10 Important Features
No Stranded Assets
After spending millions of dollars in incentives, Utilities are discovering that some DRAS Clients or End Nodes are dropping off line after a year or two. This can be due to a change as simple as Server SSL Certification in the VTN or an out of date Java script version which makes the client inoperable until a technician can go out and upgrade on site. This results in unexpected cost year after year. Customers get fed up, abandon the program over time and the asset becomes stranded . A GRIDlink will never become a stranded asset but rather be a permanent asset that will grow and change with Utility programs as they evolve because they are always connected. GRIDview is the backend which allows us to keep a GRIDlink current without ever requiring a site visit.
DRAS Clients or End Nodes are anything but simple to install and require specialized technicians. This not only adds cost but limits the Utilities’ from rolling out large scale implementations due to lack of trained personnel to install and later support the devices in the field. GRIDlinks can be installed by a electrician or HVAC contractor with just a wiring diagram.
GRIDlinks never require a site visit to make software or firmware changes. This includes security upgrades, software, firmware and upgrading from 1.0 to 2.0a and 2.0b.
Asking the customer to open a port in their firewall and port forwarding through to the device from outside a network is not a good idea and customers generally do not allow this (with good reason). GRIDlinks upgrade themselves by securely pulling down all settings and upgrades from behind the customer’s firewall.
10 Important Features
When considering an OpenADR client (Virtual End Node), here are the 10 most important features that you should require:
- It should not require a technician to install, upgrade firmware or make changes. Just an electrician with a wiring diagram.
- It should be upgrade-able without customers needing to open a port to allow access through port forwarding.
- It should be upgrade-able through a standard web browser and not require the customer to maintain special software.
- It should be upgrade-able and backwards compatible with all versions of Open ADR 1.0, 2.0a & 2.0b without a site visit.
- It should allow VTN URL, user name & password settings to be configured without a site visit.
- It should be able to have SSL certifications changed quickly and easily without a site visit.
- It should not be built on a Windows PC platform subject to hard drive failures, security issues and OS changes.
- It should not be reliant on a Cloud Server to provide the signal between the VTN and the VEN.
- It should have internal diagnostics to rate quality of service and report network issues via text or email.
- It should be able to lock on to an Event after first notification and still execute with complete loss of Internet connection.
California Title 24 2013
GRIDlink exceeds Title 24 requirements by implementing Open ADR 2.0a which is a “Standards Based Messaging Protocol”.