Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider and Arensis pilot blockchain-based smart microgrid

Steve Rogerson
October 4, 2018



Schneider Electric is partnering Los Angeles-based decentralised energy systems company Arensis in a smart microgrid pilot programme.
 
As part of the pilot, they will develop a blockchain application programming interface (API) platform for Entrade IO, a new company founded by Julien Uhlig, the CEO of Arensis, for off grid project financing and the sale of renewable energy in remote areas around the world.
 
Joint development of the smart microgrid systems, combining waste-to-energy, solar and storage, will launch in North America with plans for growth globally. The pilot will explore integrated renewable energy using resources to develop, monitor and operate the systems through augmented reality (AR). The Entrade IO financing platform is already underway outside of the USA helping to raise funds for projects in areas of greatest need, primarily Asia and Africa.
 
“Our collaboration with Schneider Electric on the development of microgrids with turnkey solutions and project financing structures will bring our long-time vision to life,” said Uhlig. “I believe that blockchain is the missing piece to help us bring our decentralised utility to all parts of the world. Smart contract ledgers, free flow of capital, dedicated token offerings for funding and direct donations will revolutionise the way small-scale, high social impact energy projects will be funded in the future. We are incredibly proud to partner with Schneider Electric, one of the largest automation companies in the world, to make the Entrade IO platform a reality.”
 
Live monitoring and the generation and distribution of energy to end users via Arensis IoT applications, in cooperation with Schneider Electric, is said to create a fast and highly efficient energy infrastructure.
 
French company Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure augmented operator advisor facilitates maintenance operations with the help of step-by-step procedures and remote experts leveraging augmented reality. Access to dashboard insights, real-time information, analytics on machine health, performance, efficiency and remote expertise enables tracking, monitoring and maintenance assistance, all from a mobile device.
 
“Traditionally, fifty per cent of time spent on maintenance involves finding information, with the remaining fifty per cent devoted to actual intervention on the equipment for smart grid technologies,” said Mark Feasel, vice president of Schneider Electric’s smart grid North America operations. “The system we are working on with Arensis allows users to find information faster, reduce operator error and avoid machine downtime, with features such as giving users the ability to virtually open electrical cabinet doors and increase their overall efficiency.”
 
Until now, the direct sale of power on a micro-level has been limited by high transaction costs, and the cost of operating a small-scale utility for individual customers has not been feasible. Blockchain technology, integrated with smart metering, efficient demand-based power management, automation and AR-based forecasting, is now streamlined with fully automated smart contracts and ledger processing.
 
Arensis licensing and expertise in decentralised energy systems using local biomass fuel sources, combined with the smart microgrid expertise of Schneider Electric, can work globally for those currently without access to energy in regions most impacted by climate change and the key to resilience, optimised energy costs and sustainability
 
Arensis is an international provider of distributed energy systems delivering waste-to-energy products based on biomass gasification technology on the market from its subsidiary German technology company Entrade Energiesysteme.