EnergyVille (Genk) and Homelab (Ghent) support launch of smart applications


Together with EnergyVille, Ghent University and imec, the utility company Fluvius launches two new labs for digital energy meters at the campus of EnergyVille in Genk and in the HomeLab of imec and Ghent University in Ghent. Enterprises working on Smart Home systems or apps for digital meters, which will be implemented in Flanders starting in January 2019, can now test innovative applications in real life conditions in the labs. Tests include an extensive variety of home applications ranging from user notifications to smart control of electric boilers, heat pump boilers, charging stations and batteries in combination with solar panels.

On 1 January 2019 the official rollout of the new digital energy meter will start in Flanders. From that day onwards Fluvius (formerly known as Eandis as Infrax) will no longer install mechanical energy meters with turntables. As previously introduced, the new meter contains two digital user ports which can be connected to smart applications (apps, displays, smart thermostats). These provide a better and more detailed insight in the energy use and and make it possible to control smart appliances more adequately.

Practically every home situation can now be simulated both in Ghent and Genk. Energy suppliers and technology developers active in Flanders, can now test practically every energy innovation with digital meters in real life conditions. This includes specific representations of the energy use in a building, controlling smart domestic appliances, but also applications utilizing the energy generated in solar panels as efficiently as possible.

Important for the support of new applications

Walter Van den Bossche, Chief Executive of Fluvius, is satisfied with the cooperation:

“Fluvius is actively preparing the implementation of the digital meter. A successful start of the digital meter, however, depends on how the digital meter can be precisely applied to save energy or to increase a consumer’s comfort. Apps, displays and appliances linked to the digital meter will be of high importance. We are therefore very happy to work together with all partners and support the development of new applications for the digital meter.”

Koen Vanthournout, energy expert at EnergyVille/VITO shares this excitement:

“The digital meter offers new opportunities to reduce our energy use and integrate more renewable energy production itno our electricity grid. We’re looking forward to welcome some of the first Flemish digital meters in our labs and integrate them in our research. Companies looking for opportunities to develop new applications for the digital meter are more than welcome to make use of our lab facilities and our expertise. Together we wish to introduce new smart home systems and –solutions which form an improvement for home owners and society in general.”

Matthias Strobbe, researcher at imec:

“The digital meter is an important addition to the existing technology in the HomeLab, a test and co-innovative environment for researchers and companies to test innovations in IoT in real life conditions and together with the end users. Energy services making use of data acquired by the digital meter can be validated by means of het energy measurement equipment. Furthermore, the combination of energy data and data from other sensors present (e.g. presence of inhabitants, air quality) makes it possible to go beyond energy such as for example recognizing activities as input for comfort or entertainment services or detecting abnormal behavior patterns for safety or health applications.”

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