06 Feb Rainforest puts IoT to work for Demand Response
Rainforest Automation announces a portfolio of Demand Response products and services
Burnaby, BC – February 5, 2016 – Rainforest Automation, a developer of energy management technology, announced a new portfolio of products and services to help utilities implement Demand Response programs for their residential and small commercial customers. The Rainforest portfolio leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) and industry standard protocols such as OpenADR, ZigBee, WiFi, and Internet Protocol (IP) to deliver a highly affordable solution that aggregates resources from widely distributed homes and small businesses.
The cornerstone of the Rainforest solution is a new hardware platform, the EAGLE-200™ Intelligent Energy Gateway. It is a successor to the popular EAGLE™ gateway, which is deployed in thousands of homes across the US. The gateway is designed to deliver a variety of functional software modules. These onboard modules constitute another part of Rainforest’s new product portfolio, providing functions such as real-time smart meter monitoring, OpenADR Virtual End Node (VEN), home automation, and remote telemetry collection.
Rainforest is also providing a smartphone app that is the first to combine Home Automation, utility Demand Response opt-out and customized preferences, and smart meter monitoring in a single, user-friendly application. This gives users one place to go to control their SmartHome, and provides a powerful tool for utilities to engage their Demand Response participants.
In addition, the Rainforest portfolio also includes cloud-based services such as real-time demand alerts, a brand-able user web portal, remote device management, real-time Measurement and Verification (M&V), and data warehousing.
“We have employed IoT technology to combine BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) with utility Demand Response programs,” said Chris Tumpach, president of Rainforest Automation. “Our new EAGLE-200™ gateway provides a single point of contact for the utility to control devices in the home, without having to worry about a separate interface for every type of load. Likewise, consumers can use our app and web portal to get home automation as a perk of the Demand Response program – a powerful recruiting benefit.”
While the gateway is connected to the internet and enables a number of cloud services, it is not dependent on the cloud, and can operate independently in the event of an internet outage. This significantly reduces the risk of a failure seen with existing internet-based systems. For utilities equipped with smart meters, the EAGLE-200™ can also connect through the meter Home Area Network (HAN) to provide an alternative communication path for redundancy.
Since the communication between the customer premise and the cloud is two-way and real-time, Rainforest can provide unparalleled insight into the operation of a Demand Response (DR) program. Real-time M&V and Resource Awareness allows “right-sizing” of short notice DR events for revenue protection and maximum operational efficiency.
The Rainforest solution is built on open standards, and is designed to connect with systems from other venders. “Our system has been in utility trials for the last year, and is working with DRMSs (Demand Response Management Systems) from a number of major suppliers,” explained Tumpach. “Even though we offer cloud services, you are not locked-in to the Rainforest cloud. You are free to choose as much of our services as you need, confident in the knowledge that you can use standard interfaces to connect to other systems.”
The Rainforest Demand Response products and services will be available for utility customers in Q2.
About Rainforest Automation
Rainforest Automation helps utilities and their customers manage energy in real time by integrating the Internet of Things into the Smart Grid edge. Our Home Area Network (HAN) devices, software products, and services enable Energy Efficiency and Demand Response programs for utilities, manage commercial demand charges, and provide SmartHome convenience and reduced energy costs for residential consumers. For more information, visit: rainforestautomation.com.