As the driving force behind the development of data communication and data security solutions, devolo is creating international standards as part of its membership in renowned organisations and associations. Together with domestic and international partners, devolo is committed to researching and shaping the energy future. As part of this collaboration, we are consortium partners in the three SINTEG projects C/sells, enera and WindNODE for successfully confronting the challenges of the future with innovative products and services. In addition, we are actively involved in other national and international projects. The dedication ranges from collaboration with universities to co-operation with renowned companies in the industry.
"Europe‘s energy supply is facing a disruptive development. Decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation are the new parameters. With our innovative Powerline solutions and a smart meter gateway ready for value-added services, we ensure secure networking in the smart grid."
Prof. Dr. Michael Koch, Executive Vice President and Head of devolo Smart Grid
Digitalisation of the energy supply
As the number of decentralised wind and solar energy systems with fluctuating power infeed potential continues to increase, the large-scale enera project is looking to make important gains in the successful integration of these energy systems by establishing smart grids covering extensive areas. The project involves 75 renowned companies, institutes and political players from the Northwestern Germany model region.
The implementation of intelligent technologies (particularly the interaction between energy infrastructure and information/communication infrastructure in a smart grid) will make future energy systems significantly more efficient. This will allow renewable energies to play an even more important role in the energy mix, paving the way for a sustainable power industry.
Northeast Germany sets the example for smart energy
The showcase region of WindNODE includes the transmission service operator 50 hertz network area and provides a real-life laboratory for a complete energy system. The central goal of WindNODE is to set the standard for the networked energy system of the future.
As a pioneer for renewable energy, the WindNODE region already meets the development goals set by the German government for 2025 with renewable energy making up 45% of consumed energy. Some regions have even surpassed the government's goal for 2050 (renewable energy at 80% of power consumption).
The consortium has more than 70 partners and links throughout politics, the economy and society, receiving prominent support from the government leaders in all six participating German federal states. devolo AG is a consortium partner in this large-scale project, acting as the smart grid hardware manufacturer.
The smart grid window into the future
C/sells provides an extensive window into the energy use in the solar belt across Southern Germany. The project demonstrates how an intelligent network can ensure supply with solar energy and other renewable energy in a way that is cost effective, secure, environmentally compatible and participatory.
At a project volume of €100 million, more than 60 partners from industry, power industry and science are looking to implement a cellular energy system in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse in the next four years. devolo AG is taking an active part in this project as a project partner.
Callia - Direct load compensation for neighbouring distribution networks
Europe's energy goals require reliable and comprehensive integration of renewable energy at all network and voltage levels. The co-ordination between transmission and distribution service operators necessary for accomplishing this goal has been the responsibility of national network operators to date. Power transmission across borders has been taking place only at the high-voltage level thus far.
The Callia project highlights the extent to which direct load compensation for the neighbouring distribution networks of two states simplifies the integration of renewable energy.
Local compensation for renewable energy at the distribution network level could minimise the limitations placed on renewable energy systems, reduce the load of the transfer points between transmission and distribution networks and simplify the compensation between local distribution networks and higher-level transmission networks. In addition, energy losses are reduced because local generation and consumption in regions along international borders can be balanced without having to work through all of the voltage levels in an "up, over and down" path.
The result would mean efficient integration of decentralised energy and stabilisation of the entire European energy network.
CONNECT - Innovative smart components and modules for a truly connected
In light of the ambitious goals of climate protection, it is necessary to significantly reduce the demand of fossil fuels. In return, the proportion of renewable energy must rise substantially. Power generation by regenerative systems fluctuates over time and thus makes very heavy demands on the development of the energy network from a mere distribution network to a dynamic, stable smart grid.
Until 2020, the German consortium in the European CONNECT project performs research in secure communication processes, intelligent management nodes and efficient converters for electrical energy. It is the central objective of CONNECT to make the critical infrastructure of the smart grid more efficient, secure and robust. Furthermore it is necessary to integrate end users with their controllable loads into the intelligent energy network. In this way, the CONNECT project increases customer acceptance of an intelligent energy network.
Secure data communication for the distributed factory of the future
Today's production systems are seeing increases in automation, characterised by networked computing, measurement, control and regulation systems. This networking greatly increases both the number and severity of threats to the industrial systems involved.
The core element is the devolo Secure Gateway I4.0, which is being developed as part of the project. The Secure Gateway will be the central unit and real-time-capable communication component in the cross-location production process.The project is set to conclude with field tests at the facilities of the associated partners FRABA and A+G connect. These tests will assess the real-world suitability of the developed solution. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing approximately 1.45 million euros in support of the SiDaFab project as part of the "High-tech for IT security" funding initiative.
SEnCom - System security of energy supply networks
The increasing integration of decentralised feeders and loads, particularly in the distribution network level, poses new challenges for network operation and planning.
In the future, networking and communication of a wide variety of power frequency components from the areas of status monitoring, control and regulation will be required. To ensure secure and reliable network operation, it is vital that communication interfaces and structures, particularly those with diminished physical access protection (on generation systems for end customers), do not cause any external interference in network operation.
The SEnCom project is intended to reveal challenges relevant to security and reliability during integration of the communication infrastructure into the distribution networks and analyse the possibility of external interference in communications systems and its effects on network operation.
