Algorithms to help with power load management


Lucerne – Two teams from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts have developed a system to help energy providers delay consumption peaks in collaboration with companies and an electric power station. The prototype aims to cut costs for both suppliers and customers.


The simultaneous activation of a multitude of electrical devices puts the grid under a huge power strain. Since up to 60 percent of the grid usage costs for energy supply companies are calculated from these load peaks, they have an inherent interest in avoiding or, where possible, at least flattening these peaks to some extent. According to a press release, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) has now found a solution to this issue together with its project partners.


For this, Andrew Paice claims in the press release that a “smart, efficient energy and load management system that enables energy to be deferred” is necessary. Paice is the Director of the HSLU Research Center for Smart Buildings, known as the iHomeLab. Prototypes of such a system have been developed by his team together with the HSLU Competence Center Thermal Energy Storage and the Electric Power Station Vilters-Wangs in addition to Asgal Informatik and Semax as business partners. The Swiss Innovation Agency, Innosuisse, is supporting the project.


The Artificial Intelligence developed by the teams and their algorithms use data from what are known as “smart meters”. In this way, the researchers are able to calculate the thermal models of buildings. The algorithms “identify power-consuming devices such as heat pumps, boilers and e-mobiles in addition to power-producing devices such as photovoltaic systems”, explains Paice. After this, parameters including maximum power consumption, switch-on and switch-off times and energy consumption per day are combined with temperature and weather forecasts, which subsequently facilitates accurate predictions for power usage.


With these project results, the two companies involved in the project have now been able to offer energy providers a service that helps them to cut costs – with the added benefit of not requiring any additional investment in their distribution networks.

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) - iHomeLab

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