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Country: ChinaCategory

Energy management in a field study

The growing expansion of renewable energy presents energy suppliers with a new challenge: the generation of electricity by means of solar and wind energy fluctuates throughout the day depending on the weather. Consumer demands also of course vary throughout the day – this means that there are two flexible components in terms of electricity supply as well as electricity demand which require coordination to ensure that sufficient electricity is available. One possible coordination option is the use of flexible electrical loads. The objective here is to move demanded electricity loads by consumers in accordance with current energy production. 

The growing expansion of renewable energy presents energy suppliers with a new challenge: the generation of electricity by means of solar and wind energy fluctuates throughout the day depending on the weather. Consumer demands also of course vary throughout the day – this means that there are two flexible components in terms of electricity supply as well as electricity demand which require coordination to ensure that sufficient electricity is available. One possible coordination option is the use of flexible electrical loads. The objective here is to move demanded electricity loads by consumers in accordance with current energy production.

As worldwide forerunner, Miele has been offering washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers with suitable communication modules on the market since 2011. Since March 2012, and in cooperation with RWE Deutschland AG (a German electric utilities company), Miele has been carrying out a field study on flexible electricity consumption in Mühlheim an der Ruhr, Germany, in which 700 private households are taking part. More than 100 of them have intelligent washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers from Miele. Each participating household is equipped with a smart meter (intelligent electricity meter) with a gateway to the personal computer in the home to monitor and manage electricity consumption in accordance with price incentives. This field study of intelligent electricity consumption is the largest one of its kind in Germany. The appliances are controlled via a so called "IKT" (Information and Communication Technology) gateway. Currently, variable tariffs must be entered manually in the gateway. But the objective is the daily prize adjustment and the automatic transmission of this information from energy supplier to domestic appliance via a smart electricity meter and gateway.

With this field study, Miele, in cooperation with the project partner, is conducting important pioneering work: according to the view of the European Union, 80% of European households are to be equipped with smart electricity meters by 2020.