Driving smart grid performance
The biggest challenge in the use of renewable and non-renewable energy sources lies in preventing power grid imbalances. When there is an abundance of sustainable energy, this should be tapped into to meet energy demand instead of centrally transmitted energy. However, there is no incentive for consumers to maximize their use of renewable energy sources without insight into energy supply and demand and related price fluctuations.
To limit power grid imbalances, CGI developed a Central Energy Management System (CEMS) for smart grids. CEMS is connected to home energy computers and provides residents with up-to-date energy information, such as current energy prices, supply and demand, weather forecasts, etc. It’s also linked to various smart devices in the home, such as solar panels, smart energy meters, electric car charging points and smart devices for appliances such as washing machines.
Residents can use the information provided by CEMS to make better choices with regard to their energy consumption. They can know when supply is high and prices are low and vice versa, helping them to use the right energy resources at the right time. For example, they can set their smart washing machines to start automatically when electricity prices are low or tap into solar generated energy when electricity prices are high.
CEMS offers the following features:
- Weather interface (forecasts how much solar energy will be generated per household)
- Insight into variable energy prices
- Insight into variable power transmission prices
- Automatic measurement of energy consumption and automatic billing for energy suppliers
- Databases with information for energy research
- Mobile phone and tablet apps and a website for convenient access to energy information and energy consumption tools
CEMS is compatible with the smart grid technology that is on the rise in many countries. Smart grids enable grid operators to increase flexibility in demand and better anticipate fast-changing energy flows.
CGI is a forerunner in the field of smart grids, delivering insight, foresight and innovative solutions for the generation and consumption of sustainable energy. CGI’s approach to smart energy is a combination of having a vision and putting that vision into practice. We take into account both the environment and costs in developing smart grid strategies, solutions and services, ensuring the right balance among each. We also offer open protocols to facilitate the integration of smart grid technologies and cloud services that allow clients to pay only for what they use.
Examples of our smart grid work include the following:
- Hundreds of households in the city of Zwolle in the Netherlands are participating in a CEMS pilot project to gain insight into their energy consumption. A second pilot project has also been initiated in the city of Breda in the Netherlands.
- CGI’s developed electric vehicle charge point management systems for the e-Laad and Green Charge networks in the Netherlands and Sweden. Our EV solutions are also in use in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Norway.
- We are a partner in large, well-known smart grid projects such as InovGrid (Portugal) and Low Carbon London (UK).
- The Low Carbon London Programme, using Instant Energy, is recognised by IDC Energy Insights as an exemplar smart grid programme for promoting innovation in distribution networks
- CGI delivered innovative smart data services for smart meters deployed by a majority of electricity suppliers in the UK and was appointed as Data Services Provider for the rollout of 53 million smart gas and electricity meters in the UK.