Device-specific APIs for efficient energy management

Smart home energy management needs energy IoT solutions that link the electricity, heating and e-mobility sectors in the home. Home energy management systems (HEMS) are only effective if they work across manufacturers. In addition, there is a growing demand for individual solutions that can manage the numerous decentralized energy systems. This blog article looks at the interfaces (APIs) developed by Kiwigrid and explains how they both guarantee independence from manufacturers and enable customized solutions for each customer. 

The transition toward decentralized energy generation and the electrification of the heating and mobility sectors has led to increasing numbers of companies participating in the energy market. Successful scaling is only possible for these companies if the entire ecosystem of energy services is covered. To do this, different classes of devices from the heat, power and mobility sectors must be offered and coupled with one another through a HEMS, saving energy and costs.

Device-specific and cross-vendor APIs 

Companies that want to develop their own energy management applications and custom energy management software need an energy IoT platform that enables the coupling of different end devices. With KiwiOS X, Kiwigrid has developed a stable and secure platform founded on over ten years of experience in sector coupling. Building on KiwiOS X, companies can use it to bring customized energy management applications to market in the shortest possible time. KiwiOS X unlocks the ability to connect and link energy devices in the field, as well as process and store data in the cloud. All that is needed for this are APIs. 

What exactly are APIs? An API (Application Programming Interface) is to a programmer what the menu in a restaurant is to a customer who wants to interact with the kitchen: Instead of explaining to the waiter in many sentences what their order should consist of, the customer simply tells the waiter the name or number of the dish. The same goes for an API: A programmer does not know the specifics of implementing a service (preparing the food), only the interface for getting results (the completed dish at the restaurant). The menu is therefore the interface between the external customers and the internal kitchen. 

Kiwigrid has developed device-specific APIs for its customers. These are independent of device manufacturers and protocols. They are tailored to domains and each form a bracket around several device classes such as inverters, electricity storage, EV chargers, heat pumps and meters. As a result, the optimized interface hides the complexity of connectivity and enables simple retrieval of data.

Not one API for everything 

Before coupling multiple sectors, energy solution providers often want to start by connecting a single sector. Kiwigrid's solutions make this simple. The KiwiOS X platform provides separate interfaces for the heat, mobility, and electricity sectors. This allows the separate integration of different sectors and distinguishes the Kiwigrid APIs from other providers that offer one API for everything. The advantage: companies only pay for those APIs whose device domains are actually connected in the field. This device-specific pay-per-use principle is only implementable with a mixed API across all device classes and requires a great deal of effort. By starting with one sector, Kiwigrid's customers can then flexibly connect further sectors and link them together.

Two-way data transfer 

Today, APIs already provide information from various devices on a large scale. A gateway in the field uses the hardware interfaces to collect status and performance values. Users can monitor these values in real time or analyze them retrospectively. This data can be displayed, for example, in time series in an application designed by the customer. Based on the data, users can make decisions and execute their own function commands using the powerful gateway. As an interface between the energy systems and the platform, a gateway such as the Energy Manager VoyagerX enables both the receiving (e.g. for visualization in an app) and the sending of data (e.g. for smart management of an EV charger).

The ongoing development of the APIs will further expand the functionality of the interfaces. In the future, APIs will be available a) for intelligent analysis and b) for optimizing energy production and consumption. These APIs will make self-sufficiency and self-consumption values immediately retrievable and will offer, for example, PV performance predictions based on the weather forecast. The result, thanks to these interfaces, will be automatic energy optimization as well as the use of smart tariffs and flexibilities. This makes home energy management even more effective.

Customized applications 

KiwiOS X provides companies with a kit to develop customized applications independently and quickly. Thanks to the standardized open API software architecture, the operating system can be easily integrated with adjacent systems.  

Kiwigrid's customers can build and launch custom energy applications using the APIs - and will always benefit from the robustness and security of the KiwiOS X platform. Customers only pay for the data usage of devices that are actually installed and linked. New devices can be added effortlessly at any time. This means customers can focus on scaling their business - and Kiwigrid's APIs will easily scale with them.


Are you interested in a customized PaaS solution with device-specific and cross-manufacturer APIs? Check our KiwiOS X landing page!