In the present day, the electric power grid faces an evolutionary step towards the smart grid. The smart grid is defined as the enhancement of the electric power grid with information and communication technology. This sort of digitisation will enable a bidirectional flow of energy and information within the power grid and provide several novel applications and allow to unlock the full potential of renewable energy technologies. To cope with the challenge of digitisation in power grids, key elements of future energy systems have to be explored and furthermore, computational methods have to be developed and refined.
The power grid is facing a digitalisation at all levels, enabling challenges, risks and chances for future systems. The research branch of Energy Informatics investigates in the analysis, design, and implementation of future energy systems and aims to provide sophisticated computational methods to increase the energy efficiency of demand and supply systems.
The networked power meter (smart meter) represents the key element in the transition towards the Smart Grid since such measurement equipment provides feedback to the inhabitants, other appliances and the electric utility. “The smart meter is a vital tool for researchers to record the energy consumption of households and industrial buildings. On basis of the collected data it is possible to evaluate computational methods and to evaluate if energy efficiency measures are effective.” states Christoph Klemenjak. “We developed an open-hardware smart metering board called YoMo, which is an extension unit for the Arduino platform. The YoMo is designed to monitor current flow, voltage level, as well as active, reactive, and apparent power at the feed point of households,” as he continues. In general, smart meters serve several purposes such as billing of consumed energy, provide immediate feedback to the inhabitants, or to switch loads.
C. Klemenjak, D. Egarter, and W. Elmenreich. YOMO-The arduino based smart metering board. Computer Science - Research and Development (Springer), 2016.