Smart grids & smart metering.
The use and decentralized generation of wind and solar energy pose a huge challenge to utility companies. The fluctuation of wind and sun power has an impact on electricity generation, while voltage in the mains has to remain stable. What is more, an increasing number of private households produce their own electricity, for example by using small cogeneration plants or photovoltaic systems. The energy created has to be managed intelligently with the help of state-of-the-art ICT in order to see the overall picture of this decentralized distribution network both in technological and financial terms. This requires a smart grid.
Smart grids help electricity providers to balance supply and demand and to keep voltage at a stable level. In these smart grids, consumers represent virtual power plants of sorts that can be regulated up or down at short notice.
In order for a smart grid to work properly, a huge amount of data needs to be evaluated in real time for operators to see when and where how much electricity is being generated and how much needs to be supplied. Smart metering provides the transparency necessary for this. At T-City Friedrichshafen, we launched a smart metering service as a pilot project in collaboration with utilities provider Technische Werke Friedrichshafen in 2008. In this project, we have also been testing smart grid solutions for the ICT-based integration of renewable energies. We have also been working with other municipal utilities providers and major energy suppliers on different projects dealing with smart metering and smart grids. One example is our collaboration with the technology group ABB. The joint project deals with securing stability when feeding solar power into the grid.
Video: How smart grids work
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Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs ) is the central research and innovation unit of Deutsche Telekom. Several research and development projects explore the possibilities of how energy can be saved through the use of ICT. Along with improving the energy efficiency of ICT, smart interaction between the ICT network and the power grid are key in the development of smart grids.
Flexible energy control through ICT.
Storage elements in ICT networks make it possible to adjust energy supply flexibly depending on the load. Load-dependent control of network components offers additional flexibility. For this, the performance of different network areas needs to be adjusted to the required data transfer volume. This is only possible if individual components can be shut down as needed without reducing overall performance of the network.
Flexible control not only means less energy consumption but ICT-supported modeling of electricity demand may also help to keep power grids stable in the future.
Pursuant to the third EU "goods package" from 2009, at least 80 percent of all utilities customers should be able to check their energy consumption on smart meters by 2020. The 2011 amendment to the German Energy Industry Act (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz) specifies that smart meters must be installed if consumption levels exceed 6,000 kWh a year.
The Act also sets forth strict data privacy and data security requirements in order to make smart metering more attractive for customers and to protect the critical energy supply infrastructure. The Deutsche Telekom smart metering platform already meets these standards. Enabling connection of more than 90 meter types manufactured by some 20 different manufacturers, Telekom ensures maximum efficiency when it comes to system integration, thereby reducing the overall cost of the smart meters.Find out more
At T-City Friedrichshafen we have joined forces with the utilities provider Technische Werke Friedrichshafen and have been offering a smart metering service in a pilot project since 2008, which we are continuously expanding. The smart metering platform enables home owners, meter operators, sales companies and distribution network operators to offer this service to their customers at a reasonable rate. It also allows end customers to check and control consumption levels more effectively. In cooperation with energy companies such as E.ON and EnBW, Deutsche Telekom also offers solutions for a smart, energy-efficient home. Deutsche Telekom provides a basic platform that enables energy providers to offer innovative services to their end customers.
Intelligent use of decentralized energy sources.
Smart metering systems are a crucial element for climate-friendly energy supply for other reasons as well. They provide utilities companies with important consumption data so that energy providers are able to adjust voltage to the actual demand and to use decentralized energy sources, including private solar or cogeneration systems. In order to compensate for CO2 emissions generated by operating the smart metering platform, Deutsche Telekom has been investing in a biomass project in Brazil since November 2009.
T-Mobile Netherlands began equipping its stores and its mobile communications network with smart meters in December 2011 to enable the company to regularly measure consumption and better control its energy use. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012.
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