E.ON uses smart meters for the first time to control customer systems



E.ON is one of the first companies in Germany to control photovoltaic (PV) systems using intelligent metering systems, commonly known as smart meters. An additional unit, a so-called control box, prevents grid congestion by flexibly controlling power generation by the solar panels.

The PV systems are connected to the grid operated by Bayernwerk, one of E.ON’s regional distribution subsidiaries. Flexible output control makes E.ON a pioneer in implementing the technical requirements of the VDE Network Technology Forum (FNN), and in the use of control boxes as part of a fully functional test system. FNN is the organization developing technical standards in this field.

Control boxes and smart meters cannot only be used to reduce and increase the power output of PV modules from a remote location. The devices also provide information about the technical condition of the solar panels as well as other measured values. The data as well as encrypted control signals are transmitted via a communication gateway inside the smart meter. This ensures compliance with the maximum security standards defined by the Federal Office for Information Security.

“What sounds pretty simple is an important milestone on the path towards the digital, smart electricity grid,” says Paul-Vincent Abs, who is responsible at E.ON for smart meters. “The control box/smart meter combination allows both the generation and consumption of renewable energy to be optimized.”

The work done by E.ON in this field is sponsored by the Ministry of Economics as part of the "Smart Energy Showcase - Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition" (SINTEG) program. The aim of this initiative is to develop and demonstrate model energy supply solutions for the future in so-called showcase regions.

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