The municipal utility Stadtwerke Wolfhagen and ROCKETHOME: Development of a demand side management system
(PresseBox) (Köln, )Together with the smart home expert ROCKETHOME, Stadtwerke Wolfhagen have created a comprehensive energy management system to harmonize power supply and demand. As a result, the utilities are creating time-variable rates which, in conjunction with the intelligent devices and smart meters in the households equipped with them, ensure that the household appliances are only activated when the power price is low. The basis for this is the technology platform of ROCKETHOME.
The project "Demand Side Management" offers a comprehensive energy management solution
Stadtwerke Wolfhagen, as a regional energy supplier, have been operating operating a solar park with a local planner since 2012 with approximately 10 megawatts capacity and since 2014 a wind fleet with 12 megawatts of power. In particular, through these two regenerative power plants, the city of Wolfhagen is generating as much power as it consumes. In order for this to be optimised in the future, the utilities, along with ROCKETHOME, are creating a demand-side management system which is to be tested within a research project with 35 households. Here, weather forecasts are used as the basis when the energy from the wind and sun is expected to be available. The result is a time-variable power rate. Here, the price for a kilowatt hour changes several times a day and depends on the relation between the supply of renewable energies and the power drawing situation on the grid. When there is a high supply and low consumption, the power price is low. When the demand is higher with less power generation, the price increases accordingly.
The participating households will be equipped with intelligent technology so that household devices such as a washing machine or a refrigerator or also other electrical appliances can also be automatically activated when the power price is low. The households are free to take a leading role here. Smart meters ensure the exact determination of consumption and billing for households. Yüksel Sirmasac, CEO at ROCKETHOME: "Until now, large energy suppliers have promoted the topic of intelligent networks and demand-side management. Stadtwerke Wolfhagen now shows how a uniform energy management system can also be created in the region."
The technology platform of ROCKETHOME networks home automation and energy requirements and production
The basis for the comprehensive networking of power supply and demand with control of the devices is the open software platform "HomeRUN" by ROCKETHOME. Here the households - from power meters to dishwashers - can be intelligently linked to the power offering using renewable energies from Stadtwerke Wolfhagen. The central intelligence of the ROCKETHOME software allows the user to automate his household appliances depending on the power supply and price and to thereby optimize consumption and take pressure off the grid. The result is an integral energy management system with intelligent control of devices in the household. However, this solution does not only cover the topic of energy efficiency. They also offer users the possibility to control their devices manually via an app and a web portal and thereby also increase comfort in addition to energy efficiency.
An all-encompassing solution to harmonize power offerings and power demand
It is the goal of the project for households to optimize their energy consumption using this innovative solution and power supply and demand can be harmonized through the shifting in load. This must occur through a high level of automation. A demand-side management system can only be successfully implemented if it is associated with no or minimal loss in convenience for the users.
In particular, they provide some discoveries on which effects the systematic control of high-energy electrical machines has on the mains load on the Wolfhagen main grid and the power costs for households. In addition also the acceptance of the users to a solution of this type should be reviewed. In the long term, the applications addressed in the project should be implemented in the utilities portfolio. The product should be the foundation for an innovative business model of the utilities.
"The current developments show the relevance of innovative and sustainable energy management solutions. They are one of the keys to the success of this energy transition. Only then, when fluctuating power generation from solar and wind power plants can be used in a meaningful and efficient way, in addition to the clean generation of energy, we can really succeed in switching to renewable energies," says Martin Rühl, CEO of Stadtwerke Wolfhagen. Together with ROCKETHOME, we are pursuing one of the most innovative approaches in this area which is justifiably being recognized nationwide."
Currently, interested households in Wolfhagen are being sought which would like to participate in the research project "Demand-side management", which is expected to start in early 2016.
About Stadtwerke Wolfhagen
The municipal utility of Wolfhagen works on all areas of energy supply: They run the main supplies in Wolfhagen, a small city in northern Hessen, supply far over 10000 customers with power and gas both here and on a third-party grid and successfully promote the energy transition in the region. The most tangible signs of this are the Wolfhagen Solar Park and Wolfhagen Wind Park, which are the backbone of energy supply in the city even now. Less clearly visible but of no less significance for commitment in the sense of the energy transition are projects to shift the load, such as the current demand-side management project.
The Wolfhagen utility sees the energy transition as a societal task which cannot be successful without the participation of its citizens. The company is putting this realization into practice and started an extensive citizen participation initiative in 2012: 25 percent of the company belongs to Wolfhager Bürger Energie Gensossenschaft eG (Wolfhagen Citizen's Energy Cooperative). Its members hold the same shares in the wind and solar park. At least at this level, they are also stakeholders in the regional energy transition and are promoting it.