Smart Operator

Flexible grids for decentralised producers

More electricity is produced by private households

Energy used to flow in one direction only. The electricity generated in power stations flowed down a one-way street through the grids to consumers. With the transformation of the energy sector there is now an increasing volume of “oncoming traffic”. More and more households do not just consume electricity, they also produce it. A photovoltaic system on the roof or a micro-cogeneration plant in the cellar makes this possible. The growing share of decentralised power generation from renewable energy sources requires the grids to be adapted and expanded. Because the electricity yield from wind and solar energy is changeable and cannot be planned precisely. Electricity grids thus need to become more flexible in order to remain stable despite those fluctuations.

One way to achieve this is a technological upgrade of existing grids. In the Smart Country project, for example, we are testing efficient integration of more energy from renewable sources into the distribution grids. Another building block is intelligent local grid control using the Smart Operator. Innovative pilot projects provide the practical insights.

Smart grids and efficient use of electricity

An engineer holding a Smart Operator.
The small Smart Operator unit is an interface and switching point between the households of a housing estate and the local distribution grid.

We are developing new concepts and technologies for increasing the flexibility and capacity of the electricity grids. Smart Operator is a pioneering technological solution for local grids. It functions as an autonomous switching point on the grid that continuously monitors electricity supply and demand, balances the two and thus maintains voltage quality.

The Smart Operator is an interface and switching point between the households of a housing estate and the local distribution grid. It optimises the flow of electricity and thus stabilises the grid. The Smart Operator continuously analyses data from a local grid area and uses it to forecast electricity demand and supply. The data from electricity generators and consumers within the area is compared and quick responses are triggered to any deviations from the forecast.

Six questions on the Smart Operator

Project manager Stefan Willing replies

Pilot projects with the Smart Operator

innogy’s project partners

More information

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Technological world first in Essen.

Smart Country

Smart network concepts for country areas

Power to Gas

More efficient use of green energy