CIEE has undertaken a range of initiatives to improve energy efficiency, demand response, and power delivery through innovations in information technology, smart sensing, and system integration. The major projects carried out through CIEE's Enabling Technologies program to date highlight the direction and impact of the program.

Programmable Communicating Thermostat

This project validated the California Energy Commission’s vision that Programmable Communicating Thermostats (PCT) that met system-interface requirements proposed by 2008 Title 24 could be manufactured within the Title 24 timeline and sold at a retail price less than $100. A load-group simulation was developed to characterize the result of PCT pricing and control signals, and the simulation was used to analyze demand response scenarios.

Barrier Immune Radio Communications

Various wireless technologies were field-tested in a six-story laboratory building to identify which could scale for future demand response applications with very low node density, power consumption, and unit cost. Signal-to-noise ratio, packet loss, and link quality were analyzed at varying power levels and node densities. The project found that narrowband technologies performed well, penetrating the floors of the building with little loss and exhibiting better range than the wideband technology.

Network Security Architecture for Demand Response/Sensor Networks

What role will sensor networks and agile radio nodes play in implementing advanced metering and demand response infrastructures in the future? This project developed an overall picture of the likely short-, medium- and long-term deployment scenarios of these technologies for demand response, delineated their central design elements, identified the related privacy and security issues, and recommended possible technical and legal solutions.

California Demand Response Business Network (DRBizNet)

Researchers on this project designed a high-level architecture for DRBizNet, an information-technology integration infrastructure for the California Demand Response supply chain. This infrastructure can dramatically simplify and automate communications, coordination, and control in the demand response marketplace for all stakeholders. Project participants developed the limited-function software of the DRBizNet architecture, and demonstrated it with active involvement of the CEC, CAISO, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E.

Advanced Metering and Demand Responsive Infrastructure

This project mapped the objectives of the Public Interest Energy Research program’s efforts in Distributed Energy Resources and Demand Response (DR) Control and Communications Integration, plus activities of the DOE, Electric Power Research Institute, and other related programs. The resulting matrix highlighted gaps and overlap in these efforts. A straw-man reference design for DR information exchange was developed to present a rational methodology for implementing the advanced metering infrastructure as conceptualized by participants in the DR Order-to-Institute Rulemaking Working Group (WG3).