The issue of using energy in a sustainable manner is one that occupies many home owners. New, decentralised sources of energy, such as solar collectors, power stores and consumers like electric cars, have to be effectively integrated into an overall energy concept. This calls for the expertise of the grid operator and other energy service providers.
As an energy service provider and reliable partner for all energy-related issues, EWZ has set itself the goal of creating a sustainable future for energy and offers its customers innovative products and business models in this area. For this reason, the company, which is the energy supplier for the city of Zurich, invests in a wide range of research and development projects, particularly in renewable energy production and intelligent energy supply systems. To get to the bottom of the question of the best way to control energy consumption in private households, EWZ made plans for comprehensive energy monitoring and analysis so that, in a second step, it could offer an “Energy advice service for home owners” as part of its customer service.
According to the plans, the first stage of this project was to conduct a Proof of Value to examine the feasibility and functionality of the plans and to get to know the technical environment. For its a technical partner and consultant, EWZ opted for Trivadis, who had already successfully implemented several IoT projects in Switzerland. “EWZ wanted to find out what benefits could be generated from an Azure-based solution. The data collected serves as a basis for the intelligent, fact-based development of the infrastructure that will later form the foundation of an IoT platform for optimising private energy consumption”, summarises Nihad Beganovic, Key Account Manager at Trivadis.
During a workshop at the beginning of the working relationship, the scenarios and objectives for the Proof of Value were set out by both parties and then refined in more detail. Together, the two companies defined aspects like application cases, interfaces and devices. Trivadis’s Internet of Things (IoT) Gate forms the technical basis of the project. The scalable, standardised and high-performance IoT platform developed by Trivadis is based on Microsoft Azure. It enables data to be recorded from a wide array of sensors and measurement devices, processed in real time, and checked, before the right resulting actions can be identified on the basis of the information. Once analysed, the pre-agreed scenarios are mapped with Microsoft Power BI. In addition to the technical implementation, customised training also plays a decisive role. To prepare the employees involved for the tasks ahead, they received an introductory training session on the entire Azure stack and Trivadis IoT Gate.
Thanks to the Proof of Value, EWZ was able to familiarise itself with the Azure environment, Trivadis IoT Gate and data processing in Microsoft Azure Cloud. This combination offers benefits when using Cloud services on the Microsoft Cloud and provides cost-effective and modern infrastructure. It offers a high level of availability and reliability, and enables EWZ to respond flexibly and quickly to changing requirements and new application cases. Based on the results of the Proof of Value, EWZ is now in a position to better evaluate its IoT projects and plan the further extension and conversion of its Cloud IT infrastructure. Benefits are easier to assess and return-on-investment analyses are now simpler.
EWZ is one of the ten highest-revenue energy service providers in Switzerland and supplies power to the City of Zurich and parts of the Canton of Grisons. Approximately 1,200 employees, around 100 of whom are based in Grisons, work on behalf of around 220,000 customers. Furthermore, EWZ is also responsible for public lighting systems and public clocks in the City of Zurich. EWZ trains around 40 apprentices in 13 different roles every year.