Installation SMIGHT Grid2

Stadtwerke Fellbach uses SMIGHT Grid to digitalize the distribution grid

15. April 2021

In order to be even better equipped for the increase in e-mobility and renewable energies, Stadtwerke Fellbach is digitalizing its electricity grid. To this end, they are equipping 50 local grid stations with innovative electricity grid sensors from EnBW’s SMIGHT business unit. The rollout of the IoT solution is scheduled to last three years and will provide the grid operator with real-time data that can be used to record the status of the grids and develop important strategies for the future.

Enabling e-mobility with brains instead of excavators

The current KfW subsidy for private charging stations for e-vehicles has resulted in 300,000 charging points being applied for to date (as of 25.02.2021). The enormous demand has led to an increase in funding by a further 100 million euros and provides an outlook on the future load on the electricity grids. In order to be prepared for this development, Stadtwerke Fellbach is working on the necessary measures and solutions that can provide efficient and rapid support. There was no question from the outset that these solutions would have to be digital. “We need more brains in our network instead of more excavators, because we can’t simply lay more cables throughout the city to create charging options for e-vehicles everywhere. We can only get more grip with digital solutions,” explains Gerhard Ammon, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Fellbach GmbH.

Initially, the focus was on creating transparency in the low-voltage distribution grid. In order to enable e-mobility and process grid connection issues quickly, it must be clear how much air there is in the grid. Grid expansion should also be targeted and data-based. The grid operator opted for the SMIGHT Grid IoT solution from EnBW’s SMIGHT business unit. Using patented sensor technology, which is installed in existing local grid stations, real-time data is collected from the low voltage. The installation can be carried out by the company’s own personnel and during ongoing operations. “I was really impressed by the simplicity and speed of the installation. After just one hour, a station was equipped and the data was already flowing,” comments Torsten Lempe, electricity network manager at Stadtwerke Fellbach..

Understanding the web with data

The data is transmitted wirelessly to the SMIGHT IQ IoT platform with the help of a gateway. Network operators can then view this processed data in a web portal. “The user doesn’t have to worry about anything when it comes to data communication and device monitoring. It’s all included in the overall package,” explains Christoph Grün from SMIGHT. During a pilot project in the fall of 2020, Fellbach was able to see the reliability of the system for itself and has now decided to roll it out across the board over three years. The aim of systematic data collection is to obtain a meaningful overall picture of the network status. This will make it possible to know in good time where the network needs to be expanded and where it may be sufficient to intervene.

“I am convinced that we are taking a huge step forward with SMIGHT Grid to better understand our grid and prepare ourselves for the future. Now we can actually see what is happening in our grid and can react appropriately,” says Gerhard Ammon and adds: “In an urban distribution grid in particular, it is important to make optimum use of the existing infrastructure. With SMIGHT Grid, we have the ideal tools for this.” Stadtwerke Fellbach has been one of the major drivers of the energy transition in the Stuttgart region for years. With the digital view into the distribution grid, they are now creating important conditions for a climate-friendly energy and transport transition.

*** joint press release Stadtwerke Fellbach & SMIGHT***

Photo: Installation of SMIGHT Grid in a local network station in Fellbach. Source: Stadtwerke Fellbach/Peter Hartung