Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

E.On uses smart meters to control solar panels

Steve Rogerson
September 12, 2017

Energy utility E.On in Germany is using smart meters to control its customers’ solar panel installations. An additional control box prevents grid congestion by flexibly controlling power generation by photovoltaic (PV) systems.
The PV systems are connected to the grid operated by Bayernwerk, one of E.On’s regional distribution subsidiaries. Flexible output control helps implement the technical requirements of the VDE Network Technology Forum (FNN), and in the use of control boxes as part of a fully functional test system. FNN is an organisation developing technical standards in this field.
Control boxes and smart meters can reduce and increase the power output of PV modules from a remote location. The devices also provide information about the technical condition of the solar panels as well as other measured values.
The data as well as encrypted control signals are transmitted via a communications gateway inside the smart meter. This ensures compliance with the maximum security standards defined by the Federal Office for Information Security.
“What sounds pretty simple is an important milestone on the path towards the digital, smart electricity grid,” said Paul-Vincent Abs, who is responsible at E.On for smart meters. “The control box and smart meter combination allows both the generation and consumption of renewable energy to be optimised.”
The work done by E.On in this field is sponsored by the Ministry of Economics as part of the Sinteg smart energy showcase and digital agenda for the energy transition programme. The aim of this initiative is to develop and demonstrate model energy supply systems for the future in so-called showcase regions.