The energy transition comes with challenges. Renewable energy fluctuates in availability. Power grids are not able to manage new supplies of energy. Without sufficient management, the grid can easily overload. PowerMatcher is a proven way to match energy supply and demand, get the most effective use out of green energy, and prevent overload. Offering the technology on an open-source platform shows TNO's dedication to accelerating innovation.
PowerMatcher turns ordinary power grids into Smart Grids that efficiently integrate green energy resources, and manage the loads with more precision and efficiency. By partnering with energy suppliers, grid operators, municipalities, manufacturers and IT experts, TNO is helping to balance the supply and demand of alternative energy sources in electricity grids, and enable the most advanced uses for alternative energy. The fluctuating availability of wind and solar energy, combined with the increased demand for electricity to power heat pumps, vehicles and appliances will cause significant strain on existing power grids. Active Demand allows end-users to have more influence on the grid than ever before. To balance the load and fluctuations, TNO developed PowerMatcher, a solution that combines IT and technology innovations to balance the grid and offer reliable, efficient energy at all times of the day and night.
The real world is different than a testing environment. So TNO, together with strategic partners, developed PowerMatching City, a community of homes connected to a Smart Grid. PowerMatcher manages all appliances, heating and cooling, warm water and cars. Now in its second phase, PowerMatching City is the first real-world application of Smart Grid technology, powering 45 homes from top to bottom. TNO's next challenge was 300 apartments in a complex, all using Smart Grid-powered electric heat pumps. Couperus is the first experiment making use of PowerMatcher's scalability capabilities. PowerMatcher balances the electricity flows, which saves the retailer money on the imbalance market. The DSO can also postpone or avoid huge investments in network expansion. Next, PowerMatcher went international with the EcoGrid project – 700 homes in Denmark connected to the grid. TNO is just a few steps away from proving that the Smart Cities of the future are closer than we think.
To continue to advance the energy transition, TNO will expand the application of PowerMatcher in increasingly large and wide-scale projects. With a constant focus on end-user preferences and Active Demand challenges, PowerMatcher is now offered on an open-source platform as part of the Flexiblepower Alliance Network (FAN). FAN's objective is to accelerate the energy transition by freely offering effective standards for the creation of Smart Energy solutions. Software companies, equipment manufacturers and Energy stakeholders can utilise the FAN standards – and PowerMatcher technology – to ensure a faster, more efficient time to market. In addition, PowerMatcher aims to engage in increasingly larger-scale projects that show how effective it can be in matching supply and demand. The next step will be to partner with a municipality or consortium on a project that connects 10,000 to 100,000 devices to the grid – thereby proving PowerMatcher's ability to manage the load and prevent grid congestion.