The Grid eXchange Fabric (GXF) is a generic communication network for field devices which originated at Alliander to help them with public lighting solutions. The project helped Alliander communicate with different devices from different vendors that won’t talk to each other since they all used different protocols.
“The first use case we implemented was the public lighting solution. We had several devices from different vendors that would use different protocols but the platform hides all the complexity by translating those device-specific commands into specific protocol requests to the device and the device will turn on irrespective of which vendor it is from,” said Robert Tusveld, Solution Architect, Alliander.
Primarily, GXF creates a functional interface to do even simple things like turning those lights on or off or manage them with automating systems such as light sensors so they can turn on and off themselves.
The project has today evolved and scaled to handle complicated workloads including microgrids, smart metering, public lighting, and distribution automation.
The project can be used in many different scenarios. Alliander is already using it with smart meters and so on.
Looking at the industry-wide problem the project was solving, Alliander decided to contribute the project to a neutral body under the Linux Foundation umbrella and LF Energy became the new home to the project, making it accessible to various industries.
In this segment of State of Energy, we sat down with Robert Tusveld, Solution Architect, Alliander and Maarten Mulder, Product Owner, Alliander to learn more about the project.
Topics we covered in this show include:
- What is Grid eXchange Fabric or GXF and what problem is it solving?
- Does GXF work with both modern and legacy/traditional devices & systems?
- History and origin of the project?
- Who is the target audience of the project?
- How different is it from other projects like FledgePOWER?
- Why and when Alliander decided to contribute it to LF Energy?
- How is GXF helping with a larger mission of modern companies to cut down on their carbon footprint?
- How mature is the project?
- How can one get involved with it?