GridAPPS-D™ is a Department of Energy-sponsored open-source software platform being developed for data integration and application development. It enables industry to more easily develop and test software applications for distribution system planning, management, control, and operations.

GridAPPS-D™ is not a software package, and it is not offered for sale. Nor is it intended to replace commercially available advanced distribution management systems. Rather, it is a freely available, standardized architecture and implementation approach. When the platform is completed, application innovators and vendors will be able to use it when developing their own advanced tools for distribution management to reduce cost and complexity, while accelerating time to market.

We invite utilities, vendors, apps innovators, and researchers to use the GridAPPS-D™ standardization approach in their operations and products:

  • Researchers can use the platform as a standardized environment to develop and test advanced functionality.
  • Application innovators can use the platform to simplify and streamline development of apps for a full range of electric power distribution systems.
  • System vendors can adopt the architecture and interface definitions to support portable applications.
  • As GridAPPS-D™-compliant products enter the marketplace, utilities will have more choices of software and hardware that best meet their specific requirements, thus reducing the time and cost of integrating advanced functionality into their operations.

See example applications that were developed using the GridAPPS-D™ platform.

What GridAPPS-D™ Does

In broad terms, GridAPPS-D™ standardizes the data exchange interfaces between devices in the field, distributed applications in the systems, and applications in the control room. With this standardization, information can flow between systems that have been siloed in the past. This creates a “data fusion” where an advanced data management system can access all data through a common bus (interface), across multiple applications, and execute command functions, all using a common power system model.

Through a well-defined data model, logical data abstractions, and an exchange mechanism, the GridAPPS-D™ platform enables the development of portable applications that can be deployed with less time than those custom-built for each system. In this case, portable applications are those that can be deployed easily within any operational environment that supports the GridAPPS-D™ programming model, regardless of the utility or vendor system.

Look Inside

The GridAPPS-D™ platform is designed to provide the following capabilities:

  • standardized data models and application programming interfaces to support data needs of distribution system applications
  • computational utilities, such as optimizers and power flow calculators, with well-defined interfaces
  • underlying distribution system simulation
  • functionality for application development, including tools such as versioning
  • functionality to test these applications under realistic system, functional, and performance conditions
  • the ability to configure the platform for the application being developed.
The GridAPPS-D™platform is intended to shift the utility sector AWAY FROM delivering closed, vertically-integrated architectures TO COLLABORATING in an open, layered, and standards-based platform architecture.
gridapps flowchart
flowchart 2

At the base of the figure, the distribution simulator provides data that enables developers to evaluate the performance of their applications with ideal or realistic data under various operating and performance conditions.

Common Information Model (CIM)-based models enable the standardization of the application developer’s data model and data exchange. The team used a new approach for managing standards-based network models and messaging: a combination of database management technologies with triple-store technology at the core. This novel approach provides the basis for application portability and for improved management of CIM-based network models.

Outside the GridAPPS-D™ platform, the figure shows developed applications (green boxes at top), which can be used in any compliant system. The dark orange box shows the relationship to various commercial distribution system operation tools such as distribution managements systems (DMS), outage management systems (OMS), geographic information management systems (GIS), and energy management systems (EMS).

Application innovators can use the GridAPPS-D™ data abstractions and messages to make references to components of the network model, data exchanged between components of the network model, and changes to settings of those components. Distributed management system vendors can use the platform to develop and test their own standards-compliant interfaces.

Code Use in Commercial Products

Any GridAPPS-D™ code may be incorporated into a commercial product, in accordance with the product’s BSD license terms. The goal is for an application to be deployable from one platform to another, simply by moving the program file(s) and updating local configuration files.


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