The intelligent power network of the future: networking buildings and the power infrastructure
In view of the increasing worldwide demand for energy and the climate-protection objectives, it is important that the energy-saving potential of buildings be exploited to the full. An important prerequisite for this is interaction between energy supply and the intelligent building. Only when energy consumption can be observed transparently is it possible to identify potential savings and take specific measures to increase energy efficiency. Intelligent energy-consumption measuring devices – so-called smart meters – collect and store the values metered, and all data can be read via electronic displays, internet portals or apps on mobile devices, such as smartphones. If the intelligent meters are integrated into a communication network, the information on energy consumption can be processed and used. The electronic meters supply the energy management, display and control systems in the building concerned with information necessary for intelligent process networking. Thus, smart metres are an important component for the smart grid, the intelligent power-supply network.
Smart-meter technology is a key to energy-efficiency
Electricity generation and consumption can be harmonised better using smart-meter technology. Through the visualisation of consumption data, the user can work out how to achieve greater energy efficiency, which is then managed by the building-automation systems. On the grid-provider side, intelligent metering systems ensure that metering and billing are simplified: time and / or load dependent pricing is possible. Thus, devices that can be set to switch on at a given time represent a significant energy-saving factor, e.g., heat pumps with heat-storage tanks are an option in this case. Moreover, intelligent metering systems make it possible to control flexible loads or decentralised electricity generating stations.
More and more buildings are playing an active role in the power network, e.g., photovoltaic systems on the roof or cogeneration plants. To achieve the planned increase in renewable energies and a high level of security and availability for the power network, it is essential that building systems be able to decide independently whether and when they consume the electricity generated or feed it into the network. This calls for intelligent energy management and monitoring systems that permit the systematic metering, collection, monitoring, evaluation and optimisation of energy consumption and generation. Another important aspect of tomorrow’s intelligent power network – with a growing share of renewable energies in the electricity mix – are storage systems, e.g., batteries in electric cars that can be used to store electricity until needed.
Open, standardised networking concepts are required for a smart grid to improve the interoperability and transparency of equipment and systems. A large number of existing communication standards must be integrated into the intelligent power network. For example, IT and field bus levels must communicate with each other – with the aim of creating a joint platform for existing island solutions. As the network grows, so will the demands on IT security.
Light + Building presents networking solutions and systems
Light + Building 2016 will spotlight the subjects of networking, resource conservation, energy efficiency and safety and security. Thus, the world’s leading suppliers from the fields of lighting, electrical engineering and home and building automation will present their market-ready systems and innovative solutions, which make it possible not only to reduce the energy consumption of buildings but also to increase the comfort level. The new Digital Building special show will illustrate the ways in which systems interact and are connected. Additionally, experts will give lectures on innovations, system interfaces and the prerequisites for tomorrow’s power network. Everyone wanting to take an in-depth look at the subject of networking buildings and the energy infrastructure has an excellent opportunity to do so during the six days of Light + Building 2016.