The EEBus for an efficient European smart grid

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By eeNews Europe

Discussions about the whole EEBus concept started in 2005, stemming from the simple observation that despite all the talks about implementing a smart grid, most solutions offered at consumer-level for end-users to monitor their own energy consumption remain proprietary and the data is too heterogeneous from one vendor solution to the other to be fully exploited at grid-level.

Many so-called smart energy monitoring devices and home-automation control units only share the energy data (consumption patterns and/or micro-production) and the home-status (temperature, air-conditioning control, open doors and windows) with customer-owned devices, and sometimes with the energy supplier, in a format that is only understood by the proprietary devices installed at the customer’s premises.

The emergence of smartphone-controlled IoT devices available from a plethora of OEM vendors only exacerbates this lack of communication between what happens in the home and the actual smart grid.

So the idea behind an EEBus is to define a neutral data interface able to communicate with all the smart grid operators, bilaterally, sharing all the energy-optimization preferences of any given customer through the data collected by an optional customer energy manager (CEM).

The CEM is a form of all-encompassing energy metering gateway whose data can be used to implement energy flexibility and self-effacing scenarios based on the end-user’s preferences.

With its more complete view of the household or building, the CEM is able to provide an aggregated view of the building’s consumption forecast and power shifting flexibility.

It could coordinate all of a building’s smart appliances to respond to high-level requests and commands of an energy supplier. Such a unit could even map or forward these commands to discrete devices, or coordinate device operations (for example, mapping “high energy prices” coming from the outer interface to switching off or dimming devices in the household).

“This is all about power management and interoperability” told us Til Landwehrmann, managing director of the EEBus Initiative e.V.

The first EEBus standard will be ready by 2015, looking at as many use-case scenarios as possible. The EEBus standard will be an enabler for the smart grid, it will enable today’s heterogeneous systems to work together by sharing a common actionable data format.

“This will be implemented in software, so we’ll be able to update the code of any existing smart gateway to operate with this new data standard”, explained Landwehrmann.

According to him, in the future, utility providers will have to redefine themselves, and become service companies instead of only selling energy.

For energy monitoring devices and the different energy-saving scenarios they enable, product differentiation will come in the shape of more fine-grained data and the reactivity or flexibility they can offer to end-customers.

Eventually, with numerous international players coming on board as members, Landwehrmann hopes the German EEBus Initiative will cross his country’s borders, to be accepted Europe-wide.

Visit the EEBus Initiative e.V. at

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