FZI Living Labs

FZI Living Lab smartEnergy

Intelligent solutions for tomorrow’s energy system

The FZI Living Lab smartEnergy provides an interdisciplinary research environment for developing solutions for the future energy system. The entire FZI House of Living Labs has been equipped with modern technology for the provision, storage as well as the flexibilized use of thermal and electrical energy. This allows developed energy management systems and new processes to be tested, evaluated and demonstrated under practical conditions.

Our applied research is motivated by the increasing share of renewable energy sources, which is having an increasing impact on grid stability. Among other things, we are currently working on decentralized energy management in neighborhoods, the power grid integration of electric vehicles, and the further development of the smart meter ecosystem. The goals are the efficient coordination of energy supply and demand, the avoidance of grid bottlenecks, and the provision of system services for the power grid.

The focus of our research is on the following topics:

  • IT-based energy management in buildings, properties and neighborhoods
  • Decentralized optimization of energy supply and consumption
  • Grid-serving and market-oriented use of energy flexibility
  • Optimization in the field of e-mobility and (bidirectional) charging management
  • Design of communication interfaces for the integration of energy systems
  • Sector coupling for the overarching optimization of electricity, heating, cooling, gas and mobility
  • Further development of the smart meter ecosystem for scalable and secure control
  • Implementation of resilient system architectures for supply security

Our equipment

The FZI Living Lab smartEnergy provides attractive equipment for research and development related to energy management in buildings, properties, neighborhoods or for future-oriented electromobility. Power generation in the FZI House of Living Labs is provided by decentralized generators. We have a photovoltaic system with battery storage systems in use. A combined heat and power plant provides thermal energy that is used for heating in winter and can power an adsorption chiller in summer. Communications-capable charging infrastructure for electric vehicles enables the intelligent interlinking of the mobility and energy sectors. With the help of electrical and thermal buffer storage, buildings can balance out the fluctuating generation of solar and wind energy and stabilize grids. Various communication protocols (such as EEBus, Modbus, EnOcean or OCPP) are used to network the components.

The operation of a smart meter gateway infrastructure enables the practical development and evaluation of grid-serving and market-oriented energy management solutions. We have various smart meter gateways and modern metering devices in use and can configure them in the field like meter operators. We can map interfaces between energy management, energy supplier and user with hardware and software components. Aspects of communication, optimization and visualization can thus be tested realistically in target environments. In addition, the FZI Living Lab smartHome/AAL is expanding communication interfaces of household appliances for integration into energy management.

Further information

Insights into the FZI Living Lab smartEnergy

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Example project: Cellular energy management in the cell network in Karlsruhe

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