Eaton Helps Smart Energy Collective Kick Off Design Phase of Smart Grids and Services Project

Eaton is one of 26 signatories on a renewed cooperation agreement approving the second phase of the Smart Energy Collective’s (SEC). Eaton’s expertise and proven medium and low voltage technology will also be instrumental to the successful design and implementation of the energy distribution infrastructure for two of the project’s trial sites.
With the increase in distributed generation and storage of energy from sustainable sources such as wind, solar, combined heat and power, biomass and geothermal, the requirements for the power grid are changing significantly. The trend away from primary energy generation at central points in the network, like nuclear, coal or natural gas plants, and towards energy being fed into the network at various and variable points, as well as times, demands an intelligent energy system. One of the leading projects in Europe to develop smart grids and services is the Smart Energy Collective (SEC) in the Netherlands.  Eaton is one of 26 SEC partners that have just approved the second phase of the project which will see the design and implementation of five trial sites identified in the project’s first phase. The five sites, which all have different user groups, will be used to test smart grids in practice and subsequently enable the SEC to provide a contribution towards standardisation.
Eaton has been involved in a number of early smart grid pilot projects with utility companies across Europe providing innovative medium voltage switchgear such as Ring Main Units and secondary switchgear. At the same time, the company offers significant experience and knowledge regarding low voltage equipment, renewable energy generation (photovoltaic), energy management solutions and home automation. As a result, Eaton is ideally positioned to add substantial value to the SEC initiatives as well as the steering committee and working groups.
Out of the five trial sites that were selected Eaton is supporting two specifically - the industry demonstration project and the gas and electricity network district project. The first of these will be implemented at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, where the objective is to create a complete self-supporting energy ecosystem, which includes a central heat and cold storage system, photovoltaic energy, wind turbines and electric vehicles. Here, Eaton will be designing a bespoke solution based on its existing proven medium and low voltage products.
The second trial test site will be implemented at “Stad van de Zon” (City of the Sun), in Heerhugowaard, and focuses on an existing residential area. In this case the use of gas and electricity will be compared while the focus of the project is to determine the optimal use of both for consumers. Gas represents a flexible energy source with a high capacity for heating purposes but also for generating electric energy via micro CHP (combined heat and power) generators, or fuel traction motors for vehicles. The user group for this initiative consists of about 750 households, of which some are equipped with photovoltaic panels and solar water heating, use smart appliances, and have micro CHPs and heat pumps. Included in the project are also a number of electric vehicles with appropriate charging equipment. Eaton will be involved in enhancing the electrical energy distribution infrastructure including the medium voltage stations to meet the energy monitoring and control needs in the grid.
Eaton Corporation plc is a diversified power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. The company is a global technology leader in electrical products, systems and services for power quality, distribution and control, power transmission, lighting and wiring products; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in 2012. The new company, Eaton Corporation plc, has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit
Additional information About SEC
Three other initiatives are taking place at the offices of Siemens and ABB and involve an entirely electric residential district and a district heating area with a fully integrated heat and electricity solution. The participants in the project (in alphabetical order) are: ABB, Alliander, APX Endex, BAM, DELTA, DNV KEMA, Efficient Home Energy, Eaton, Eneco, Enexis, Essent, GEN, Gemalto, Heijmans, IBM, ICT Automatisering, Imtech, KPN, Nedap, NXP Semiconductors, Philips, Priva, Siemens, Smart Dutch, Stedin and TenneT.
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