Fraunhofer Institute coordinates smart grid demonstration


Freiburg, Germany — (METERING.COM) — December 2, 2009 – The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (Fraunhofer ISE) is coordinating a demonstration of how all the features of a smart grid can be realized using an integrated smart metering approach.

As part of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs sponsored InnoNet DEMAX (distributed energy and network management) collaborative, an innovative power management and communications system was developed to handle distributed generators and loads from the commercial and private sectors. The central component of the system is an internet-enabled “embedded system,” which allows network-based communication on flexible media.

“In order to use the energy generated locally, supply and demand must be perfectly matched,” said Christof Wittwer, head of the management and control systems group at the Fraunhofer ISE. “For example, the energy from a photovoltaic system could be fed directly into electric vehicles or in the peak evening hours could be used to contribute to the demand.”

Distributed energy systems in the smart grid require a large number of network connections for polling and feedback. Through a common internet access, remote maintenance, process visualization, etc. can be handled without incurring any significant cost for data transmission.

For the connection of the smart meters to the system components, the researchers developed a standardized DEMAX gateway. The gateway communicates with the local network using secure connections through a central proxy server, which for example, could be installed in the low voltage transformer station and connected to all participating vendors, such as metering service providers, electricity traders and operators, by redundant internet connections.

Research partners include the Steinbeis Innovation Center – Embedded Design and Networking (sizedn) with innovative wireless communications, including standardized elements (MBUS RF with open metering system, OMS), and EWS Schönau, which has designed flexible power tariffs for its customers. The embedded hardware manufacturer SSV Embedded Systems has developed an intelligent control module, which, in collaboration with Senertec, enables the connection of decentralized cogeneration in virtual power plants. As a specialist in virtual power plants in.power GmbH is contributing its expertise and its software platform in.power energy manager (i.pem), while GÖRLITZ is contributing its expertise in the field of energy acquisition and management.

The consortium is currently testing the system is currently in a small distribution area in Bad Bellingen, which is operated by EWS Networks GmbH. The project results will be used to develop products and services for the market.