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Watt Connects

Administrators, policy makers and energy experts meet each other at Watt Connects; established by DNV KEMA, Liander and TenneT. This inspiration network and demonstration centre focuses on intelligent energy networks, or in other words: smart grids. A demonstration table is used to give the abstract, smart grid theory a visual form and to reflect practical situations. By experiencing and observing smart grids, decisions can be made based on reality whereby creative solutions arise.
Watt Connects

Demonstration table

Simulation and demonstration table

At Watt Connects at the Energy Business Park Arnhems Buiten, the place to be for companies actively working with energy technology, there is an intelligent simulation table. The table consists of a mega-computer screen surrounded by multiple computer screens. Together, they create a demonstration table that emulates smart grids. “With the table, users can replicate a real situation. We can load in the energy data from a street or even an entire residential area or city,” explains Ria Borst, Program Manager at Watt Connects. We are currently working with data from the smart grid pilot projects due to the sensitivity of private data. Borst sets the table up to replicate a virtual street. Each computer screen represents a household. By adjusting the settings per screen, like the size of a household, energy use, if they have solar panels or not and sun hours then a picture is formed of what this real-life simulation does to the energy network.

Toward a smarter energy network

In the past, all energy was delivered to the consumer by energy companies. Nowadays, more consumers are providing their own energy through the use of, for example, solar panels. “That is a good thing, but in residential areas where there are lots of solar panels then the energy network can sometimes experience problems incorporating the privately generated energy. Then potential malfunctions can arise which can be avoided with intelligent systems,” believes Frits Verheij, Chairperson of the Steering Committee at Watt Connects. Due to the popularity of solar panels and the increasing use of electric cars, bicycles and mopeds, there is growing demand on our energy networks. Energy networks will thus have to learn to be smart with energy. Verheij: “The technology behind smart grids is extremely abstract and often only understandable to experts when it is precisely the administrators and policy makers that want to know how it works. If people from various disciplines and backgrounds inspire each other then creative solutions can arise.” Ambitions Besides a demonstration centre, Watt Connects is primarily also a meeting place. There is growing interest, also outside of the region and abroad, for the activities at Watt Connects. “Rental of the table is going well and the network drinks are well attended”, says Borst. Watt Connects has international ambitions. Borst: “Our concept works like a magnet. With regard to smart grids, we aim to be the (inter) national point of contact.”

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