E.ON subsidiary Avacon has launched a smart grid trial in Germany to test the company’s Smart Grid Hub in live operations.
The intelligent device is designed to remotely control grid-connected systems such as solar PV installations and battery storage – ensuring that the grid remains stable even at times of peak demand.
The trial is part of the European Union’s InterFlex project, which aims to help distribution network operators transition to more flexible local energy systems. Supported by almost €23m of funding, demonstrations in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Sweden will test the flexibility of distribution networks, innovative IT solutions and increased network automation.
Avacon has installed smart meters in around 200 homes in Lueneburg, Lower Saxony, and their energy data will be transmitted to the Smart Grid Hub to help improve the management of feed-ins and consumption.
Across Germany, around 1.7 million decentralised generating plants such as wind turbines and PV plants now feed energy into the electricity grid.
“The transformation of the energy sector must remain affordable,” commented Thorsten Gross, InterFlex project manager at Avacon. “Solutions such as those now being tested in Lueneburg help to increase grid efficiency and thus reduce overall system costs.”
In addition to the Avacon trial in the Lueneburg region, E.ON is also taking part in two other InterFlex projects, both in Sweden.
In MalmÃ¶, E.ON Sverige is investigating the integration of different energy sources using the thermal inertia of buildings as a flexibility measure. The aim is to optimise generation in a decentralised energy system and make it more environmentally friendly.
Meanwhile, in the southern Swedish village of Simris, E.ON Sverige is supplying residents with 100% green electricity on an insular basis (i.e. self-sufficient supply), with energy for around 140 households being generated from wind turbines and PV systems, together with a battery system for energy storage.