Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electricity Billing Made Easy

25.01.2016

There are many players in today’s energy markets, including power plants of all sizes as well as network operators, consumers, and power suppliers. A new data hub from Siemens simplifies billing of complex power flows, thus making market access easier for all participants.

In an increasingly complex energy market, Siemens is improving the billing of a wide range of associated business processes. This simplifies the interplay of the electricity market’s many participants, which is necessary because today’s liberalized markets have become extremely complex.


The liberalized electricity market has become very complex due to countless energy producers and distributors. A software platform from Siemens makes the electricity billing easier

Not only can consumers freely choose their suppliers, countless small energy producers are feeding electricity into the lower grid level, which consists of the distribution network. Moreover, large amounts of energy are being transmitted across long distances to demand centers.

Because this electricity generally travels through the grid of an external operator, each use of a grid has to be billed separately. To enable these flows of electricity to be easily and correctly billed, Siemens has now developed Market Transaction Manager, a software application for EnergyIP, its smart grid data platform.

Because most electrical energy isn’t stored, but is almost always immediately consumed, grid operators have to continually forecast expected demand for specific network areas. Operators then supply the predicted amount of energy by purchasing electricity or planning in the electricity from available power plants.

However, if the amount of energy that is actually consumed differs from the quantity forecast, this disparity has to be billed later on. Network losses — which arise every time electricity is transmitted — also have to be correctly estimated.

A Proliferation of Suppliers and Operators

To date, such retroactive billing between individual power suppliers and grid operators has been governed by bilateral agreements. The more players a market has – Germany, for example, has more than 1,000 power suppliers and over 900 network operators – the more complex such retroactive billing becomes. Moreover, meter data isn’t available at all times for every transfer point so that retroactive corrections sometimes have to be made for periods that go back more than one year.

Now, thanks to EnergyIP – essentially a hub or platform for the comprehensive processing of meter data – demand and supply data will be collected, checked, and quickly transmitted to associated players. In addition to providing a uniform pool of basic data, the platform opens the door to the elimination of bilateral agreements between players. Small and new companies thus gain easier access to the market.

The introduction of smart meters, some of which can take readings every 15 minutes, generates huge amounts of data, whose processing would otherwise require every network operator to have its own solution. What’s more, new legislation can be more easily integrated into a centralized platform than in decentralized systems. EnergyIP is expected to play a role in this area.

When Customers Switch to Suppliers

Siemens has now developed Market Transaction Manager (MTM), an application that builds on this platform. This application serves as a data hub for consumers, small producers – “prosumers” – network operators, suppliers, large energy producers, and provides them with the information they need for their business processes.

Take, for example, customers who want to switch their power suppliers. Because this may happen much more often in the future than it does today, such changes will have to occur quickly. That’s where the new data hub can help.

If a participant reports that he will switch his supplier at a certain date, the system first checks whether the new supplier is approved, after which it determines the current meter reading and specifies the date of the switch for the meter that is assigned to the consumer in question. In addition, the system stores the associated history (i.e. which supplier was linked to which meter at a specific time) so that retroactive billing can still be correctly performed for the next few years.

Tracking Meter Readings

Market Transaction Manager can also bill the difference between actual and forecast demand. It adds up the meter readings of all of a supplier’s consumers on a daily basis. But because a specific grid area can contain anywhere from several thousand to millions of meters, there will never be a time when all of the readings are correct. As a result, the missing data has to be estimated on the basis of load profiles.

Once several days have elapsed, a grid area’s data situation will be stable enough to bill its consumption. The MTM then independently corrects all of the readings that are not yet available and regularly supplies this information to market players at the end of the month, for example, so that they can retroactively bill the amounts.

The MTM proceeds in a similar manner to determine network losses (the difference between the energy that is fed into and taken out of a grid). Missing readings are reliably corrected later on if meters only provide readings at long intervals, for example.

Applications in Gas and Water Markets

Additional business processes and players will enter the liberalized electricity market in the future. For example, the market will contain service providers who will purchase electricity on behalf of major consumers in order to optimize the latter’s energy costs. The installation of smart meters in private households will also create additional new business models.

These developments can be flexibly supported and promoted by a centralized data platform that interacts with a data hub that appropriately prepares all of the information for the respective business processes. Moreover, the solution is not restricted to electrical energy, as it can also be used for the gas and water markets, for example. Initial applications already exist. For example, Norway’s state-owned network operator will put the data platform elhub and its associated data hub into operation for business processes in 2017.

Source for the number of network operators and power suppliers in Germany
Norbert Aschenbrenner


Kontakt

Herr Dr Norbert Aschenbrenner

Redaktion

Siemens AG
norbert.aschenbrenner@siemens.com

 
Herr Florian Martini

Pressekontakt

Siemens AG

florian.martini@siemens.com

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens Pictures of the Future

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Nano-scale process may speed arrival of cheaper hi-tech products
09.11.2018 | University of Edinburgh

nachricht Nuclear fusion: wrestling with burning questions on the control of 'burning plasmas'
25.10.2018 | Lehigh University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>