With the advent of smart grids, new, secure and scalable solutions for energy management are needed. Demand response, which is defined as changes in electricity usage by consumers from their normal consumption patterns in response to signals from grid operations and the energy markets, is a viable and cost-efficient solution to improve energy efficiency and for reducing peak demand. However, automated demand response programs for residential households are scarce in Europe despite the fact that households represented approximately 27% of the total energy consumption in 2010.
The consortium behind the SEMIAH project has developed a novel and scalable ICT infrastructure for the implementation of demand response in households. The SEMIAH infrastructure enables the shifting of energy consumption away from periods of high peak periods towards periods with high generation of electricity from renewable energy sources (RESs).
The SEMIAH concept enables aggregation of flexible consumption from households connected to the system. It acts through direct load control to remotely shift or curtail electrical loads in a secure manner taking into account the privacy and flexibility of users. The key scientific and technological contributions of the SEMIAH project can be summarized as follows:
The SEMIAH project has pursued a major technological, scientific and commercial breakthrough by developing an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure for the implementation of demand response (DR) in residential households within the smart grid environment. This infrastructure shall enable scheduling of selected high energy-consuming domestic loads’ operation to off-peak demand periods for reducing the peak demand on the power grid network. The project’s innovative approach is based on the development of an open ICT framework that will promote an environment for the deployment and innovation of smart grid services in households for load management.
The project partners have developed a centralised system for provisioning of demand response services based on aggregation, forecasting, and scheduling of electricity consumption in the domestic sector. The SEMIAH concept enables aggregation of households connected to the system and will act through direct load control to shift or curtail electrical loads considering the flexibilities of the prosumers and the utility demand limits. The project delivers a hardware solution that enables control of selected electrical load operation based on demand limits considering the renewable energy generation. The solution consists of a number of smart plugs that can be controlled over a Home Area Network (HAN) through a gateway connected to a wide area network (WAN). The SEMIAH consortium integrates security and privacy functions to ensure that the system cannot be compromised.
To successfully implement SEMIAH, the project consortium has studied new business models for electricity players and residential customers to quantify costs and benefits for actors in the value chain. SEMIAH shall contribute to the benefit of residential customers, energy utilities, and the society in general through lowering electricity bills, and providing higher stability of the electricity grid. Hereby, the project will enable savings in CO2 emissions and fuel costs, as well as reducing investments in electricity network expansions and electricity peak generation plants.
To achieve project objectives and the projected impacts, a strong and determined consortium has been formed around the technological skills and competencies needed to overcome the identified challenges. The team of twelve partners from four European countries, coming from ICT (AU, CSEM, UIA and HES-SO), Energy (FRAUNHOFER, AEnergi, SEIC, ENALP, MIS and DEVELCO) and Telecommunications (EGDE and NETPLUS), jointly possess excellence in skills and requirements needed to drive this ambitious project to successful result. Nevertheless, the competencies of the consortium partners are not exclusively linked to ICT, Energy or Telecom, as they hold multi-disciplinary expertise and capabilities in these sectors.
The project objectives of SEMIAH can be summarized as follows:
To define the technical and functional specifications for establishing the overall design of the HEMS. The specific objectives are:
Project Objective 2
To develop an open ICT infrastructure and architecture for implementation of a demand response function in households and also to bring together many services intended for smart grids. The specific objectives are:
Project Objective 3
To develop the SEMIAH system aggregator intelligence for managing scheduling of selected electrical loads in households. The specific objectives are:
Project Objective 4
To integrate the backend and front-end systems, including the infrastructure as needed, and to perform a basic integration test to verify that all interfaces are operating as expected.
Pilot testing and validation of SEMIAH in the real end-user environment. The specific objectives are:
Project Objective 6
To ensure that security and privacy issues are effectively built-in in all elements of SEMIAH from the beginning. The specific objectives are:
Project Objective 7
To develop new business models for the implementation of demand response in households (considered in WP9). The specific objectives are: