Putting energy data to work with pub/sub Going beyond REST APIs, and embracing the power of a new paradigm

Executive Summary

This paper explores the prevailing ways in which energy data is exchanged between parties – specifically in the context of data from PV and PV/hybrid systems. It lays out the most common established approaches, including “data push” and “data pull”, and discussed their respective advantages and shortcomings. The paper also presents the “publish/subscribe” (pub/sub) pattern of data exchange. While use of the pub/sub pattern is quite well
established in other industries, such as financial services and industrial IoT, it is still not widely used in the context of renewable energy data exchange. This paper presents the advantages of the pub/sub approach, as relating to this context.
In summary, pub/sub has a number of distinct advantages over established approaches. First and foremost, it allows for providers of data (e.g. devices in the field) to send real-time data and events. This can for example ensure that critical events are acted upon promptly.

It also provides a simple mechanism for eliminating gaps in historical data. Meanwhile, pub/sub allows for data consumers to subscribe to the specific data streams (“topics”) that are relevant to them. Overall, pub/sub protocols provide rich data interchange capabilities.

Meanwhile, they are straightforward to set up and maintain for both providers and consumers of data. Finally pub/sub protocols support best-practice security paradigms. In light of this, this paper presents the case for a comprehensive embrace of pub/sub data interchange across the renewable energy data ecosystem.