The Power Grid of the Future - C-LAB presents a Smart Metering Demonstrator at the Open House of the University of Paderborn!

Present Situation at the Electricity Market 
Electricity tariffs are rising constantly at the European market. At the same time abnormal situations occur at the market due to the increasing share of renewable energy sources. Wind and solar energy are only available randomly, because they depend on uncontrollable power sources and their generation cannot be controlled on demand.

Alternative energies generate electricity even if electricity is not needed at that time. There is a considerable surplus supply when conventional energy sources such as power plants cannot be turned off at short notice.

This scenario is no fiction, but has happened several times, for example in the night of 4 October 2009 when a small autumn storm led to the generation of so much electricity that it was offered for a negative price of minus 500 EUR/MWh for a short time. Each power costumer, such as a pumped storage hydro power plant, that bought electricity that night was paid 500 EUR per MWh!

At the same time, the generated electricity was highly paid to the owners of wind power plants using net metering. According to the Renewable Energy Law (EEG) the German costumers are charged the costs for feed-in and promotion of renewable energy sources.

All parties of the electricity market are very interested in abolishing these inefficiencies. Supply and demand shall be exactly predicted, controlled and become as far as possible flexible while using Smart Grids.

Policy reacts by promoting the research of Smart Metering and Smart Grid concepts. At the same time the energy providers are obliged to introduce flexible electricity prices from 2011 on.

Solution Concept of C-LAB
In contrast to other smart metering concepts, where the metering ends at the wall of each household, the Smart Metering Demonstrator of C-LAB addresses the metering of each single device and thus contributes to a more flexible electricity demand.

Once having flexible electricity tariffs, it is desirable to control single devices in dependence of the price. But at the same time, the privacy of households has to be protected and their autonomy in using the devices has to be preserved. The C-LAB demonstrator ensures the mentioned requirements by registering the single devices and controlling them through a smart middleware.

The mechanism is based on a control system that evaluates the current price information given by the energy provider on the one hand and the personal profile of the costumer on the other hand.

The control system ensures that the household keeps the autonomy of the use of devices. For example, one rule could be: Load car battery when the price is smaller than 0,18 EUR/kWh and sell electricity when the price is higher than 0,25 EUR/kWh. All this should be done provided that the electric car is fully loaded at 7 o'clock in the morning.

Advantages of this Solution
The advantage of this approach is that household devices and smart meter can be easily integrated and connect with each other. Thus the electricity demand of each device can be adapted to the available electricity supply in a flexible way.

There is more transparency for both costumer and supplier when the needed electricity is determined for each device. With the use of the control system, the costumer can determine when and how the control of each device is done. This increases the costumer's acceptance.

Presentation of the Smart Metering Demonstrator at the Open House of the University of Paderborn
On 4 July 2010 the University of Paderborn will open its doors within the Paderborner Wissenstage, taking place in cooperation with the University, the city of Paderborn and the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum

Besides the faculties giving an insight into science with its research diversities, other cooperation partners of the University, enterprises and institutions will be presented at booths.

At this occasion, C-LAB will present its Smart Metering Demonstrator to the interested audience. The demonstrator was built within the <link http: typo3 de forschungsprojekte hydra index.html internal-link internal link in current>Forschungsprojekts Hydra that is co-financed by the European Commission. Besides this, C-LAB will present further exhibits regarding topics such as useTable - Multi User Table for Tangible Interaction, autonomous soccer robots, Remote Field Assistant and electronic steering system in vehicles at the Open House of the University of Paderborn.


Frank Berger

Tel: +49 (5251) 60-6146
E-Mail: <link window for sending>fb.berger[at]

Siegfried Bublitz

Tel: +49 (5251) 60-6122
E-Mail: <link window for sending>siegfried.bublitz[at]

Florian Röhr

Tel: +49 (5251) 60-6157
E-Mail: <link window for sending>florian-roehr[at]