“Our smart home innovations make life easier and more convenient. They also help us use energy in a more conscientious and efficient manner.”
Anne Hofmeister works with us, developing new SmartHome applications
The energy customer of the future will be more than just a consumer. Modern technology is already revolutionising the way we use energy at home and is changing the way we keep ourselves mobile.
A reliable supply of energy has always been one of our basic needs. However, the way we generate and use heat and electricity is changing in a fundamental way. Customers are gradually becoming active players in the energy market. For example, they are producing an increasing share of their electricity using photovoltaic systems, storing the electricity at home and using it as needed. This means houses will even serve as charging stations, delivering green electricity for electric cars.
Smart electric meters already enable our customers to constantly monitor how much electricity they consume and conveniently manage their electricity use from their smart home. This allows them to identify hidden energy guzzlers and save money.
Household appliances such as washing machines or driers will soon automatically run at times when electricity is cheaper. Such trends mean energy providers need to become energy managers and better integrate renewable energy sources into the power grid. At the same time, energy providers need to advise customers on how to sensibly use energy and save on energy costs in addition to supplying them with electricity and gas. These are the objectives we have in mind as we develop new products and services to fulfil our future roles as energy providers.
“The question is no longer whether most cars will be powered by electricity in the future. The only question is how soon this transformation will take place. Developing customer-friendly charging solutions is an important factor for the success of sustainable and forward-looking mobility!“
Michael Schneider works with us on research projects revolving around electromobility
emobility@innogy. With 17,000 charging stations in over 20 countries, innogy is one of the leading providers of charging infrastructure internationally. Our electric mobility customers include private and business customers as well as fleet operators.
Our performant IT supports software-based services required by successful electromobility solutions. We offer a practical charging app for simple and seamless charging wherever you park your vehicle. Consumption-based billing of the charging process is in compliance with the German Standard Weights and Measures Law. Implementing conformity with this law is only one example for our high level of performance in this area.
In cooperation with more than 120 German municipal utilities and other regional suppliers, we are also intensively working on the expansion of Germany’s charging station network. All municipal utility partners are connected via innogy’s standardised roaming network. Theoretically, electric vehicle drivers only need one single EV electricity contract to be able to refuel with electricity across Germany. At home, customers are able to even charge their vehicles with their own solar power produced on their roofs via so-called wall boxes. This is part of their “SmartHome” system and is controlled by innogy Energy Management.
innogy also offers charging technology and comprehensive services for the electrification of corporate fleets. These enable employees to charge their company cars at the company, at home and on the road. Our smart management of access rights ensures seamless transactions. We also offer our corporate customers transparent billing for all charging situations.
Here are three examples:
The lithium-ion battery is the heart of an electric vehicle and a quite expensive component. As vehicles are parked most of the day, we are investigating their potential in other fields than pure mobility. Since 2017, we have been studying in our Vehicle-to-X project how electric vehicles can become mobile electricity storage systems and thus become an integral part of domestic energy supply. Our test household in Essen has a solar PV system, an electric vehicle, a battery storage unit in their basement and a so-called bidirectional charging station. The latter can be used to not only charge the car battery but also transmit electricity from the battery back to the home (Vehicle-to-Home).
In practice, the components interact as follows: If the solar system produces more electricity than required by the home or the car the electricity is stored in the home’s battery storage unit and can be used later. The electric vehicle comes in when the battery is discharged and the sun is not shining. During the numerous hours when the car is parked outside the home, it serves as additional external battery storage and is also able to supply the home with electricity.
The interaction of all these elements is controlled by a so-called Home Energy Management System (HEMS), i.e. a kind of smart control centre offering even more possibilities. In future, the vehicle’s battery could, for instance, be used to balance power shortfalls in the grid (Vehicle-to-Grid). We started commissioning the home energy system in our test household in Essen’s district of Borbeck at the end of 2017. In 2018, we started our one-year test of the entire solution. This project will strengthen our leading position in electric mobility and help us examine products that may potentially be added to our SmartHome product range.
