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Internal consumption manager for private photovoltaic system

The FHNW Institute of Automation is developing a modular management tool with power exchange and weather forecast functions for the FHNW spin-off Zogg Energy Control.

Technologies

Building automation

Objectives

Development of a modular, flexible management and optimisation system for private photovoltaic facilities.

Background

Under the new Energy Directive which came into force in 2014, personal use of self-generated energy from a photovoltaic system is now possible based on the personal consumption ruling. The remaining electricity surplus is credited to the owner of the photovoltaic system. However, the power stations are selling electricity at a price that is higher than the reimbursement rate for feeding power into the grid. This is an incentive for people to use the power they produce themselves as far as possible. Nonetheless, natural internal consumption in buildings without additional measures is low (less than 30%). By optimising the times at which devices are switched on and off it would be possible to double natural internal consumption.

Result

The research team established the FHNW spin-off Zogg Energy Control, a start-up which is working to develop an intelligent internal consumption manager in collaboration with FHNW. The system intelligently interlinks the various power supply users in the household: photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, household appliances and electric cars are switched on or charged when sufficient solar energy is available by means of local load management. The focus is on making optimum use of the building’s thermal storage capacity. The power generated by solar energy enables a heat pump to save heat in the building mass – i.e. in the concrete, the floor and the water circulation system. If there is sufficient sunlight, it is also possible to heat up a boiler in the middle of the day rather than at night so as to save energy What is more, an electric car can be used as a battery. A new feature integrated in the software is a local electricity exchange which allows power costs to be minimised automatically.

 

Project information

Client

Zogg Energy Control

Implementation

Institut of Automation FHNW

Duration

3 Jahre

Funding

Bundesamt für Energie BFE

Project team

Prof. Dr. David Zogg (Lead), James Trayler, Selina Scandella, Silvano Germann, Remo Waser

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