The Estfeed Project: Innovative data sharing ICT infrastructure for energy market participants

Estfeed project built a software platform capable to integrate many data sources and to provide appropriate services to convert these data into valuable information for energy flexibility management, energy efficiency, audit and benchmarking.

Purpose of the project:

  1. Grid and system operators discover solutions that allow customer involvement and feedback for more balanced relationship (including demand-side management, role of aggregators, etc.).
  2. Consumers find tools that allow energy consumption analyses and efficiencies, including benefits from micro-generation (prosumers).
  3. Application providers can approach a number of new customers who are willing to use smart energy products and find it beneficial.
  4. Renewable energy producers can find new business models enabling small scale and intermittent generation.
  5. Standards and sharing of best practices allow lower initial investments and operating costs for society.

 

Underlying technology for developing Estfeed

Estfeed focuses on the development of open information platform and communication protocols to guarantee the interoperability between information tools and systems for energy efficiency monitoring and management. Interoperability has to be guaranteed at different technological levels (service integration and access through open architecture, communication and protocols, information models, and cooperation between devices) to provide consumers/prosumers with greater flexibility in selecting services and interacting with the power network for efficient use of energy. This technological challenge have been addressed at different levels, which will use and integrate appropriate technologies:

Architecture Level: The Estfeed platform has been designed as a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), mainly implemented as Web Services providing high level interfaces, minimizing the required communications, and by taking into account hardware, security and deployment constraints.

An open-source solution have been used to guarantee the openness and accessibility of the developed solution. Thus, we propose in the first instance the implementation of Web Services on open source application server, with similar features and supporting the latest technologies, to generate service endpoints.

Open architecture specifications being defined in current projects like eDIANA (conceived as a reference architecture and implemented through an open middleware to enable interoperability of heterogeneous devices) or the BEMI software architecture proposed in the SmartHouse/Smartgrid project (built on available open standards from both industry and ICT) have been analysed to benefit from those experiences. Software adaptors to field devices (sensors, controllers and actuators) have been designed to guarantee bidirectional connection with the platform through standard interfaces and protocols to guarantee inter-actuation between them through specific services. The smart meter concept and existing standards have been used as references to design services oriented to coordinate the interaction between consumers and the network.

The Estfeed approach is innovative as it diverges from existing state of technological development. The actual technology is focused on robust data processing and privacy protection. Energy management is considered a cross-departmental process, an all-employee job, and for this reason, organisational aspects such as document management workflows, culture stimulating portals, collaborative working in innovative initiatives, Web 2.0-supported internal and external communities, and comfortable user interfaces, are also key tools in order to maintain an energy programme in the organization, systematically increasing efficiency in energy use.

 

The next lines summarize the main innovation points that are considered within the scope of the Estfeed project:

The extension of Energy-Management Applications to the energy consumer. The practical applications develop features and services that will enable the energy user to design its own energy management processes to monitor its evolution and to make smart decisions based on this information.

From a technical point of view, the purpose of the project is to provide a platform that supports the number of energy data standards (protocols, technologies) and that can be integrated with the new generation of smart devices or smart metering devices. For this purpose, the project have taken into account both the leading devices and technologies that are currently available in the market, and the results from other projects’ standardization efforts, such as the European Framework “Open Meter” project, which is currently being carried out by large utilities and metering device manufacturers.

Introduction of computational intelligence and optimisation methods in energy efficiency monitoring and decision support provide an avenue for the generation of new knowledge and methods in this field. As forerunners in the technology, we take part in improving the data analysis and processing algorithms to evaluate and improve the energy management system, as well as the security techniques and algorithms needed to increase trust in final users and companies providing energy services, in order to authenticate them according to their profiles and keep their specific information safe.

New concepts facilitating asynchronous processing in energy management. The tools that have been delivered within the scope of this project facilitate the emergence of the new decentralized energy paradigm, aligned with the smart grid implementation, which could otherwise not be achieved.

The project's main result are software platform, that can be used by applications directed towards different types of market segments.

The achievements of the project are in the domains of:

  • Open platform architecture (SOA) for the management of energy data.
  • Design and validation of core and pilot software modules (integrated into the common platform) to assist energy efficiency monitoring and decision support mechanisms to assist corrective action proposing.
  • Systematisation of the procedures and methods applied by expert energy engineers to deal with certification and consulting activities.
  • Proposals for new monitoring procedures and strategies for specific scenarios.
  • Standard methods for integrating environmental sensors.
  • A reference implementation of the Estfeed platforms in the various types of end user profiles.
  • Automatic mechanism for detection of abnormal situations and proposals of solutions.
  • Contribution to standardisation of efficient building monitoring by definition of an open-source prototype platform.
  • System pilots running in Estonia. Potential to extend user base to cross border customers.

 

The achievements of Estfeed are implementable in the short term. The platform and applications developed by Estfeed are an important step in the implementation of national/regional smart grids in the mid- and long-term, but they can be implemented and used well before the overall smart grid is operational.

 

Related documents: http://estfeed.ee/en/#rakendused

http://estfeed.ee/en/analyses/