Main Features

Organic O/C Architecture

The energy management system is based on a hierarchical Observer/Controller (O/C) Architecture which has been developed within the German priority research program on Organic Computing. The aim is a mostly self-organized system which reduces the need for interaction between the smart home residents and their appliances to a minimum, while still allowing for explicit interference, if desired.
O/C-units filter and aggregate the information into the current system state, which is utilized by the in-building energy management to predict the future state and optimize control actions. This results in a schedule of planned actions, which is applied via O/C-units to the devices. In case of immediately required actions, e.g., because of user interactions or device-specific thresholds and requirements, this schedule may be overridden.

Simulations & Real-World Application

The OrganicSmartHome (OSH) is a free and open source energy management framework designed to optimize energy usage in intelligent environments like a smart home. This framework was developed in response to the challenge of balancing supply and demand in the electric grid in spite of volatile, widely uncontrollable power production. This framework has been deployed in real-world environments, such as the KIT Energy Smart Home Lab and the FZI House of Living Labs.

The framework supports co-simulation and supports a TRNSYS-Java coupler that has been developed at FZI and allows for a bi-directional communication between TRNSYS and Java. Additionally, a MatLab-Java coupler allows for electricity grid simulations, utilizing a MatLab implementation of the Newton-Raphson algorithm (coming in Version 4.0).

Hardware Abstraction Layer

To manage these appliances and to efficiently integrate electric vehicles as flexible energy storages into the smart home, a dedicated Hardware Abstraction Layer has been developed. This Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) as well as device-specific drivers realize the abstraction from distinct devices, protocols, and communication media.

Optimization Abstraction Layer

External signals, reflecting the state of the low voltage grid, are sent to demand side managers or smart homes with an Organic Smart Home, which is able to adapt their energy demand automatically without constraining the end consumer. Complying with specific constraints specified by the appliance itself or by the user, the load of appliances is shifted within the specified degrees of freedom that is defined in an abstract optimization model of each appliance.
Other devices, such as combined heat and power plants (CHP) or heat-pumps, are integrated using the optimization abstraction as well. This abstraction contains two parts: for one thing the physical model that enables the simulation of the device in optimization, for another thing the optimization model that defines the search space for optimization.

Energy Simulation Core

The Energy Simulation Core simulates energy flows in the local electrical and thermal grids. In so doing, it respects the interdependencies of devices and concurrently keeps a modular approach towards the optimization. The Energy Simulation Core is used twice in the Organic Smart Home: Firstly, it is used in a simplified calculation of energy flows in the optimization to determine the energy flows iteratively in the relevant optimization horizon. Secondly, in the simulation mode, it is used to simulate the building and all devices in a detailed way that substitutes measurements of real energy flows.

Energy Management Panel

An essential part of these implementations is the Energy Management Panel, which is the interface to the human users. It informs them about the current energy situation in the building and allows them to specify preferences.

Household Appliances

Miele, EEBus, ...

Building / Home Automation

HabiTEQ, Hager KNX, ...

Electric Vehicles

SCC 1.3, ISO 15118, ...

Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning

SolarNext Chillii, BacNet, Mitsubishi A/C, ...

Distributed Generation

Senertec Dachs, SMA Inverter, NEDAP Inverter, ...


NEDAP PowerRouter, ads-tec, ...