The Illuminator is a development kit demonstrating the energy transition challenges and the benefits of intelligent multi-energy systems.It aims at helping students, policymakers and energy stakeholders to understand the complexity of the energy transition better. The energy components (generating, carrying, storing, and consuming) are down-scaled to the table-top level, whereas the intelligent operational controls are programmed on a mini-computer (raspberry pi).

Project Description

Although the necessity and urgency of the energy transition are well known, the means of transforming our energy system into a sustainable one are a mystery to many. The energy systems are enormous in size, spanning continents. They cannot be brought into a classroom or to the university lab. Think of the universe and our inability to fully grasp it or the miracle of childbirth. The energy transition complexity is comparable, but in contrast, it must be consciously orchestrated by educated humans if we are to fight climate change. This project develops a Do-It-Yourself Energy System Development kit to educate and demonstrate the energy transition challenges and solutions in a group setting and to test new research concepts, particularly, distributed energy coordination algorithms in real and non-real-time. The developed kit is published in Github:

To address broad education and demonstration needs, the most essential design requirements of the Illuminator are:

1)         present common energy technologies and systems

2)         table-top design

3)         extendibility

4)         plug-and-play capability

5)         easy on-the-fly reconfiguration of the examples

6)         replicability

The Illuminator architecture is conceived based on Rasberry Pi technology which makes the hardware of the Illuminator easy to move and software of the Illuminator highly modular.

Intended deliverables

  • Open source kit
  • Education materials
  • Test scenarios and demos

Project Partners

PowerWeb, Stichting 3e

TUD Team

Aihui Fu

Aihui Fu is a postdoctoral researcher in self-organizing smart grid control, renewable energy integration, power system operation and energy management system design. She has experience working with the projects of self-organizing voltage regulation, Easy-res, Illuminator, SHPLES and SynergyS to solve the energy transition challenges.

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