The biggest smart grid project in Europe – the EcoGrid pilot – is being conducted on the Danish island of Bornholm. The project is trying to coordinate the fluctuations in the price of electricity with the volume of renewable energy available at five minute intervals, reports PennEnergy.
In order to conduct the pilot, Bornholm’s local power company, Østkraft, has equipped about 1,900 households with smart switching devices from Siemens and IBM. The devices receive updated kilowatt-hour prices at five-minute intervals. Depending on the availability of wind energy, the devices switch electric heating systems and heat pumps in private homes on or off automatically, says the news outlet.
For the pilot, the 1,900 households have been divided into four groups. The first group is the statistical control group whose smart meters simply keep track of their energy use. The second group can see their energy use on display and modify their behavior in response. The third group uses a system from Siemens Smart Grid and Building Technologies Divisions that controls electric heating systems and boilers. The fourth group has a similar technology from IBM that controls heat pumps, says PennEnergy.
The European Union is helping to finance the trial in Bornholm because it has relevance for the rest of Europe as well. The project began in 2011 and will run until 2015.