Since wind and solar energy is not always available, all too frequently we must rely on traditional and expensive sources of electricity. Smart appliances can help us make maximum use of green energy at the moment it is being produced. By focusing on this innovation, VITO is contributing to meeting the guidelines of the European Third Energy Directive.
Our demand for energy remains the same on cloudy or wind still days. Consequently, it is still necessary to supplement the green energy supply with traditional energy. The European Third Electricity Directive (2009) aims to transfer demand as much as possible to times when electricity is abundantly available and therefore inexpensive, such as on sunny or windy days. In practice, this has already led to the development of smart devices that operate semi-autonomously and consume electricity at the most favourable moments. Such devices are not yet available on the market, but the initial results are promising.
EnergyVille developed a smart water heater controlled by self-learning algorithms. The device uses these algorithms to register the user's consumption pattern. Then based on expected water consumption and the price of electricity, the appliance itself decides when and for how long it will run. EnergyVille is presently examining how these smart algorithms can also be used to manage other household appliances.