Swiss network operator EKZ to deploy G3-PLC-based load control

Swiss network operator EKZ to deploy G3-PLC-based load control
Image: G3-Alliance

The G3-Alliance has reported EKZ’s installation of a next generation load control system in its OrtsNetz project.

The new system uses G3-PLC communication between gateways installed at transformer stations and load control devices installed in customer premises to control endpoints including heat pumps, boilers and electric vehicles.

The load control system functions concurrently with the existing G3-PLC enabled AMI rollout.

The G3-PLC coordinator, the nBox-SG at the transformer station, which is supplied by the Swiss connectivity solutions provider Neuron, multiplexes both metering and load control traffic towards their respective backend-systems.

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The load control devices are managed through machine-learning algorithms, which were developed by researchers at ETH Zurich.

This AI/ML logic is hosted in a software container within Neuron’s G3-PLC device and can take load switching decisions based on a variety of locally collected and remotely supplied information.

“We are excited to see this novel application of G3-PLC realising multiple smart grid functions, namely metering and load control,” said Leon Vergeer, general secretary of the G3-Alliance.

“Efficient integration of renewable energies requires real-time control and I am sure this application will find additional adopters in various markets.”

The OrtsNetz project, which was started in October 2021 and runs for four years, is aimed to address consumer energy behaviour in a local energy market in order to manage and reduce peak demand.

It involves approximately 500 Zurich households with other facets including the design and testing of incentives and dynamic tariffs in order to inform regulation and other aspects of Switzerland’s future electricity system.

The project is being supported by the Swiss Federal Ministry of Energy.

EKZ is one of Switzerland’s largest energy suppliers, supplying electricity to approximately 1 million people in the canton of Zurich.

The company also was one of the first in Switzerland to introduce smart meters back in 2013 and currently has more than 210,000 smart meters in its network.