The project

Welcome to EnergieKoplopers, a smart energy field trial in Heerhugowaard. Together with residents we study how the supply and demand of energy can be more closely aligned. Watch the video showing interviews with participants.

Energy future

The energy system in the Netherlands is changing, with more and more people generating energy themselves. For example through the use of solar panels or wind turbines. Which is good news! This is also creating new opportunities. Not just for existing players but also for new parties and new markets… …who have to ensure that energy supply and demand are more closely aligned. We’re now going to study how best to do this at our smart energy field trial in Heerhugowaard. Watch the animation for a short, simple explanation.

The project is part of the Smart Energy Collective (SEC) and is being subsidised with a grant from the government’s Innovation programme IPIN. The flexible energy system is set up according to the principles of the Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF).

The research

The field trial examines how a smart energy system can optimally balance energy supply and demand with the help of smart appliances. Why is this important?

On a sunny day, for example, a large volume of energy is generated during daylight hours; as a result, energy supply is high and demand is low. Excessive demand during this period can result in a power outage. In the evening when it’s dark, everyone comes home and demand for electricity rises sharply. The solar panels can’t generate energy in the evening and there is little electricity available in the district. By aligning supply and demand more closely, the renewable energy produced in the district can be consumed more efficiently, reducing the amount of energy that needs to be drawn from power plants.

The smart energy system (USEF) automatically turns the smart appliances on and off. It also enables all stakeholders to work together and share information efficiently and ensures that energy supply and demand are optimally regulated so that energy remains sustainable, reliable and affordable, now and in the future.

How does it work?

A smart appliance was installed in the homes of residents who were participating in the field trial. It communicates independently online with the smart energy system and the smart meter. The smart energy system balances the likely energy supply with the likely energy demand by turning the appliance on or off when required. The resident doesn’t have to do anything: everything is done by the system. Participants are given a personal web environment showing them their levels of energy consumption and generation, and the energy flows to, from and within their homes. They can also use the web environment to adjust their smart thermostat. All this makes it easy for us all to become more sustainable together.