In January 2019 two workshops were held at the headquarters of the German utility company Stadtwerk Haßfurt GmbH. The overall goal was to get the first insights in the design of a Smart Energy Management Dashboard (SEMD) for utility companies and energy Prosumers. Whereas the first workshop attended the utility and its employees, working on energy planning, and the second one customers, who already are sensible to the production/storage of renewable energy in their homes. These customers were so called Prosumers, that do already have installed energy producing plants at home (e.g. Photovoltaics, micro-CHP or even battery storage).
The utilityworkshop was attended by four employees of the partner SHF, who are integrated in the process of energy analysis and planning of the electrical grid in Haßfurt. In the beginning, the SIT4Energy project with its scope, the objectives and the expected and already available results were presented to the participants. After that, initial mock-ups of the SEMD were shown. In-between the presentation the participants had the opportunity to give feedback and note their thoughts. The regional company has no tool to plan energy demand and production, yet. This is done by hand since a long time and needs quite much of experience to interpret the conditions for the upcoming days. Summing results of the discussions up, a tool to visualize and intelligently analyse the energy production, consumption and storage capacity in the various grid sections is very welcome and useful for the company. Thus, the various visualization of data should be simplified in the overview and can be detailed by the user itself on specific demands. The tool could help very well to get a better understanding of the processes in the grid and may uncover hidden strategies to optimize the energy flow in the own grid.
After that, the Prosumer customers of SHF arrived at the location and the setup for the follow-up workshop was prepared by the moderators of HOST/SHF. Six participants attended the workshop and were informed about the SIT4Energy project in the first step. An initial introduction of the Prosumers and their handling of energy production/consumption/storage at home was followed by the presentation of initial mock-ups of the Smart Energy Management Dashboard for Prosumer end-users. During that, the participants had the opportunity to give feedback and note their thoughts, as well as in the preceding workshop. It was quickly clear, that the attending customers already use various third party and self-made calculation tools to analyse their energy flow and costs. It also appeared, that the main driver for installing renewable distributed energy sources is still the economy. Of second interest the reduction of greenhouse gases is often mentioned. Of big importance was the usability of the dashboard, meaning an easy overview after logging in and giving the opportunity to get more details on demand. Furthermore, the comparison of own production units’ performance to similar units in the region was a main point of discussion to watch the operating point regarding predictive maintenance. Concluding, the event was very productive as the participants realised, that the tool can help to monitor, analyse and keep track of their energy demand/production/storage and in relation to costs in real-time, by helping to uncover many hidden energy savings opportunities, even to customers, not familiar with enhanced energy management, yet. The overall idea of SEMD was accepted by the participants as a suitable and easy applicable energy management tool with full extent.