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FIR e. V. an der RWTH Aachen

Smart Watts

Creation of an energy system of the future in the model region Aachen

The goal of Smart Watts was to optimize the complete energy value chain from generation, trading, distribution to consumption by enhancing it with energy related information.


The energy sector is currently undergoing a massive transformation targeting a modernized energy system. Liberalization has led to increased competition in some parts of the industry, but inefficiencies still exist especially with regards to production and supply of electrical power. Unbundling has separated previously integrated companies and broken up existing information chains, which negatively impacted the efficiency of many processes in the energy sector.

The Smart Watts Project

The potential to improve energy efficiency is estimated to be large. Promising approaches have emerged in the last years and need to be developed further. One of the remaining problem areas are inefficient organizational structures and related information logistics. The Smart Watts project aimed at improving information logistics by introducing modern ICT solutions that support the german energy policy.

German energy policy
German energy policy

Smart Watts targeted an end-to-end optimization integrating generation of renewable energies with intelligent housekeeping, where washing machines run when electricity is cheap. This optimization should enable balancing of demand and supply.

Goals of the Smart Watts project
Goals of the Smart Watts project

The key concept was the vision of an “intelligent kilowatt hour” which should be achieved by enhancing energy with information e.g. about price or origin. This additional information should open up the potential for new products and services. The concept of “intelligent kilowatt hour” is already used in smart meters and provides users with a near real-time experience of their energy consumption patterns. Smart Watts provided the possibility to enhance smart meters with additional information about the supply side and thus enable a balancing of demand and supply.

Smart Watts at a glance

Key concept was the intelligent kilowatt hour: Energy should be enhanced with information about quality and price.

Main work areas:

  • “intelligent kilowatt hour”: energy should be enhanced with information, e.g. about price and origin
  • Design the Internet of energy, which should link the different stakeholders of the energy system
  • Standardization and automation of interface processes.
  • Use of Information as a production factor along the complete value chain. Improved self-control of the energy system through decentralized control loops at supply level.

Elements of Innovation

Smart Watts aimed at developing solutions for an efficient energy system to support future energy requirements. The consortium of project partners included experts from the areas energy and IT and developed an exemplary solution, which can be used in a broad range of practical applications.

Elements of Innovation
Elements of Innovation

Smart Architecture – The Internet of Energy

Goal of the subproject conducted by FIR was to optimize the interactions between different market roles and system elements. Core of the architecture was the Internet of Energy that provided a communication platform, which integrated different market roles and system elements into a larger context.

Internet of Energy
Internet of Energy

In this respect the Internet of Energy can be viewed as base for simple and efficient data transfer in the energy sector. It improves the electronic handling of business processes significantly. The Smart architecture provided standardized communication as well as process automation. The following focus areas had been identified:

  • Unique identification of elements and actors in the energy sector
  • Data security
  • Neutral operation
  • Generic, flexible communication
  • Standardized interfaces
  • Support of flexible business processes

Project Partner

This Project is/was processed within the following Trades:

  • Electrical, Precision and optical Engineering
  • Energy and Water Supply, Disposal
  • IT, Software and Internet
  • Other Services

Classification within the thematic Landscape of the FIR

  • Topic Areas:
    Service Management - Information Management - Production Management
  • Research Focuses:
    Information Logistics - Information Technology Management

Project Duration

01.12.2008 - 30.06.2013

Project Number

01 ME 08015

Research Funding Organisation

Logo of the Research Funding Organisation Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)

Project Management Organisation

Logo of the Project Management Organisation Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V. (DLR)

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V. (DLR)

Homepage belonging to the Project


Pursuing Link

Homepage of the Project "E-Energy"

(c) 2009-2015 Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen University   -   www.fir.rwth-aachen.de