Given the wide variation in household composition, behaviour patterns, hobbies, dwellings and existing devices, and because there is usually no pre-existing form of automation in a home, it is very difficult to develop a standardised solution that will enable all households to make use of automated demand-side management.
But in order to minimise investment costs, this type of system also has to be mass produced and must operate according to the plug & play principle. By installing a Home Energy Management system in each of 250 homes, the Linear project is studying the practical issues that the development and rollout of this type of technology involves.
Home Energy Management system
With a home energy management system, various household devices are able to exchange information via the internet. This enables them to monitor and control their devices remotely. They can also configure the system so that the energy supplier or power grid operator is able to start up the devices, such as at times when there are energy surpluses.
Linear makes use of the home energy management system of our partner Fifthplay. In combination with the prototype appliance controller that was specially developed by VITO for the Linear project, we are connecting traditional devices (Siemens) to the system, but we are also experimenting with the first generation of smart devices from Miele.