This analysis will expand on the current work of devolo AG, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Bremen University of Applied Sciences, RWTH Aachen University and the P3 Group.
ENERGIE - Measurement of the low-voltage side network state variables in real time
devolo AG, together with municipal utility Krefeld Netze GmbH and Janitza electronics GmbH, and academic partners, the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and the University of Duisburg-Essen, is researching the application of G3-PLC technology at the distribution network level in the joint project "Measurement of the low-voltage side network state variables in real time" (ENERGIE - Erfassung der niederspannungsseitigen Netzzustandgrößen in Echtzeit). The overarching goal is to determine, using sensors, the network condition at only important strategic points on the low-voltage side and to use this data for network planning and operational concerns of network management. This approach does not conform to the previous concepts that provided comprehensive equipment with smart meters and is currently the only one of its kind. Using mathematical processes (e.g. state estimation), network conditions are to be determined in real time in a location and time-related manner. The results and insights from this project are examined for their relevance to real-world application as part of a real-world field test and statistically evaluated.
SmartLive - sustainable innovation development in the Living Lab for the smart home/smart energy
The research focus for the SmartLive project is on the user-friendliness of smart home systems. Active incorporation of end consumers ensures that the formulated solutions meet the needs of users.
In this project, devolo is supplying hardware and software (devolo Home Control) and optimising its smart home solution based on the research findings. As a Powerline pioneer, devolo is also lending its valuable experiences with home networking and the smart grid sector. The future integration of power meter data and flexible electricity rates into the smart home represents a significant area of research at devolo. This also includes the development of a control box that can regulate devices such as heat pumps, photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles, thereby integrating them into the smart home.
SPIDER - Secure Powerline data communication in intelligent energy networks
Smart energy networks need secure communication. Due to the processing and integration of personal consumption data in measuring systems, the legal regulations regarding data protection and data security are particularly strict. They are stipulated by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) as part of what are known as protection profiles and technical guidelines. As part of the joint project "Secure Powerline data communication in intelligent energy networks" (SPIDER), leading companies, research institutes, colleges and universities are researching and developing concepts for secure powerline-based data transmission in future intelligent energy networks. Innovative approaches, such as Trusted Network Connect, continuous integrity measurement, and secure boot processes are characteristics of already developed prototypes. Working closely with renowned providers of relevant administration software, project partners ensure the integration into an overlaid back-end infrastructure. The project concluded with real-world field tests and the analysis of these tests.
ACEMIND / AutoConfig 2.5 - Flexible use of various data transmission paths
As part of the Eureka/Celtic+ initiative, the EU-supported research project called ACEMIND (Advanced Convergent and Easily Manageable Innovative Networks Design) is aimed at simplifying the installation and use of smart home components—regardless of the underlying communication technology. In quite specific terms, ACEMIND is also seeking to provide corresponding terminal devices already equipped with the improved self-management capability of the network. Furthermore, these products are intended to enable convenient remote management for network operators as well. The German participants, devolo AG and IHP, have also organised themselves within the "AUTOCONFIG2.5" project in the funding program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) called "The Central Innovation Program SME" (Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand - ZIM), forming the basis for even closer collaboration with each other and in the ACEMIND project in the process.
Project ELABOX - Innovative electric vehicle charging station communication
Together with the University of Duisburg-Essen, devolo AG developed an E-Mobility charging box that—along with the pure charging process—also allows for bidirectional data communication between the electric vehicle and the charging station. Powerline Green PHY technology is used to do this. This technology enables IP-based broadband data exchange, such as is needed, for instance, for transmitting entertainment data or updating navigation devices.
FINESCE - Future INternet Smart Utility ServiCEs
FINESCE (Future INternet Smart Utility ServiCEs) is a project from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme. Future Internet - Public Private Partnership (FI-PPP) is carrying out pilot projects in the area of smart energy at a variety of locations throughout Europe. The goal of these pilot projects is to fulfil the growing requirements imposed by decentralisation and susceptibility to mains supply fluctuations through wind and solar power. Powerline communication plays an essential role in this and represents the key technology for the smart grid.
UUIS - Practically oriented development and testing of comprehensive energy management solutions
The research project UUIS "Ubiquitous Environmental Information Systems" focusses on comprehensive energy management solutions based on new information and communication technologies. New technical solutions are developed in close cooperation with end users in what is called the "Living Lab", i.e. very close to the real-world application. The objective of the project is to merge the requirements on operational information systems for managing, measuring and processing environmental data with new smart energy technologies and real-time systems. Based on Powerline communication, the near real-time measurement of environmental and energy data and visual processing make a critical contribution to optimising the control and management of energy consumption.
StromKOM - Power meter with integrated G3-PLC modem
The European power grid is becoming "smart", and the StromKOM funding project is helping to make it happen. The project objective was to develop a smart power meter with integrated G3 Powerline technology.
From September 2013 to the end of November 2015, the project partners devolo, the University of Duisburg-Essen, Maxim integrated and Terranova developed a prototype of the smart power meter. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy funded the project through the "The Central Innovation Programme for SMEs" funding program (ZIM in German).
The development of the 3-phase power meter with integrated Powerline technology puts a special focus on the data security requirements set forth by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). In addition, the project aimed to achieve high EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and a high degree of durability against inverter failures.