BKW FMB Energy Ltd.

Predictive analytics helps optimize the power flow giving energy supplier the potential to revolutionize home water heating

Published on 18-Jul-2013

"The iSmart Boiler Flex solution creates new value add services for customers by optimizing their power bills, and for us by lowering the cost of power distribution through intelligent-demand side management." - Daniel Berner, BKW FMB Energy Ltd.

Customer:
BKW FMB Energy Ltd.

Industry:
Energy & Utilities

Deployment country:
Switzerland

Solution:
IBM Research, Industry Framework , Smarter Planet

IBM Business Partner:
Landis + Gyr

Overview

BKW FMB Energy Ltd. (BKW) provides power generation, transmission and distribution to nearly one million households and companies in northwestern Switzerland. Located in Bern, the company was founded in 1898 and employs approximately 2,800 people.

Business need:
The company wanted to investigate how using domestic water heaters as buffers between the distributor and the grid could help it manage the irregular influx of renewable energy resources.

Solution:
BKW piloted its iSmart Boiler Flex solution that uses predictive analytics to optimize power transfer from the grid to the heater based on a complex set of variables including energy-use forecast data, the availability of renewable-source energy and electricity pricing predictions.

Benefits:
Enables BKW to use home water heaters as buffers to absorb energy from renewable sources without overwhelming the grid

Case Study

BKW FMB Energy Ltd. (BKW) provides power generation, transmission and distribution to nearly one million households and companies in northwestern Switzerland. Located in Bern, the company was founded in 1898 and employs approximately 2,800 people.

The Opportunity
This Swiss electricity supplier’s strategy is to substantially increase its power production with renewable energies such as water, wind and biomass. According to the National Energy Strategy 2050 all nuclear power production has to be replaced in Switzerland. BKW wanted to explore new demand-side energy-management options. Specifically, the company wanted to investigate how using domestic water heaters as buffers between the distributor and the grid could help it manage the irregular influx of renewable energy resources. To accomplish its goals, BKW sought an automated power management solution.

What Makes It Smarter
The key to demand-side energy management using home water heaters is providing a layer of intelligence between the grid operator and each heater to balance power provisioning and demand. BKW piloted its iSmart Boiler Flex solution that uses predictive analytics to optimize power transfer from the grid to the heater based on a complex set of variables including energy-use forecast data, the availability of renewable-source energy and electricity pricing predictions. When renewable power is available, the heater receives it, and when it is not, the boiler will only heat the water if its temperature drops below a threshold. As more renewable energy sources connect to the grid, the operator consider the expansion of the iSmart Boiler Flex solution to up to 100,000 homes in their supply area creating an entirely new way of managing home water heating, while absorbing an increasing flow of renewable power.

Real Business Results

- Enables BKW to use home water heaters as buffers to absorb energy from renewable sources without overwhelming the grid
- Provides a proof-point that only 1,000 heaters provide a break-even on investment into the demand-response power provision system
- Increases customer loyalty through more interactive customer relationships and lower electricity costs

For More Information
Please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner. Visit us at ibm.com/ilog.

To learn more about BKW FMB Energy Ltd., visit http://www.bkw-fmb.ch/

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
BladeCenter H Chassis, BladeCenter HX5

Software:
DB2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition, IBM ILOG CPLEX

Service:
GBS CRM: Business Intelligence

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America March, 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DB2, ILOG, CPLEX, BladeCenter and Global Business Services® are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml