Behind the scenes at Greener’s software development
Jasper develops Greener’s software together with a team of six developers. This varies from monitoring software to software to build a temporary smart grid. He gives a glimpse into the software development team, explains how we use technology at Greener and explains which project he would not soon forget.
What is your role at Greener?
“I have been working as a Software Architect at Greener since Greener was founded in 2018. That means that I am responsible for all of Greener’s software development. In practice, our software development consists of three parts. First of all, the IOT part. We ensure that all our batteries and energy meters structure the data – power consumption, power, operating hours, etc. – and that they can communicate with each other. We then use this data for two purposes. First of all, we use this data to create dashboards and reports, for ourselves and our customers. In addition, we use this data to deploy our Energy Management System (EMS). Our EMS ensures that all power sources can be used optimally, with our battery at the center.”
It’s a great feeling to see our software contribute directly to a clients’ CO2 reduction
What makes the Greener EMS special?
“Our EMS can combine data flows from different power assets, for example solar and wind energy, the grid, or a generator. Based on this, our EMS can reason itself how it can save the most CO2. The EMS draws on our data and previous experiences and determines the ideal interplay of power assets based on consumption. In this way we ensure maximum operational security, but also maximum CO2 savings.
An example of a project in which our EMS has led to serious savings was at KAFRA housing in Maasbree. Power had to be supplied here without a mains connection for a new cottage park. Two generators provided the power and our batteries controlled it, based on consumption. This consumption was unstable, because electricity was mainly used as soon as people came home to the houses. The EMS determined the setpoints based on consumption and controlled the entire system. Thanks to our efforts, we were able to reduce the running hours of the generator by 80% and the diesel consumption by 50%, without having to switch manually. ”
What if a customer needs custom software?
“We can solve many of the questions our customers have with our standard EMS, or with a few adjustments to our EMS. Our software is built on a variety of possibilities in energy generation and energy demand. Sometimes, however, a customer’s question is more complex and we write custom code. This is especially the case when multiple batteries are used or multiple types of input are in place.
I am currently working on a custom code for a customer near Paris, where many electric cars need to be charged. Here, a grid connection and a generator are used on the input and two batteries are used as a buffer and peak shaver. In order to make optimal use of the electricity from the grid and battery power and only use the generator when necessary, we had to write some extra software. We can then implement that remotely.”
When does Greener use technology such as AI and machine learning?
“In the software team, we always look for the balance between knowledge from the field and the possibilities offered by technology. Some things rely very much on practical experience and do not necessarily need to be automated or made smarter. However, there are also situations where machine learning is a huge step forward. That is why we use this, for example, to accurately predict power consumption. This is useful in situations where we want to know whether a battery can properly absorb the coming peaks in consumption, or whether it needs to be recharged first. By feeding our software with data from the past and from other projects, the EMS can make predictions about this itself and thus avoid, for example, switching on a generator. ”
Which projects are you most excited about?
“I miss the events sector a lot this year. The diversity of power solutions is large in the events sector and you have very short feedback loops. A lot of things are arranged ad hoc and that makes it possible for us to learn quickly and adapt quickly. For example, we may know the power line up on Monday, write code on Tuesday, test everything on Wednesday and the event starts on Thursday.”
Which project will you not soon forget?
The first time we arranged the power for Awakenings was awesome. We used several batteries there as peak shavers on several generators and it involved serious power peaks. When you see that our batteries and software lead to significant CO2 savings at the main stage, it gives a lot of satisfaction. ”