SmartHome. Innogy SmartHome, our smart home control system, makes protecting the environment and saving energy particularly convenient. The focus is on innovative products that improve efficiency. innogy SmartHome allows you to manage electric devices, shutters, lights and heating systems from a smartphone or tablet.
Studies by Hochschule Ruhr-West (Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences) show that a household can reduce its heat consumption by up to 25 per cent using the wireless system. With connected smoke detectors, door and window sensors, cameras and motion sensors, innogy SmartHome also makes homes safer and more secure: Users can stay informed about everything happening at home via push messages, e-mails or text messages.
Thanks to its open platform, washing machines, driers and even robot lawnmowers can also be integrated.
Users can control all of this very easily with an intuitive app, including an optional voice control function with Amazon’s Alexa.
The smart home can now be controlled remotely.
|1||Overview of all solar data||8||eBox charging station|
|2||Smoke detector||9||Wall-mounted transmitter|
|3||Lighting controller||10||Power consumption monitor|
|4||Temperature regulator||11||Remote monitoring via camera|
|5||Window sensor||12||Motion sensor (indoors)|
|6||Remote device controller||13||Roller shutter controller|
|7||Motion sensor (outdoors)||14||Device controller (outdoors)|
The smart home can now be controlled remotely.
|1||Overview of all solar data|
|6||Remote device controller|
|7||Motion sensor (outdoors)|
|8||eBox charging station|
|10||Power consumption monitor|
|11||Remote monitoring via camera|
|12||Motion sensor (indoors)|
|13||Roller shutter controller|
|14||Device controller (outdoors)|
Solar PV system with a storage unit. Producing, storing and managing your own solar power – this is possible with an innogy photovoltaic system, a matching battery storage unit and home automation based on the innogy SmartHome Energy Manager. This combination makes it possible for a conventional solar power system to increase the amount of power it generates from 30 per cent to 70 per cent of the home’s needs. Our solar plant offering supports our customers in producing their own electricity.
innogy offers a tailor-made solution for each roof: customised offers for solar modules with an option to combine them with a smart battery system. The high-performance battery technology makes it possible to temporarily store the energy that is generated and make it available exactly when it is needed in the home. The smart battery storage system ensures the perfect balance between storage, self-supply and grid feed-in. Of course, innogy’s solar PV and storage solutions are compatible with the innogy SmartHome Energy Manager.
This smart home automation system enables users to meet a greater share of their energy needs with the power generated at their home – very easily and conveniently from their smartphone or tablet whether they are at home or on the move. The smart home controller can be used, for example, to switch on connected household devices, such as a dryer, specifically at times of the day when there is a lot of sun.
Storage device for solar power.
The solar cells on the roof convert solar energy into electricity. This electricity can be temporarily stored in a battery device for later use.
Energy management. Which operational processes lead to the highest energy costs? Are all systems running as they should be? Or is there a risk of a production disruption? Our commercial and industrial customers are constantly preoccupied with such questions.
New data analysis methods now make it possible to reliably answer these questions. We are working on the NILM project in collaboration with partners from the worlds of business and science. The aim is to develop an energy management system that can break down the power consumption of a company in real time, providing clear and detailed information for each individual device and system. NILM stands for non-intrusive load monitoring. It refers to a type of monitoring that does not take place directly at each machine. How can this be possible? The NILM software recognises and analyses the ‘fingerprint’ that is left behind by each device in the grid. A single measurement point – usually a central electric meter – is enough to do this.
NILM enables customers to identify possible ways of saving energy by optimising their operational processes. Abnormal measured values also make it possible to detect damage or wear and tear on equipment at an early stage; the operator can then carry out maintenance or repair jobs early on, preventing expensive production downtimes. The NILM software is already being tested in practice for selected commercial and industrial customers.