Smart grids for the houses of the future


HA_NL_WHIRLPOOLAt Brescia, in Italy, the future is already reality. Twenty families residing in the Violino village have been living for some days in that “smart city” that has its foundations in grid services and its backbone in a technological chain made of connections, energy resource management and state-of-the-art household appliances. For these families, it has in fact started the experimental phase of Smart Domo Grid, the research and development project on real scale that intends to assess the benefits of smart electrical grids and of the programmes for a more rational energy use on domestic utilities with demand/response functions. Smart Domo Grid, implemented with the funds allocated by the Ministry of Economic Development, has the following partners: A2A Reti Elettriche SpA the leader subject, Milan Polytechnics (Energy Department) and  Whirlpool Europe srl. The Brescia one is one of the most complete projects of the electrical grid evolution and of customer awareness implemented until now in Italy, due to the dimensions and the number and the typology of involved players: A2A Reti Elettriche SpA is in fact a reference company for the electrical energy distribution in North Italy and in the last months it took care of implementing the smart logics on the electrical grid and of selecting and involving twenty families concerned by the project; the Milan Polytechnics has developed a device to improve the overall quality of the electrical energy, able to face temporary cut-offs of the grid power supply; Whirlpool supplies the prototypes of the connected models that it will launch next year on the European market. The houses of each family already provided with a photovoltaic plant and internet connection have been equipped with state-of-art electronic meters, have already received two state-of-art smart household appliances (refrigerator and dishwasher) and they will receive a third one (washing machine) immediately after the Summer holidays, and a tablet for the remote control on which runs an APP of an Energy Management system for the monitoring and the smart management of electrical consumptions and of household appliances. The choice has fallen on these three household appliances because deemed more significant, in the light of their continuative use. The strong points of the project are the possibility of planning the appliance operation in the most convenient hours, the active participation for the best operation of the electrical grid, receiving useful information and suggestions, directly sent to the tablet, to manage overloads, the possibility of monitoring the historical records of one’s own consumptions and of photovoltaic productions by means of a web application made available by A2A Reti Elettriche.