Living science

Smart energy management

Jan-Simon Telle studied Industrial Engineering for Process and Energy Technology (B.Sc.) and Sustainable Energy Systems (M.Sc.). Today, he works in the Energy Systems Technology Department at the DLR Institute of Networked Energy Systems, as project manager for the energy supply project for commercial real estate EMGIMO. The energy supply project for commercial real estate is intended to integrate electric mobility and CO2-neutral electricity in a network-compatible manner.

Here, he answers six questions about the project, about his tasks and what he looks forward to every morning.

Jan-Simon, what is the EMGIMO project all about?

Jan-Simon Telle: EMGIMO stands for the German project title, which translates as ‘New energy supply concepts for multi-tenant commercial real estate: integrating and managing flexible loads, including electromobility, coupled with innovative, tenant-friendly energy marketing concepts’.

As the title suggests, it is partly about developing energy management that enables the integration of electromobility into commercial property. In addition, it is aimed at achieving a significant increase in the self-supply of power, and thus to markedly improve the carbon balance of individual buildings through the installation of a decentralised source of power generation – in this case, a 99.9-kilowatt peak photovoltaic (PV) system. A transferable model will then be developed on the basis of the project results. During the project, which will run until late 2019, several charging points and a photovoltaic system will be installed in a pilot building in Munich.

The main task of the DLR Institute of Networked Energy Systems in the course of the project is to develop the building blocks for smart energy management in the pilot building. Algorithms for predicting loads and power generation are being developed using machine learning (ML), which is indispensable to integrating electromobility into existing buildings. A high-resolution measuring system will supply data for recording  and identifying individual consumers. All of the hardware and software components will be thoroughly tested in the DLR laboratory before the energy management and supply concept developed by the project consortium go live.
What is your role within the project?
As the project manager for EMGIMO, I have a lot of different tasks. In addition to my administrative responsibilities as project manager – which range from communicating with project partners to drawing up internal and external reports – I am also in charge of implementing the technical objectives of the project. This includes scheduling and workload planning for specific work packages and the technical implementation of sub-goals. This makes for an interesting variety of organisational and scientific work – all with the support of a fantastic project team. One aspect that I particularly enjoy is the sheer range of scientific work, which covers everything from programming machine-learning algorithms to developing measuring systems and evaluating high-resolution measurement data. 

Versatility, early assumption of responsibility - and a small contribution to the energy transition

What is the most unusual/exciting thing about your work?
More than anything, I find the huge diversity of tasks to be the stand-out aspect of my role, while the most exciting thing is the fact that I am able to take on such responsibility even at an early stage in my career. I have learned an incredible amount in the space of less than a year, including how to write interim reports, plan workflows, and I have even acquired technical skills, such as how to develop forecasts based on ML algorithms.

What do you most look forward to when you get to work in the mornings?
First and foremost, I look forward to seeing my colleagues and feeling the great atmosphere across the whole Institute. I enjoy the array of tasks, which include working at my desk and in the laboratory, while giving me the chance to bring my own ideas to fruition within a project. What’s more, I am glad that I can make a small contribution to an important field of the future through my work: the Energy Transition.

Where might your research findings/work be used?
The research project aims to create a transferable concept for the integration of decentralised power generation and electromobility in existing and new commercial real estate. The results are intended to encourage both owners and tenants to make their power supply more carbon-neutral and switch to electric mobility. The ML forecasting algorithms developed by DLR are integrated by the project partners into a product for load management in buildings and help to demonstrate feasibility while creating a transferable, tried-and-tested concept.   

How did you find your way to DLR?
While studying for my master’s degree in 2016, I spent time at the DLR Institute of Networked Energy Systems (which at the time was still NEXT ENERGY) in Oldenburg. Following that, I presented my work at the EU PVSEC 2017 conference in Amsterdam. I then received an offer to join the EMGIMO project.

Thank you very much for the interview, Jan-Simon.

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