On Friday 19th Oct., we have been welcomed by Mr Terhalle, Senior Researcher at SAP Research Karlsruhe.
Among other partners like EnBW and HP, SAP is working on finding the best options to achieve the aggressive German objectives to integrate renewable energies onto the country electrical network and its distribution, storage and utilization. Networks which can manage this are named “smart grid”.
Mr Terhalle is focusing on using the ICT (Information Communication Terminal, essential to develop smart grid) capabilities to investigate information flows, end user incentives to drive toward the 85% share of renewable energies in 2050. His main concerns are on the short term integration objectives, knowing that renewable energies have unpredictable, volatile productions and require storage options and smart network. He is then working also towards reducing power consumption and re-allocating its usage across day and night time.
Within SAP building, they have set-up a very comprehensive and attractive demo room. Mr Terhalle guided us through demonstrations within house environment, offices, electrical vehicle charging and billing system, in-house consumption information systems. Short summary for each of theses examples using ICT technology would be as follows.
House/company environment: demonstration of heat pump capabilities. Heat pump would be used here for heating purposes and storing “excess” production from volatile wind or solar power stations. Principle is along delegating the heating of the pump to operator which can charge at best price and production times the pump up to 95°C, all along transparent system. The customer is responsible for maintenance (to avoid distributor liability) and uses the pump for heating its facilities. One key issue is the lack of standardized information exchange protocols between ICTs (present at heat pump for example) within European system, and even worse at international level.
Electrical Vehicles (EV) charge station: First challenge is to try and organize Europe through a standardized plug at charge station. Currently France is pushing one way, when other European countries, like Germany, are pushing the other way. That impacts options to travel across Europe, and costs if requiring dual plug systems. Mr Terhalle also demonstrated the ideas to avoid the stealing of car cables (keep it inside the car), to limit the risks of electrical hazards and all the information technology enabling billing, tracking and selling of value added services like local roadmaps, coupons for local activities etc.
In-house and office consumption tracking: Thanks to intelligent in house energy boxes, SAP showed examples of end user information boards. Through a digital tablet or smartphones for example, end user can identify each electrical system within his/her house and monitor its consumption. When tariffs evolve, or if supplier provides price incentives depending on daytime, end user can manage its devices accordingly. She can also compare electrical device performance currently in place or to be purchased. This is part of educating the end user and testing tariff or other sales incentives like “Win a smartphone by end year if you save xxx euros”. We also had a short demonstration of the impact of using screen savers and/or old technology office lamp. For instance we clearly saw the impact of power usage volatility due to screen savers.
SAP believes that its expertise on information systems can drive its initiatives to strong customer tracking information (billing, sales incentives) and associated power reduction while integrating further the renewable energies.