by Carl Binding and Han La Poutré

Modern, industrialized, society is heavily dependent on ubiquitous, cheap energy, which we expect to be readily available, not to be polluting, and to be convenient to use.

Since the invention of the steam engine by James Watt, this paradigm has lead towards tremendous improvement of life quality in the developed world, and developing countries eagerly aspire to similar energy standards.

However, the price of this hunger for energy is increasing. Fossil fuel resources such as oil or gas are becoming harder to explore, even leading to environmental disasters as with the Gulf of Mexico oil-platform, recently. Exploration of shale gas (“fracking”) causes negative environmental impact, beyond the well-known CO2 problematics. Besides the sheer availability of fossil energy, associated CO2 emissions have caused wide-spread concerns about impacts on climate and on human health (fine particle emissions).

by Kai Strunz and and Christian Wiezorek

The transition towards increasingly renewable energy systems calls for novel techniques of operation and control in response to the changing power transmission and distribution networks. A Smart Grid is expected to efficiently manage supply and demand of electricity. Electric networks will become more intelligent, bringing the worlds of IT, communications and energy systems closer together than ever before. The EIT ICT Labs, one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), are strongly supportive of work in this area. Founded in 2008, EIT aims to create synergies between education, research, and innovation. It promotes the systematic development of international networks and clusters of excellent institutions, universities and industrial research centres in Europe. Six nodes of the EIT ICT Labs across Europe coordinate different thematic topic areas. The action line “Smart Energy Systems” – located at the Berlin Node – addresses the above-mentioned synergies of ICT and energy systems.

by Bram Vonk, Robert de Groot and Han Slootweg

The collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology and Dutch Distribution System Operator, Enexis, results in a direct implementation of scientific ideas and models in real world systems and faster feedback of data for analysis or validation. This is illustrated by the Smart Storage Unit: A grid connected battery in a residential area of 240 houses including photovoltaic generation and heat pumps, controlled by an artificial neural network based forecaster.

by Markus Weiss, Friedemann Mattern and Christian Beckel

“Smart” information and communication technologies can contribute to a more thrifty use of energy. By connecting smartphones to digital electricity meters, we can process electricity consumption data and provide household-specific feedback. Bringing users into the loop then enables them to learn about their personal consumption-related behaviour and optimize it in order to conserve energy.

by Agustín Yagüe, Juan Garbajosa and Mercedes Lopez-Perea

The electric power distribution and commercialization scenario is evolving worldwide, and electricity companies, faced with the challenge of new information requirements, are demanding IT solutions to deal with the smart monitoring of power networks. Two main challenges arise from data management and smart monitoring of power networks: real-time data acquisition and big data processing over short time periods. We present a solution in the form of a system architecture that conveys real time issues and has the capacity for big data management.

by Jennifer Pérez, Jessica Díaz and Eloy González

Growing energy demands and the increased use of renewable energies have changed the landscape of power networks leading to new challenges. Smart Grids have emerged to cope with these challenges by facilitating the integration of traditional and renewable energy resources in distributed, open, and self-managed ways. Innovative models are needed to design energy infrastructures that can enable self-management of the power grid. Software architectures smoothly integrate the software that provides self-management to Smart Grids and their hardware infrastructures. We present a framework to design the software architectures of autonomous Smart Grids in an intuitive domain-oriented way and to simulate their execution by automatically generating the code from the designed autonomous smart grid architectures.

by Raffaele Bruno, Luca Valcarenghi, Molka Gharbaoui and Barbara Martini

Concerns about the impact of climate change mandate the drastic reduction of green house gas (GHG) emissions through the increased utilization of renewable energy sources (eg wind or solar energy), as well as hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs). To achieve this goal we outline a smart management system for community-wide public charging infrastructures, which can foster the market penetration of EVs by effectively complementing home-based charging while coping with the power fluctuations of renewable energy sources.

by Christophe Joubert, Vicente Monrabal, Miguel Montesinos and Carlos Sánchez

In April 2006, in its Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services, the European Parliament and Council encouraged the installation of smart meters at every end-user in Europe with a complete coverage planned for 2018. This power network evolution implies new needs such as real-time management of energy flows to increase connectivity, automation and coordination of producers, providers and consumers in the distribution network. Our work contributes to the attainment of this goal by providing real-time visualization of energy alarms detected at the end-user end, ie medium voltage (MV) / low voltage (LV) energy alarms.

by Olle Sundström, Fabian Müller, Carl Binding, Bernhard Jansen and Dieter Gantenbein

To increase the share of renewable energy in the electric power system, smarter solutions are needed in many areas. The way we consume electricity needs to change so that consumption is to a greater degree influenced by the availability of energy. In a system with high penetration of fluctuating production, such as wind and solar power, all kinds of flexible loads need to be identified and utilized to balance the supply and demand.

by Armin Wolf, Thomas Luckenbach and Mario Schuster

The threat of global climate change and the challenge of reducing carbon emissions necessitate new ways to collaboratively manage and optimize energy production and load. Home and living areas can be part of such an approach thanks to secured and standardized smart metering environments.

by Felix Claessen, Nicolas Höning, Bart Liefers, Han La Poutré and Peter Bosman

How will we trade energy in the future? We can expect vast technological changes in our energy systems, leading to high heterogeneity in both supply and demand. Knowing the true value of energy at a given time and location will be crucial. Market mechanisms are methods of determining prices in complex, multi-actor settings. In the Intelligent Systems group at CWI, we have developed a research environment in which different market mechanisms for electricity can be studied and evaluated - in interaction, remotely and in a scalable manner.

by Wolfgang Ketter and John Collins

Energy is at the foundation of modern society, and almost everything about the way we produce, use, and manage energy needs to change over the next few decades. Our work is focused on understanding this transition, particularly in the electric power sector.

