Energy Communities: Smart Metering and Demand-Response technologies take off.

20 March 2022

energy community

Talking about Energy Communities (RECs or Collective Self-consumption), it’ s convenient to focus on “Digital Energy”: in fact, the impacts of this new trend (which is not just “fashion”, but involves global socio-economic aspects) go well beyond the Photovoltaic System, beyond #Batteries, beyond Smart Building, merging with the electricity grids themselves (Smart Grid).
As existing electricity system resources (transmission, electricity distribution, the delivery point) are evolving, often approaching the end of their useful life, and in such cases will have to be replaced, the forward-looking configurations of new electricity grids are moving towards enhanced sensing capabilities (IoT), computing capacity (or rather intrinsic intelligence as EdgeComputing, AI), communication speed (including 5G, NBIoT or LoraWan, WirelessM-Bus, or in indoor environments Zwave and ZigBee), and sharing (Blockchain, BCDL): in short, they increasingly resemble telecommunications networks.

To support the digital transformation that will involve the new electricity grids, Tera srl has developed Smart Devices that read the fiscal meter and monitor and manage the bidirectional flows of Electrical Energy, communicating both with battery (or other type of storage) and PV inverters, and with service delivery platforms (such as Energy Community or Virtual Power Plant services, Grid Services, and other dispatch services).
In this article we try to describe how these technologies are useful for end-use applications, use cases that impact on users’ lives and habits, distinguishing between technologies already released in the last three years and those recently released.

– Smart Metering “chain2”:
“already released” – “Beeta” Ecosystem
• the Beeta Premium App provides meter readings and a summary balance between the energy produced, fed in, withdrawn and consumed/self-consumed;
• the BeetaBox control unit extends SmartHome functionality (smartplug, CO2, T and Ur, brightness, etc.);
• the BeetaGame App (gamification) provides suggestions to users to improve their consumption habits (according to the Design and Copyright deposited, a non-speculative virtual currency is also foreseen as a stimulus to user engagement for better awareness/awareness;

The new Beeta Reader, User Device approved for both chain1 and chain2, has the following characteristics (totally or partially distinct from those of other products). It has:
• Linux on board and, with different approaches (Socket.IO library, configuration middleware with frontend, APIs), it allows third parties to develop applications, distributing in an ‘arbitrary’ way the different modules constituting the SW solution (part on board, part on local server or on cloud: ‘orchestrated’ solution);
• ARM dual core A7, clock 800 MHz, RAM up to 1 GB and eMMC up to 8 GB, WIFI (+BT optional), Ethernet, USB (for 3G/4G/NBIoT pendrives): the possibility of interacting with third party devices and systems is therefore very high; in particular:
– remote update anytime
– ability to run MQTT tools , BlockChain Distributed Ledger and third-party AI tools;

Due to its flexibility of use and high degree of interoperability with third-party devices and SW, this device is of particular interest for innovative solutions (requiring experimentation and PoC) and, in any case, whenever the integration of functions is essential, also in the “Energy Community” segment with active energy flow management logics, e.g. dedicated to the provision of Network Services/MSD.

These are always and in any case “IoT edge computing” solutions (Made in Italy, not with Raspberry or similar).

On these important issues, Tera is supported by valuable technical and scientific collaborations, like the one with the Polytechnic University of Bari.

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