KiwiOS X: Why a versatile energy IoT platform is the key to a successful energy transition in the home
The rapid expansion of renewable energies, combined with digitalization, is leading to a change in value creation within the energy market. A linear value chain with a one-way flow of energy from central energy producers to end customers has become a highly digitized energy system that places end customers at the center of value creation. The modern energy market is no longer just about the distribution and provision of energy but also the production, logistics and installation of hardware components such as PV systems, heat pumps and EV chargers. Digital platforms enable all these devices to connect with each other.
Therefore, the home is becoming a major player in the energy transition, supporting numerous new business models. A cross-sector, robust and scalable energy IoT platform is needed to tap into this market. Kiwigrid's KiwiOS X platform is the ticket for anyone who wants to participate in the rapidly growing renewable energy market.
The growing market for renewable energy in the home
More than 100 million single and two-family homes in Western and Northern Europe, as well as hundreds of millions more worldwide, will contribute to the energy transition over the next 30 years. If 100 million private households invest €80,000 in PV systems, energy storage, EVs and heat pumps – all with an average lifespan of 20 years – and if average annual residual electricity costs and revenues from flexibility trading amount to €2,000 per year over the same period, the one-off purchase costs for hardware will result in a market worth €8 trillion. Additionally, the ongoing revenues will result in a market worth €4 trillion, which means that the energy transition in private households will represent a €12 trillion market1 in total.
While mainly hardware manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and installation companies are currently benefiting from the surge in demand for PV, heat pumps, storage systems and EVs, only companies that offer their customers holistic, cross-sector and complete solutions will be viable in the long run. As system integrators, these businesses are experts in PV, electricity and heat. They understand the importance of digitization and customer centricity and set up all processes accordingly in a way that is both mass scalable and easy to use.
The energy market has numerous participants who either provide (supply) or purchase (demand) energy solutions. On the supply side, there are energy suppliers, hardware OEMs, complete system providers and installation companies. On the demand end, there are end customers, aggregators, network operators and balance responsible parties. Of all building types, the home is currently at the center of the modern energy market. As there are no complex ownership structures, investment decisions in decentralized energy solutions can be made and implemented quickly and easily.
The home as the center of our planet's largest platform
In private homes, heating and cooling, energy generation and storage, and mobility come together. PV systems are installed on roofs, EV chargers power EVs with self-generated electricity in garages, while heat pumps provide energy-efficient comfort all year round. The system is supported by home energy storage units.
These energy devices already generate added value for the end customer, though they unleash much greater potential when connected to other devices. For example, a PV system can be connected to an energy storage device to store solar energy for sunless hours. A heat pump can also be operated with solar energy generated by the PV system. These links between devices open numerous new business models. The pure hardware market can be transformed into a service market. For end customers, this development means that they will no longer have to purchase each individual hardware component along with the necessary contracts and software services. Instead, they will be able to buy combined packages that support the intelligent connection of their energy devices. This requires an energy IoT platform with software capable of facilitating the complex connectivity of the numerous market players and their hardware solutions.
Requirements for an energy IoT platform
It is not enough to install a single gateway to generate convincing added value for end customers. In some cases, homeowners invest tens of thousands of euros in energy devices and expect competent and versatile energy management in return.
To ensure this, the software solutions offered to end customers should be built on a robust energy IoT platform that meets the following requirements:
- Easily maintainable
Kiwigrid is already processing over seven billion data points daily from more than 220,000 connected energy devices in 16 European countries, ensuring a platform availability of at least 99.5 %.
KiwiOS X, our operating system for renewable energy, uses specific APIs tailored to the device classes PV inverters, electricity storage, EV chargers, heat pumps and meters, regardless of device manufacturers and protocols. In the future, additional APIs will also connect smart tariffs and flexibilities. While specific APIs allow the modular implementation of solutions, the standardized, open API software architecture enables easy integration with adjacent systems.
KiwiOS X proves its everyday suitability by interacting with our energy management gateway VoyagerX, which collects data points in the field and delivers them to the platform. As installation capacities are limited due to the shortage of skilled workers and rapidly increasing demand, installation must be as straightforward and fast as possible. The Energy Manager VoyagerX handles both of these tasks.
KiwiOS X was fully migrated to the Google Cloud at the end of last year and uses Google Cloud services that comply with the C5 standard issued by the German Federal Office for Information Security. Kiwigrid's information security management system is also certified to the international ISO/IEC 27001 standard.
An enormous complexity becomes easily accessible for companies
The boundaries between formerly different sectors are becoming increasingly blurred: the solar, electricity, heat, mobility and IT sectors are increasingly converging. This convergence presents all market participants with the major challenge of adapting to a new market while generating value for their end customers.
Many providers are still new to the energy market and are neither familiar with regulations nor existing software solutions. Therefore, the enormous complexity of an energy IoT platform is impossible to accomplish by individual energy market players alone. For this reason, Kiwigrid has focused on developing a platform that enables companies to connect various devices and systems without having to design their own software.
Do you share our vision of bringing energy optimization, self-sufficiency and sector coupling to homes in a user-friendly way and on a large scale? Follow us on LinkedIn!