by Stijn Vandael, Bert Claessens, Tom Holvoet and Geert Deconinck

In the future smart energy system, millions of domestic appliances will be managed in order to support the electricity grid. Is it realistic to build exact mathematical models and controllers for each individual appliance? In Belgium, at KU Leuven, the University of Leuven, and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, we take a different approach.

by Albert Molderink, Vincent Bakker and Gerard J.M. Smit

Steering a heterogeneous set of devices in a Smart Grid using cost functions: Demand Side Management (DSM) is an important element in smart grids. DSM is already in operation for large consumers, but thorough research is required into DSM on a building level within the distribution grid.

by Radu-Casian Mihailescu, Matteo Vasirani and Sascha Ossowski

Envisioning a smart grid scenario pervaded with controllable loads, we are working on the use of game mechanics to drive consumer behaviour towards efficient grid-wise use of energy. In order to cope with the challenges faced by current electricity networks, we aim to build a game layer on top of the electricity grid infrastructure and to use gamification as a catalyst for change, encouraging participation of customers in the energy field towards lower carbon generation and increased grid resilience.

by Vicente Botón, Máximo Pérez, Adolfo Lozano-Tello and Enrique Romero

In order to transition the present day electrical grids into the smart grids of the future, it is essential that we develop effective energy storage systems. Intelligent software systems can be employed to manage stored energy and smart domestic devices in order to optimize local energy consumption whilst taking into account user behaviour and environmental conditions. An effective energy storage system will provide economic benefits and enable us to optimize use of the distribution grid

by Lutz Ehrig and Danilo Hollosi

The project “S4EeB” (Sounds for Energy Efficient Buildings), which has been running since October 2011, aims to optimize the performance of existing building management systems by taking into account a building’s occupancy rate using audio sensor networks as a new source of information. The overall goal of this demand driven approach is to reduce unnecessary consumption of energy for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting. In the course of the project the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, located in Ilmenau and Oldenburg in Germany, has been developing procedures and methods for analysing audio data in order to gain information about the occupancy rate of buildings, on the basis of which the energy consumption of a building can be optimized automatically.

by Florian Skopik, Paul Smith and Thomas Bleier

With the increasing use of novel smart grid technologies, a comprehensive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) network will be established in parallel to an electricity grid that, owing to its large size and number of participants and access points, will be exposed to similar threats to those experienced on the current Internet. Whilst there have been a number of guidelines and best practices for securing future smart grids, further work is required in this area to make them readily applicable. In this article, we introduce the (SG)2 project, which aims to address these issues and provide practical advice to smart grid stakeholders in Austria.

by Maria Bartnes Line

The power industry faces the implementation of smart grids, which will introduce new information security threats to the power automation systems. The ability to appropriately prepare for, and respond to, information security incidents is of utmost importance, as it is unrealistic to assume that one can prevent all possible incidents from occurring. Current trends show that the power industry is an attractive target for hackers. A major challenge for the power industry to overcome are the differences regarding culture and traditions, knowledge and communication, between ICT staff and power automation staff.

by Magnus Almgren, Davide Balzarotti, Marina Papatriantafilou and Valentin Tudor

In the past, the easiest way to attack the electrical grid would have been to physically access and destroy components. However, with the introduction of the smart grid and its increased dependence on information and communication technologies (ICT), the future grid may be vulnerable to pernicious cyber attacks performed remotely. In CRISALIS and SysSec, we are studying the properties of the envisioned smart grid to enable us to anticipate and mitigate future attacks against this critical infrastructure.

by Dimitrios Serpanos, Athanasios Safacas and Dimitrios Stachoulis

Copper theft is emerging as a significant problem in the evolution and operation of critical infrastructures, such as power grids, transportation networks and water facilities. The problem has become acute due to inadequate security measures for infrastructure as well as a lack of a strict legal framework for transportation and trading of metals. CoppEnd (Copper - defEnd) is a security system designed to protect systems that use copper, focusing on power systems and their components, such as transformers.

by Aurélien Bourdon, Adel Noureddine, Romain Rouvoy and Lionel Seinturier

Energy consumption by information and communication technologies (ICT) has been growing rapidly over recent years. Comparable to the civil aviation domain, the research community now considers ICT energy consumption as a major concern. Several studies report that energy consumption is an issue during all steps of a computer’s life, from hardware assemblage, to usage, and dismantling. Research in the area of Green IT has proposed various approaches to save energy at the hardware and software levels. In the context of software, this challenge requires identification of new development methodologies that can help reduce the energy footprint. To tackle this challenge, we propose PowerAPI, a tool to quantify this energy consumption, by providing an application programming interface (API) that monitors, in real-time, the energy consumed at the granularity of a system process.

by Mohammed el Mehdi Diouri, Olivier Glück and Laurent Lefèvre

A supercomputer is a system built from a collection of computers performing tasks in parallel in order to achieve very high performance. An exascale machine is a supercomputer capable of performing more than 1018 floating point operations per second (1 Eflop/s). Such extreme-scale systems are needed by 2018 in order to meet new scientific challenges, such as enabling highly sophisticated genome calculations and proposing individualized patient treatments. As they will gather hundreds of millions of cores, exascale supercomputers are expected to consume enormous amounts of energy (between 25 and 100 MW). In addition to being very large, their power consumption will be very irregular. Furthermore, the applications that will run on such extreme-scale systems will need energy consuming services such as fault tolerance, data collective operations. In order to manage the execution of extreme-scale applications on future supercomputers in a sustainable and energy-efficient way, we propose a framework called SESAMES: Smart and Energy-aware Service-oriented Application Manager at Extreme-Scale [1].

Next issue: January 2018
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