17.11.2017 change 17.11.2017

E-balance - Smart power management system

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

E-balance is an innovative system for smart management of electricity exchange. It enables the people who produce electricity in their homes to manage its use and even make money on non-use of energy.

E-balance is a research and development project, as well as a system for managing electricity exchange. The IT solution was designed to balance and monitor the exchange of electricity and manage its consumption in a smart environment.

Smart, that is, having a properly prepared electricity grid, where households can produce electricity (for example with photovoltaic panels) and use other smart devices (counters, home appliances, etc.) to better manage the potential of their sources and consumption. They can also earn money by not using electricity during a specific time of day.

This tool also supports diagnosing network failures and errors and it is responsible for their "self-fixing", manages the public lighting system, and supports energy theft detection.

The main contractor and sponsor of the project e-balance ("Balancing Energy Production and Consumption in Energy Efficient Smart Neighbourhoods") was the European Commission that funded the project through the 7th Framework Program. The project consortium included engineers and IT professionals from various scientific centres, as well as European companies from the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and Spain. Poland was represented by the Faculty of Management at the University of Lodz, responsible for the preparation of comprehensive business studies and analyses - reported Agnieszka Wołowiec from the Faculty of Management of the University of Lodz. The project e-balance was also co-financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

According to experts, some countries, such as the Netherlands, are very advanced in the development of the concept of a new market model based on distributed power generation. This is also true for Germany, where many local energy cooperatives have formed.

According to Prof. Bożena Matusiak, head of the research team at the Faculty of Management of the University of Lodz, e-balance offers two services: local balancing as well as monitoring and control of network flexibility.

"The first service is designed primarily to work with small and medium prosumers - in this case the system offers a communication platform and a set of tools and devices with software for launching this service on the energy market" - she said.

Network monitoring and control of network flexibility is designed for power distributors. "Its purpose is to improve the quality of energy supply service for customers by managing network failure detection, +self-fixing+ of network fragments, public lighting system management, and detecting errors and theft of electricity from the grid" - added Prof. Matusiak, whose team was responsible for carrying out the necessary research for the realization of business objectives of the project.

The team of experts from Łódź was involved primarily in the preparation of all market analyses and studies - from legal to technical analyses - for the Polish, Dutch and Portuguese markets.

"We were the leader in research on business model definition, price issues, and development of this model throughout the project, we were responsible for developing business solutions and performing and evaluating simulation results. We cooperated on social research in the field of business solutions for prosumer. We were also an informal leader in the wok on all business and economic issues" - emphasised Prof. Matusiak.

The prototype solution has been tested technically for the prosumer community in Bronsbergen, the Netherlands (balancing service) and in Batalha, Portugal (network monitoring and management service).

"The potential of this solution is really great, and in order to test the proposed business model it is contemplated to continue the work on this prototype in the possible next project" - admitted the expert from the University of Lodz.

More information on the project can be found at: http://ebalance-project.eu.

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