Energy ManagementGrid stabilityControllable loadsStandardisation

Energy crisis hits climate crisis – a German approach for standardised energy control in the low-voltage grid

January 19, 2023

Across Europe this winter season has brought to light an issue of unprecedented explosiveness – the fear of power blackouts. Two main reasons for the increasing concern about the stability of the low-voltage grid are the increasing share of renewable energy supply (RES) as well as the rapidly growing electrification of our world, both adequate answers to the climate crisis as already known for some time. What worsens this situation is the recent energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine. Ad hoc measures range from static power limitations (e.g. prohibiting charging of e-vehicles during defined hours of the day) up to “power weather maps” broadcasted by television combined with savings appeals to the population in “red zones”. A more aforethought and methodical approach is now being investigated in the context of the EU funded InterConnect project: in its German pilot the project is testing a solution that is in line with the latest legislative development in this country.


The amendment of German legislative Energy Industry Act (EnWG) §14a – coming in force on January 1st, 2024 – demand the possibility of dynamic controlling of controllable loads (above 3,7 kW) or controllable grid connections (above 5 kW) by the distribution system operator (DSO) in case of urgently required grid stabilisation efforts. In close cooperation with standardisation bodies, EEBUS has developed use case specifications to network the DSO through BSI (German Federal Office for Information Security) conform smart meter gateway (SMGW) infrastructure to energy management systems (EMS) or devices.


Figure 1 Pilot Norderstedt Architecture


Implementations by various manufacturers along the value chain (SMGW, HKE control units, smart meters, EMS, charging stations and heat pumps) have already been successfully tested at the living lab in Cologne.


Figure 2 EEBUS Plugfest June 2022


In InterConnect’s Norderstedt pilot the power consumption and tariff management will be tested: through a standardised and BSI certified SMGW infrastructure, the pilot will realise full end-to-end connectivity between the DSO and 50 residential homes. Via the transparent controllable local system (CLS) communication channel the SAREFised EEBUS use cases will enable grid protection capabilities and take advantage of renewable wind energy when it is available. Controllable loads such as charging stations, heat pumps or white goods will be operated when energy prices are lower, or power curtailed in times of an energy shortage. In addition, the pilot participants will get notifications on low-cost energy availability to force power consumption of uncontrollable loads activated by the participant itself.


Through the managed approach, both, energy shortage due to overconsumption based on charging sessions or heat pump runs at the same time as well as a waste of RES due to insufficient consumption in times of high wind production, can be avoided.

For more information please visit the GitHub page containing various examples.


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