Intelligent use of energy data

  • © iStock
  • ©Green Energy Lab
  • © Green Energy Lab

The installation of smart meters – intelligent electricity meters that are connected to the respective network operator via a communication link – is generally required by law in all households in Europe. This offers new possibilities for automated data acquisition and analysis as well as applications based on them. However, with the current time resolution and delay in the provision of the data, these cannot currently be implemented. Not calibrated (and expensive) smart home systems offer an alternative. However, these often provide different consumption data, which lead to deviations from the billed values ​​and thus to confusion for customers. This represents a major obstacle to the implementation of real-time services in the energy sector, although the smart meter infrastructure would in principle be able to provide calibrated real-time data.

Development of standardized hardware for the public

Network operators are currently working on a standardized hardware solution that converts smart meter data into a uniform format and makes it available via an interface. This will be the first standardized low-cost hardware environment for real-time services that connects end users, energy suppliers and distribution network operators. The aim is for the developed solution to be transferable to all systems that can be based on the standardized, near-real-time smart meter interface. Based on this hardware, specific applications that require high data resolution and real-time availability are to be developed, implemented and demonstrated in a participatory process. The scope of the envisaged applications begins with the visualization of the data, the associated creation of more awareness of one’s own consumption and extends through the integration into energy-relevant processes – both directly with Demand Side Management (DSM) or indirectly with Demand Response (DR) – to security and convenience functions. With DSM, any consumer-side systems are controlled directly by the energy supply company or network operator via ripple control receivers, for example, while DR relies on the independent changing of consumer behavior through incentives, such as price signals. These methods have further advantages with regard to the energy networks, for example because they also contribute to greater network stability or can avoid expensive network expansion.

The user-centered approach anchored in the project creates a high potential for long-term and sustainable involvement of stakeholders in the energy transition, in which not only environmentally and technology-conscious users, but also the broad masses are reached. Households with photovoltaic systems in particular can benefit economically from the solution by including real-time data in their own consumption optimization. In addition, the real-time data from the smart meters can offer energy communities great added value by using the data for operational management. For the first time, many interacting use cases will be demonstrated in parallel and holistically in real situations and their technical, economic and social effects will be analyzed. At least 15 specific real-time applications are being developed and analyzed in the SmartU project. At least eight of them should be demonstrated. A standardized user interface, 300 end users (households) to be involved and four rollout plans for the broad implementation of the solution form the extended project goals.

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