Inexpensive, small-scale computers—such as the Raspberry Pi—can have VOLTTRON™ installed as a controller.

PNNL’s Volttron Goes Way Beyond Building Energy Management

Oct. 22, 2018
Volttron has morphed into a cybersecure platform for development of new analysis and management solutions

This summer Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) announced that Volttron could be downloaded from the not-for-profit Eclipse Foundation and the foundation would also be the steward for this open source software platform. Can’t place the name Volttron? It’s a software platform developed at PNNL back in 2012 with funding assistance along the way from the Department of Energy. The platform was initially designed to provide flexible and scalable control solutions for building energy management. After years of refinement and some large pilot programs, Volttron has morphed into a cybersecure platform for development of new analysis and management solutions for energy consumption optimization and integration of building assets with the electric grid. Volttron could very well become the one stop universal solution for controlling energy systems on and off the grid. 

A notable hallmark of this powerful tool is the ability to shift energy demand to off-peak hours and manage a facility's load shape to reduce stress on the grid during peak periods. Pilots and work at the PNNL have demonstrated that Volttron has the flexibility and scale potential to control thermostats, lighting, hot water or other functions in thousands of homes for increased efficiency and comfort; or manage a wide range of commercial building-related functions, including heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, control of electric vehicle charging and interfacing with distributed energy resources. Building owners, management firms, energy services vendors and utilities can apply this versatile technology to maximize building performance and energy-efficient operations.

Beyond energy management, PNNL has reported that new applications are being developed for Volttron all the time. For example, the platform provides a secure way to retrieve data from devices and coordinate analysis, offering analytics firms and other potential users unique opportunities to add value. Volttron is open source and publicly available from GitHub, so its ongoing development benefits from a collaborative, nationwide community of users. PNNL expects that its efforts with Volttron will receive sustainable support from an even larger community of global developers and users as a result of its new relationship with the Eclipse Foundation, which provides a large community of individuals and organizations with a mature, scalable and commercially focused environment for collaboration and innovation.

Find more information about Volttron at this site:

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