Key to energy transition
The political decision to transform the energy system in Germany has been made. But questions about the shape of the transition are still being raised. Reliance on green power alone is not sufficient to create a climate-friendly energy system. The key thing is how we use energy.
Smart products with Blockchain
‘‘What we should be aiming for is autonomy, i.e. that I can decide on a case-by-case basis what I do with the energy”, says Prof Dr Jens Strüker, Head of the Energy Institute at Fresenius University, in an interview with innogy. The energy management expert conducts research into intelligent electricity grids and energy data as the basis for new business models.
innogy also believes in an autonomous and intelligent energy system and is developing products based on Blockchain technology. For one thing, it allows every energy generator to decide how and with whom the power will be shared.
Cash book within the Internet of Things
Another benefit is that power suppliers can use Blockchain to automatically account for any energy supplied. This applies to all future market participants – from major energy companies to house owners with their own solar panels.
Attention has been drawn to Blockchain technology as a result of the crypto-currency Bitcoin. It could be described as a cash book within the Internet of Things – but with no book keepers, for Blockchain is de-centrally organised. It does not belong to any person or company and is spread across several servers.
Power supplied by your neighbour
Every participant has the same access rights and the transparency to see all transactions completed via Blockchain. The technology is not limited to financial transactions either, as it can convey all kinds of information.
Jens Strüker says solar panels are one example of how energy can be jointly used at the very local level. If your neighbour is not at home, for instance, your house could receive a signal that, if needed, power can be automatically sourced from the neighbour’s photovoltaic system. To enable such scenarios to soon become a reality, innogy is also working on forward-thinking SmartHome products.
Fast and secure transactions
Blockchain is thus one of the keys to a decentralised energy market, for everyone will soon be in a position to act more quickly and organise secure transactions on a small scale. In this way, Blockchain can contribute to ensuring energy transition becomes a reality in the near future.
Big Data meets Industry 4.0
How innogy uses large volumes of data to generate electricity efficiently
Almost every person and every machine generates data streams these days. Can Big Data help us understand the world better and make it more efficient? It is a huge challenge. And the technology behind it is complicated. But special algorithms are helping IT professionals at innogy climb the Big Data mountain.
Where does all the data come from?
Large streams of data are fed in from, for instance, the monitoring systems of wind turbines, which record changes in pressure, temperature and wind fluctuation. Strategically placed sensors pick up hundreds of readings a second. The massive volume of data that accumulates as a result of this process has long been impossible to read by hand.
This is where analytical methods come in. In practice this means that data scientists at innogy program special analytical algorithms, which allow correlations, patterns and other useful information to be identified within those huge volumes of data.
Filtered information leads to insights
The work of the data scientists does not stop there, for the algorithms have to be constantly reviewed, checked and adjusted. The product of all this analysis is filtered, analysed and evaluated information – which leads to new insights.
If damage to wind turbines is detected at an early stage, maintenance measures can be optimised and the cost of repairs and outage times reduced. The operational benefits for innogy ultimately have a positive impact on the customer too, for cost savings in power generation naturally lead to lower power prices.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
However the analytical methods applied to Big Data are not only used in the renewables segment. Another successfully implemented Big Data project for innogy is the use of artificial intelligence in customer communication, where data scientists have developed a system for pre-sorting mail in the Retail segment and setting up work orders. These are then forwarded to the appropriate employee responsible for customer correspondence.
Smart and connected with innogy
Intelligent solutions simplify everyday life
At home and in the workplace, smart technologies now define our everyday lives. Many promise to be efficient and sustainable, but do they really improve our quality of life? innogy is working on networked solutions with a clear focus on seamless integration – and simplifying our everyday life.
Innovation Hub think-tank
An unexpected change in the weather, like a storm warning instead of sunshine, when no one is home to secure the apartment or the home, can cause damage that makes a real dent in the wallet.
Scenarios like this are what motivate innogy digital experts to show #PIONIERGEIST and dare to come up with tricky solutions. For instance, they are currently working away at the Innovation Hub to develop a system that can read weather data and automatically close windows and blinds.
Expertise of the energy industry
At the same time, innogy is using its energy expertise to help business customers. For smart systems are not only the key to energy transition. They can help small to medium-sized enterprises in particular save money on their power bills. By monitoring and adjusting all building systems centrally, they can save energy – and reduce their carbon emissions.