In order to establish the system, the physical level had to be connected to the market level. MeRegio sought to trial the integration of energy consumers and the integration of DER in the market to induce an increase in energy efficiency. The primarily rural regions around Göppingen and Freiamt/Eppingen appeared to be suitable for the project’s goal and were chosen as test sites, since a large array of decentralized generation unit had already been connected to the local distribution grids and in fact, served to trial future scenario that might be relevant for other regions in Germany and Europe.
Within the two communities, about 1.000 commercial and residential end-users were connected in a “future grid”: They received special network connections as well intelligent electricity meters developed by EnBW, access to the MeRegio cockpit (feedback website) and the “electricity traffic light”, an easy to understand in-home Energy Management System which displays price signals. The intelligent metering system constantly sent metering data from the customers’ premises to EnBW’s central billing centre. In turn, the billing centre sent the analyses of the data on their energy consumption to the MeRegio cockpit. The „electricity traffic light“, which is also available as an iPod app, kept the customer informed about the current tariff zones and the electricity price development over the following 24 hours. Red signified expensive electricity, yellow an average price and green stands for particularly cheap electricity.
In a step-by-step process, the test customers received smart household applications, such as a Liebherr freezer or a dishwasher provided by Bosch that could be controlled via a special “control box”, able to send “switch-on” commands in times of cheap electricity prices or “switch-off” commands in times of expensive electricity prices. At a later stage, additional battery systems were installed to store self-produced electricity from decentralized generation units or from the grid in times of cheap electricity prices. The stored electricity could subsequently be consumed in times of expensive electricity prices in order to optimize the costs.
This coordination of decentralised energy supply, energy demand and innovative services results in several advantages: Previously passive customers as well as decentralized suppliers become independent energy managers. They control the individual consumption applications and, in fact, the overall costs for electricity as well as e.g the schedule of the engine-based cogeneration plant. Utilities also benefit from this approach through the permanent exchange of data that can support and facilitate the monitoring and management of their distribution grid and the optimization of their central generation plants’ schedules.
The environment also benefits from the MeRegio system as it results in an improved integration of renewable energies into the electricity grid, thereby enhancing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions significantly.
Before designing a Smart Grid, a targeted analysis based on the operation equipment data should to be conducted. In MeRegio, we identified neuralgic points in the network via this method and analysed them with the newly installed metering technology. Two solutions were developed in order to avoid a mere switching-off of renewable energy units as it is practiced in conventional generation management: Voltage regulation in the substation decoupled the medium- and low-voltage level, so that the available voltage band can be used optimally.
An anticipatory operation enables the grid operator to identify bottlenecks early based on generation and load prognoses and to counter this bottleneck by carrying out targeted regulations or by adapting the feed-in management. The situations leading to a bottleneck can be corrected on the market place as well. Previously asked for load shifting potentials are being bought from the Demand Side Managers acting on the market place within a tender and selection process. If the situation leading to the bottleneck cannot be alleviated in due time, the Demand Side Manager who is contractually bound has to use the automated energy management system (EMS) in the household to carry out effective control mechanisms.
This article is connected to the following knowledge articles:
MeRegio control box– EnBW
MeRegio app – EnBW
Power Submeter – systemplan GmbH
Electricity Trafficlight – EnBW
Network Manager – ABB
CORE platform – IBM
marketplace – SAP
MeRegio (Model Region Baden-Württemberg)
Hellmuth Frey, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG
Durlacher Allee 93, 76131 Karlsruhe
www.meregio.de ; www.enbw.com