The large-scale deployment of smart household appliances with embedded connectivity in an integrated Smart City platform was introduced today by REstore, together with leading telecom operator Orange, and imec, the world-leading institute in microchip and digital technology.

REstore partnered with imec and Orange to smartly steer power of household appliances over NarrowBand IOT, a new Internet-of-Things communication technology. The smart power control is implemented through embedded connectivity of the devices and uses REstore’s state-of-the-art cloud analytics.

Smart Cities are developing around the world, improving urban quality of life through technological advances. From digitizing municipal services to smarter waste and infrastructure management, Internet-of-Things technology is fueling the Smart City revolution. The market is expected to expand to $1.57 trillion by 2020, according to a 2014 report from Frost & Sullivan.

In this context, Smart City technology can facilitate growth of renewable energy by adjusting power consumption of city residents in real-time to the availability of renewable energy. As more and more household appliances ‘know’ when renewable energy is available, they can aim to consume most on those moments. In this way there is significantly less need for polluting and carbon-intensive power plants.

“FlexPond is the ideal Demand Side Management platform for Smart Cities of the future, as it ensures end-user comfort and safety,” says REstore co-CEO Pieter-Jan Mermans. “Household appliances such as electric boilers, heat pumps and air conditioning units are surprisingly insensitive to power shifts of minutes or even hours. FlexPond uses the available ‘flexible power’ of these devices to optimize their usage of renewable energy in real-time.”

“Through artificial intelligence techniques, including deep learning, FlexPond predicts behavior of household appliances as well as availability of renewable energy. The resulting smart power control allows for cheaper and cleaner energy for city residents while facilitating the growth of renewable energy. It is an innovative, green solution that creates better cities”, says REstore co-CEO Jan-Willem Rombouts.

The NarrowBand IOT solution offered by telecom company Orange requires one low-cost and low-power consuming chip embedded in the appliances to allow direct cloud connectivity. The integration in smart city infrastructure, as part of a broad set of IoT city services, has been coordinated by imec.