3 September 2022
Smart Thermostatic Valves
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Local management of energy systems is a key enabler of the future smart grid with a growing penetration of photovoltaic systems, electric vehicles (EVs), and heat pumps. Coordinated and intelligent use of all these resources is needed to reduce energy costs, mitigate power fees, and guarantee a good return on investment for elements such as batteries.
CSEM has developed a strong track record in developing, testing, and operating innovative energy management systems (EMS) on energy systems in the real world. CSEM offers an energy management software solution to manage energy at the district scale that focuses on energy cost reduction, called NRGMaestro™. It enables users to describe multi-energy (electricity, heat, gas) systems with energy production, conversion, and storage components through a standardized interface and generate predictive controllers to supervise the energy use of those systems without being experts in control strategies or software.
Many of the commercially available solutions simply try to increase consumption when photovoltaic energy is produced. This can lead to over-consumption of energy and as a result no cost savings . NRGMaestro™  does not use predefined rules but calculates the best use of energy at any point in time, based on weather forecasts and energy costs . It also integrates new elements such as EVs with bi-directional capabilities, heat pump management, and much more, and achieves cost reduction in the range of 10 to 30%, validated in the field, while avoiding increasing the total electricity consumption, for example by favouring self-consumption only when relevant to satisfy user needs.
Algorithms of NRGMaestro™ are used the commercially available product Soleco Optimizer, an EMS for individual houses and multi-apartment buildings. It has been deployed in more than 10 buildings with a wide range of systems under control (EVs, heat pumps, smart plugs, boilers, and more) and calculated more than over 500,000 energy management plans since 2019.
CSEM has developed a tailored EMS that will be deployed in a 4-building energy community in the Geneva region. This EMS manages the charging of vehicles with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities. To prototype and test the system, a laboratory test bench with inverters, batteries and a bi-directional charging station has been constructed. Plans to integrate NRGMaestro™ in an upgrade is under discussion.
The project OPERA, in collaboration with SOLECO and financed by the SFOE, will allow to further advance the capabilities of NRGMaestro by focusing on two key aspects: exploiting the thermal inertia in a residential building in a scalable fashion by interacting with smart thermostatic valves for floor heating; and the standardization of interfaces to equipment, assisted by the Swiss label SmartGridReady. It will be deployed in a 20-appartments building in Neuchatel in 2023.
You can compare the performance of NRGMaestro against standard energy management strategies for different building configuration in our online simulator.
We invite interested parties to contact us for access to NRGMaestro documentation, licensing terms, demo, etc.
 A. Hutter, N. Koch, Y. Stauffer, T. Gorecki, “Augmenter l’efficacité des prosommateurs,” bulletin.ch, vol. 8/2019, Jan. 08, 2019.
 Maestro was partly developed in the frame of the European research project PENTAGON. This project has received funding from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 731125.
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