FAN (Flexible Power Alliance Network) has developed EFI, the Energy Flexibility Interface. EFI is a communication protocol that enables end users to control various smart devices, such as washing machines, air conditioning units, solar panels and car chargers, and thus unlock the opportunities of flexible energy.
Whenever manufacturers develop devices that support EFI, these devices can communicate with all Smart Grid technologies (Powermatcher, OpenADR, Triana). Conversely, by supporting EFI, developers of Smart Grid technologies can rely on their solution being able to communicate with all smart devices that support EFI. EFI is an open source standard that enables smart devices to communicate with smart grids and vice versa. It will make it possible for us to make as much flexible energy available as possible. And this in turn helps the transition to a sustainable and affordable energy supply.
The participants in FAN have combined their knowledge and experience of flexible energy and used it to develop EFI. A distinction can be made between four categories of equipment for EFI:
- Inflexible devices, devices that cannot be switched
- Devices that can be switched on and off by timers, such as washing machines and dishwashers
- Energy storage equipment such as heat pumps and batteries
- Customisable output devices – such as cold storage, electric cars
Basic principles of EFI:
- Independence of equipment. EFI does not make any changes to the equipment’s control mechanism.
- Convenience comes first. End users are our primary focus when it comes to the use of EFI. EFI is based on, and respects, their energy needs.
- There is no need to implement any assumptions for flexible energy in device software, neither for the equipment nor for the manufacturer.
- Market participants such as aggregators do not require any specific knowledge of the equipment in question in order to be able to use the flexibility enabled by that device.
- EFI is independent of Smart Grid technology
EFI as the universal standard
It is FAN’s goal to make EFI a universal standard language for all smart grid services, to enable them to unlock flexible energy.
IT developers can find information about EFI on GITHUB.