EWZ testing Alpiq GridSense technology

Zurich – Charging electric vehicles and generating electricity from sun and wind increasingly cause volatile load peaks in the distribution grid. To avoid these peaks, the City of Zurich energy service provider ewz is testing the GridSense technology from Alpiq on eight electric vehicle charging stations in a pilot project. GridSense will help minimise costly grid expansion and reduce electricity bills.

ewz is testing the GridSense load management technology at the operations centre at Pfingstweidstrasse in Zurich from June to November 2015 in a pilot project with eight electric vehicle charging stations. Electric vehicles are charged at this location. This process uses a great deal of electricity and can – when many other electricity consumers, such as machines and heating systems are on grid  – result in load peaks. GridSense records these grid fluctuations and forecasts the ideal charging time for the next 24 hours. When peaks occur, GridSense automatically reduces these by optimally controlling the time point for the charging process.

In the future, GridSense will control entire buildings The patented technology GridSense will be installed in the building. Load optimisation within a building using GridSense not only takes place at the charging station for electric vehicles, but across all the electricity consumers equipped with this technology, such as boilers and heat pumps, as well as photovoltaic systems and house batteries. The intelligent technology comprises several algorithms at its core. These constantly measure various parameters such as grid load, electricity consumption and production, and incorporate weather forecasts as well as electricity prices in the calculations. Furthermore, the algorithms learn the behaviour of electricity consumers through artificial intelligence.

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) awarded the Watt d’Or 2015 prize to GridSense at the beginning of January 2015.

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