilizing native/legacy protocols and new paradigms such as the Open Field Message Bus that is under development with utilities at the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel. The 'glue' that ties this together in the Machfu platform is in the form of a customized set of applications that encodes the business logic necessary to bridge/broker the different protocols. The applications leverage edge computing capabilities to support the efficient and targeted support of different use cases. What is necessary to accelerate the adoption of this architectural approach is to continue to enhance the ability of domain experts to specify, customize, and extend that application logic to meet new and evolving business needs. In the Phase II effort Machfu will focus on the continued development of these tools and support of these abstract workflows to broaden the ability of domain experts to apply and customize the technologies. Public benefits of enabling domain experts to customize edge computing applications to target use cases include efficient grid operation and maintenance and extending the life of the aging grid. Simultaneously this should allow optimal, targeted, and incremental investment to modernize the grid when and where needed. This will enable existing grid investments to go further while providing a basis to securely and flexibly support new and emerging paradigms put forth by the DoE such as Microgrids and Transactive energy.