You are one of the only companies, if not the only one, to develop a “Smart Grid” solution for multi-fluid smart metering, what are the innovative and differentiating points of your solution?
Currently, national customers are equipped with either mechanical meters or electronic meters for the distribution of electricity. These meters only measure consumption and require manual intervention to recover data for billing, repowering or in the event of a power failure.
With the Smart Grid, the computerized system manages the complete production-consumption cycle. This means: saving energy and money, real-time remote meter reading, reading consumption automatically and remotely, revenue management practices, integration of renewable energies, storage, active participation of consumers and a significant reduction in CO2. The VERTPOM solution offered by CIAC INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES is distinguished by its innovative aspects compared to existing solutions on the market: A single network, a cyber-secure system (IBox) to manage all the production and consumption of fluids on each reporting point:
- Connects and transmits all data from other fluids
- Communicates through two variants on the PLC/powerline:
- Natively: at low frequency CENELEC A- BPSK modulation: ETSI standard (European Telecom Standard Institute) open OSGP (Open Smart Grid Protocol)
- Or: in other OFDM multi modulation frequency: G3 PLC standard and certification
• Production metering: Renewable energies and Co/ Sorting/Micro-generation
• Consumption management: Electricity, water, gas, others…
All data flows pass only through the IBox counter to be processed by the central computer system managing the entire design.
The implementation of this type of solution is generally expensive and the returns on investment are difficult to quantify, what is your approach?
VERTPOM® is a modular multi-fluid or mono-fluid solution based on a network in line with the objectives and the context of use. It has financial advantages on several aspects:
- Sustainable collaboration within the framework of an Innovation Partnership
- Pre-financing formula for equipment (CAPEX), and monthly fee solution for all supplies and services
- Significant reduction in operating costs (OPEX)
How? With the Technical-Financial Simulator: Decision-making tool providing, for different VERTPOM modules, a precise Cost-Savings / Benefits – ROI assessment:
The advantages of the Innovation Partnership Contract:
- A global cost of the project: design, manufacture, supply, assistance, technical management, services, after-sales service and warranty.
- Shorter lead times: Disappearance of “stop and go” phenomena linked to budgetary contingencies thanks to contractualization.
- Pre-financing allows faster launch of the project
- The competitive dialogue (unlike the Call for Tenders) allows to get the most innovation and creativity out of the private sector
What are your current references and your future projects?
Below are the technical references of CIAC IT:
These references allow us today to open up the energy transition market – zero net energy territory -, especially with local authorities and managers of European and global networks. After our implementation in Hauts de France, several French regions and municipalities have shown their interest in VERTPOM®: the cities of Amiens, Lille, the regions of Nouvelle Aquitaine and Occitania. We also presented our offer in Switzerland and Belgium as well as in MENA countries (Middle East and North Africa).
The mastery of such solutions doesn’t come naturally, how do you address the question of training for your customers?
Internet Data energy management system: The management tool (IDems ®).
We have implemented dynamic training with particularly innovative and fun educational tools. We provide part of our training thanks to virtual reality! This method makes it possible to create engagement, develop performance and facilitate the integration of these new solutions.
- Firstly, a real situation is described, such as an unexpected loss of power. Information is better memorized in the long term when it is linked to a concrete situation. By introducing each function with a real situation, the information “sticks” more effectively.
- Secondly, the IDems® screen is displayed with a procedure to resolve the situation. This procedure directly links the management requirements / needs of energy distributors / suppliers to the IDems® tool.
- Finally, a description of other related functions is provided. This adds additional information which may be useful even if it might not seem obvious at first..
The information can be presented in the form of a question. More complex use cases have also been planned, such as increasing electrical power in anticipation of higher consumption or even switching to prepayment. A user-friendly menu allows you to go from the scale of apartments, individual houses to the scale of the entire city. A message describes the different options.
How do these solutions fit into the Energy and Climate plans of our territories? How can your platform “VERTPOM BANK”, which collects data, also be a management tool?
The efficient energy management of a territory is the result of the optimization of the purchase / storage / consumption cycle of the different energies present in the territory. For these reasons and with a view to efficient energy management, any manager of national and foreign distribution networks (DSOs) needs:
- A baseline analysis or inventory of consumption, means of distribution and energies available in the territory.
- A generic tool for processing information specific to the territory and independent of the technologies used (meters / sensors, energy storage, etc.).
- To have an arbitration system between traditional and renewable energies.
- End-to-end cyber-security and data protection.
- The replicability of the mutualisation of this tool to other territories.
To do this, VERTPOM® developed and deployed a VERTPOM-BANK® decision support tool called energy bank.
It is the technical and financial energy management tool of the VERTPOM® offer.
VERTPOM-BANK® will maintain an optimized balance between the energy available from production (conventional and renewable energy) with regard to uses (consumption and losses), in conjunction with energy storage means. Consisting of a set of algorithms for predicting and simulating the levels of energy production, consumption and losses on the various distribution systems, it operates a common database (Big Data). The use of artificial intelligence is preferred (machine learning, deep learning). The energy bank will simulate all possible scenarios allowing a positive production/use balance, while identifying the renewable energies specific to the territory.
VERTPOM-BANK® contributes to these objectives by offering different functionalities:
- The needs according to all the parameters available in the territory: climatology, scheduled events, etc.
- Consumption and injections
- The best decisions regarding consumption priorities among conventional, renewable and stored energies
- Local production from renewable energies and energy storage
- Taking into account self-consumption
- Estimating the purchase / sale prices
- Optimizing peak consumption and interacting intelligently with the consumer-player (customer portal)
- Enabling the deployment of new services: E-mobility with the “WATT PARK” intelligent charging station for Electric Vehicles (EVs), which turns needs into assets.
- Contributing to the implementation and control of flexibilities: demand management, dynamic rates, etc.
- Informing customers, distributors/suppliers and other market players and ensuring network safety and stability.
What are your ambitions in France and abroad in the coming years?
Our key issues and challenges for France and abroad:
- Becoming a key player in all segments of the smart city and communities, and an essential partner
- Promoting our economic models to finance the Positive Territory,
- Promoting territorial data (Big Data) by our VERTPOM-BANK® Energy Bank
- Guaranteeing the safety of digital infrastructures and data
- Making all of our solutions available to local players
Europe is experiencing a certain revival this year (the parliament and the committee) what are your expectations regarding the environmental policies and the funding that goes with it?
The International Energy Agency – IEA predicts that the share of electricity in the global energy market will increase from 24% in 1970 to 40% in 2020. Faced with growing environmental concerns, the European Union has adopted ambitious objectives, called “3×20”.
– increase the share of renewable energies in the European energy mix to 20%
– reduce EU countries’ CO2 emissions by 20% compared to 1990
– increase energy efficiency by 20%.
Environmental innovations can be held back for regulatory or administrative reasons. Fortunately, the procedure for innovation partnerships with communities has been considerably lightened, but those efforts are not very strong. On the other hand, environmental policies should be based on the idea that environmental innovation and competitiveness are not necessarily dissociated or opposed. Finally, environmental policies should be made even more stimulating to make the incentives to invest in technology stronger. Today, there is a real emergency for the ecological transition and French banks are at the service of a low-carbon, environmental and inclusive economy (Press info – Publication of a “Climate Manifesto” by French banks-November 25, 2019).
Our offer responds to the environmental policies determined and set out in cop 21, hoping that funding will accompany VERTPOM® environmental solutions allowing the creation of positive energy territories.