Integral Resource Optimization Network Study

A robust, distributed control network for optimizing the resource "electrical energy". Consumers, producers and storages network in a self-organized way and coordinate autonomously their usage of electrical energy. Load-shaping, transparent flow of information, system-wide increase in efficiency.

Short Description

IRON (Integral Resource Optimization Network) Study is a research study about the coordination of decentralized energy resources (DERs). Recent developments within our energy system show a tendency towards more decentralization which leads to a number of implications. On one hand, a decentralized infrastructure can offer more reliability and a better support for the integration of renewable energy sources. On the other hand, the distribution grid must handle a bi-directional flow of energy, grid features like power quality can be decreased but also increased by decentralized energy resources.

What is needed is an appropriate coordination of the members of such a decentralized energy system. The IRON system will offer a platform that networks an arbitrary number of DERs. This IT network goes way beyond the traditional control networks of the energy system. Depending on whether it is economically reasonable one can integrate every aspect of the energy system, down to the individual end consuming device. Good scalability and low costs are the two key factors.

As target customers big office buildings, single-site plants (like wind power stations), private homes and small industries were identified. Large energy customers were not taken into account, since they often already have their own optimization system. The main technical requirements of the IRON system are as follows:

  • different classes of end-nodes depending on the respective target customers (functional as well as in price - costs of less than EUR 100 are aimed at), short amortization times (2 years)
  • easy - if possible automatic - installation, robust, zero-maintenance operation
  • good scalability up to 100.000 nodes
  • usage of Internet technology, field area networks and building automation technologies, coupling to existing control systems (DSM, interruptible loads, etc.)
  • provision of add-on services like security, information or remote home

Similar solutions available on the market do not satisfy these requirements which makes it partly necessary to develop new technology in order to fill the white spots. New developments shall be largely based on open standards.

The IRON system is conceptually neutral, it can be used for a multitude of emerging services, e.g. the synchronization of local energy generation and consumption, real-time pricing, global peak load management. The financial benefit generated by the distributed optimization system can be shared between the provider of the system and the networked customers.

Within the first phase of the IRON project, the fundamental economical and technical requirements have been analyzed and the ideas of the project have been successfully installed in the relevant circles via intensive public relations activities. Cooperation partners for a follow-up project could be found easily.

Project status


Project Partners

Project leader

Univ.-Ass. DI Dr. Peter Palensky
TU Wien - Institut für Computertechnik
Gußhausstr. 27-29/384
A-1040 Wien
Tel: +43 (0)1/58801-38438
Fax: +43 (0)1/58801-38499

Project partners

TU Wien - Institut für Elektrische Anlagen und Energiewirtschaft (Werkvertragspartner)
Envidatec GmbH, Hamburg (Finanzierungspartner)