Upgrading our homes for the smart grid

Felix Metz

Samuel Trefzger

Julian Hamdorf

The smart grid is on its way. Let's make our homes a part of it.

The smart grid is the electricity grid of the future. In fifteen years, Germany will obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. And by then, every private household will also be able to produce electricity itself, store it, or share it with others.
What impact will these new requirements have on our power grid? And what does that mean for the users at home?
With the fictional startup Sustainergy we provide solutions for households to help them becoming a part of the smart grid. With our product family consisting of the Reader, the Connector and the Controller we offer a fully expandable home energy management system that helps you save money based on a flexible electricity price. Understandable and user friendly.

Paving our way for the flexible electricity price.

Wind and sun set the pace from now on. These so-called "volatile" sources can cause fluctuations in electricity supply, with frequent peaks and dips. To address this, our power grid needs to be able to adapt and be flexible. A solution is to introduce an hourly electricity pricing system that reflects the current demand on the grid. This way, consumers can better understand the fluctuations in the electricity supply and adjust their usage accordingly. For instance, we can now run our energy-intensive appliances when electricity is cheaper, or charge our electric vehicles during periods of lower demand. This new transparency can help us all save energy and reduce costs.

Colorful graph showing the electricity prices over the course of the day
Electricity prices over the course of the day

There are many technical ideas on how to build a smart grid. At Sustainergy we favor the cellular approach. This method involves grouping households in a distribution grid cell, where electricity loads are distributed evenly. These cells can be combined to create larger system cells, which can then be integrated into national transmission grids. This creates a self-balancing grid at every level, with each cell able to regulate itself independently.

Our product family

This is our product lineup to make your home ready to participate in the smart grid.

The Reader is a small device that you plug onto your digital electricity meter. You can now see how much electricity you are using overall.
With the Connector, you can track the power consumption of individual devices or entire groups of devices.
The Controller is the conductor of your energy home. You can now automatically shift the load of devices based on flexible pricing. Use power from the grid when it is cheap, or draw from your own battery when it becomes more expensive. And in case you need to start your washing machine right now, you can quickly and easily decouple it from the grid. Also, the color of the LED on each of the devices shows you how expensive the electricity that you are using right now is.

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Our Controller manages your household appliances automatically. To set rules and exceptions and to keep track of all of data, simply log into your Sustainergy web account.
Sustainergy reader for digital electricity meters
Just plug the Reader onto your digital electricity meter to see how much energy you are using overall.
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Our energy map on the Sustainergy web interface lets to follow the paths of the electricity within your home.
Graph showing electricity prices over the day
The flexible electricity price is the core of our concept. Through the five colors, we show you how expensive the power is that you are using at the moment.