Illustration energy infrastructure

The project "SmartKRIT" explores rapid solutions for the event of prolonged power outages.

© BMWi

Project “SmartKRIT” brings together the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE), the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis (INT) on a complex challenge to brainstorm solutions to provide a rapid emergency response in the event of prolonged power outages (in the event of natural disaster, cyberattack or even in the course of transitioning to more volatile renewable energy sources).

The central idea is to use an automated fleet of electric vehicles to transport essential power from generators to consumers, all equipped with extra battery storage and bidirectional charging interfaces. “We hope that our concept could become a reality in around ten years’ time, once there’s been a growth in mobile power storage systems and connected fleets of automated vehicles to transport them,” says Jan Reich, an IT researcher at IESE in a press release.

A digital control centre will coordinate interaction between the fleet, generators and consumers. “This software platform will determine which consumers require power, which generators have spare capacity, and the location of the individual transport systems within a vehicle fleet,” Reich explains. A “resilience-planning tool” will also help municipalities to control vital processes and make quick decisions.

Furthermore, digital twins will be used to generate a real-time picture of power reserves – such as wind turbines, photovoltaic systems, combined heat and power units and industrial facilities – transport availability and consumer power requirements at any single moment.

The first feasibility study for SmartKRIT was conducted in Kaiserslautern in Rhineland-Palatinate in March 2020. “There already exist various concepts for emergency scenarios,” says Reich. “The task now is to analyse these and then improve and make them more flexible.”