Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Siemens kicks off IREN2 energy research project in Germany

Iain Morris
September 16, 2014

German technology giant Siemens has kicked off a new energy research project called IREN2 aimed at supporting the changing use of energy resources in the country.

Running in Wildpoldsried in the Allgau region of Germany, the project is to investigate new power grid structures and their operational management based on both technical and economic criteria.

The project also involves Kempten University, RWTH Aachen University, the Allgauer Uberlandwerke utility and IT company ID.KOM (Kempten, Germany).

The partners intend to investigate how improvements could be made to energy systems with distributed power generation and additional components, including battery storage devices, block district heating power plants, biogas plants and diesel generators.

They will also test the use of microgrids – regional and self-contained smart power distribution grids – over a period of three years, assessing how these might be used as so-called “topological power plants” – the term used to describe network sections in which load and power generators can be controlled jointly.

Wildpoldsried’s existing smart grid infrastructure will be used during the project, says Siemen (Munich, Germany), noting that Allgau’s existing smart power supply grid represents an ideal platform for examining the operation of topological power plants.

Siemens says the studies based on economic criteria will be aimed at finding the most cost-effective options, with technical analyses determining how the various technologies interact.

The company also claims the volume of electrical power generated from renewable energy sources in Wildpoldsried is now five times higher than the community’s own requirement.

IRENE, the project that preceded IREN2, ran from mid-2011 until the end of 2013 and saw the development of a smart grid to balance power generation and consumption and keep the network stable.

Siemens says IRENE ahs created the “essential basis” for investigating topological power plants and testing them in practice.

Wildpoldsried also offers ideal conditions for allowing theoretical results to be verified on an actual intelligent energy system, added the company.
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