Energo Labs : Manila Campus Microgrid Project
This project is in collaboration with a local energy company and a university campus. It involves energy accounting in a campus microgrid made of three buildings with a 2kW rooftop solar system installed. All three buildings are connected to each other while also being connected to a substation that supplies electricity from the main grid. Smart meters are connected on every building in the microgrid. The Energo app is built on blockchain technology for security and asset management.
The primary goal of the project is to enable the university to decrease their electricity bill as a whole, while enabling the building with the solar panel to make money from any excess clean energy that it can supply to the other buildings in the microgrid. The building with the solar panel first consumes the solar energy being produced; any excess solar energy then follows the laws of physics and goes to the path of least resistance. To determine how much each building owes for electricity bill at the end of the month, the building administrator bids for clean energy on the Energo app, and the winning bid is assumed to have received all the clean energy, so their electricity bill at the end of the month reflects how much clean energy they used, at what price, and consequently how much public grid electricity they used. The concept is winner takes all and thus pays a price lower overall.
Currently, the project is in its final stages with all the hardware and electrical equipment in place and the final version of the app being developed. The app to buy and sell energy is under testing right now and will be ready for a demo of energy transactions by mid-November. After it is deployed, the project will undergo beta testing for user experience.
What problem are you trying to solve? Who has this problem?
The main goal of the project is to lower the university’s monthly electricity bill while allowing the building with the solar panel to make money from any excess clean energy not consumed by the producer. The amount of money saved on the utility bill can be used to predict how many more solar panels will have to be installed to have a significant effect on cost.
Currently, the university gets electricity from the campus sub-station connected to the public grid; the university administration pays the monthly bill and the different university departments then pay the administration back based on their individual consumptions. The university wants to install a solar panel to lower utility cost, but it is difficult to determine who uses the clean energy produced and in what amounts. Therefore, our solution provides a mechanism for energy accounting that determine who pays for the clean energy, allowing the producer to receive money for any excess energy produced. While the winner of the bidding process may not have consumed the clean energy, our solution holds someone accountable for the clean energy consumed in the microgrid.
The project was launched in a campus setting to give rise to other opportunities including research related to microgrids, energy efficiency, and blockchain technology, as well as internship opportunities for interested students which allows the project to provide benefits in academia. The campus microgrid also sets a precedent for blockchain technology being used in a microgrid without a storage system, emphasizing the fact that solar energy can be used with blockchain to enable energy accounting without the need for expensive electrical infrastructure without storage.
Moreover, this solution allows the campus to decrease the amount of electricity they get from the utility and predict how many more solar systems to install to significantly impact their electricity cost and/or to make more money from the solar energy produced. The project also has several areas of growth, from getting electrical infrastructure necessary for real-time peer-to-peer energy trading to the involvement of smart contracts that can stop price volatility, which will be pursued after the first phase of the project is over.
The target audience for this project are locals in Philippines as the price of electricity there is quite expensive and this project proves that even a 2kW solar system can lower the monthly electricity bill.
Energo Labs provides a software solution to the problem of who pays for the clean energy being used in the microgrid. While the electrical infrastructure does not control who consumes the clean energy, our solution allows the three buildings in the microgrid to bid for clean energy on the digital level; the winning bid is automatically assumed to have consumed the clean energy and thus pays a lower cost at the end of the month as the other bidders pay the public utility price. Therefore, it allows users to consume clean energy while choosing if lowering their electricity bill is a priority this month, providing incentive to place a higher bid. The use of blockchain technology also ensures that the amount of energy consumed by each building and the bids of each building are recorded safely and cannot be changed, resulting in increased transparency and secure accounting. This solution provides for the need of microgrid operators by addressing their problem without asking them to acquire expensive electrical infrastructure, and in the long term allows users to see that their electricity bills can be significantly lowered if they bid for clean energy.
Blockchain for energy accounting.
The integration of blockchain into en...
Provides modern energy access to 3 households.
Allows university to lower electricity bills, allows producer to make money from their energy and use it for academics, creates research and internship opportunities for students.
KaiKai Yang, CEO of Energo Labs
Kelvin Chen, Product Manager
Lathika Chandra Mouli, Project Leader