In addition to expanding electrical grids and storage capacity, the flexible control of Prosumers is a necessary requirement for a cost-efficient transformation of the German energy system. Up to now the Smart Grid concept failed at the distribution grid level due to excessively high prices for smart metering systems. The innovative use of ripple control, an established component in today’s network control technology, enables the core functionalities of the Smart Grid concept to be implemented both inexpensively and promptly, in much the same manner used in the feed-in management of PV systems today. In the research project CheapFlex (duration 05/2015 – 10/2017), a non-discriminatory dynamic electricity end-user tariff was implemented to stimulate system friendly behaviour. A Smart Grid concept based on ripple control communication was developed, evaluated by simulation and tested during a six-month field test in a German distribution grid. The results showed that the concept enables influencing distributed devices by dynamically adapting electricity prices. The necessity for complex, bi-directional broadband communication in real time was not generally questioned in this research project, but supplemented by the innovative use of an established communication technology.

OpenMUC Applications

  • Project specific driver for communication between EMS and distributed thermo-electrical devices
    • Senertec Dachs CHP (specific ethernet protocol)
    • Thermal storage systems
    • Electrical storage heater
    • Dimplex heat pump
  • IEC 60870-5-104 communication with ripple control receiver
  • M-Bus communication for monitoring heating power with M-Bus heat-meter
  • Modbus RTU communication for water temperature monitoring
  • wireless M-Bus communication for ambient temperature monitoring
  • IEC 62056-21 communication for electricity meter monitoring
  • REST/JSON interface for Python algorithms for on-site forecasting and control decisions
  • Easy system commissioning and operation through OpenMUC’s built-in web interface and channel access tool

Further Information on CheapFlex