Completed project: Software-based real-time grid control

The image shows electrical impulses within a network.

A novel method for the real-time management of electricity flows within distribution grids and microgrids with renewable energy sources was developed.

Under the leadership of Prof. Jean-Yves Le Boudec, the research team from the Computer Communications and Applications Laboratory of the Ecole polytechnique fédérale Lausanne (EPFL) generated the following results:

  • A composable method for the real-time management of power flows using software agents was developed. The method was evaluated, patented and prototyped on a real-scale operating grid. It integrates heterogeneous electric resources in the distribution grid: PVs, batteries, fuel cells, heat pumps, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations while maintaining quality of service and providing support to the main grid.
  • A method to manage energy consumption in a building and connected devices in order to provide energy storage services simultaneously at a broad range of time-scales was developed and demonstrated. A study recommending optimal designs for the Swiss building stock to maximise the resulting benefit to the grid has been published.
  • A novel distributed energy storage solution, the Multiport Energy Gateway (MEG), was developed, which enables the distribution of electrical energy storage elements among several smaller units. Compared to large-scale bulk storage solutions this simplifies maintenance of the system and increases its flexibility, while simultaneously making it easier to recycle, upgrade and modify.

To facilitate the direct practical transfer of these findings, the company GridSteer (( was founded as a spin-off of the EPFL.