Networking and Digitalization –The Key to a Secure Decentralized Energy Supply

Interconnected Distributed Systems

The increasing variability in the decentralized energy system places new demands on both the technical management and the marketing mechanisms. The necessary high dynamics can be realized only if the market and technical processes are automated adequately. Through dynamic system monitoring, faulty or inefficient states can be detected early. Limited resources such as storage facilities or power grids can be operated safely while achieving higher utilization rates at the same time.

At Fraunhofer ISE we develop and evaluate system models as well as communication interfaces and protocols for safe, reliable and interoperable control. We also develop software for lean energy management systems and communication gateways. Besides project development for customer-specific applications, we also offer consulting, implementation support, development and technology evaluation of demonstrators and pre-series products. 

In the field of "Interconnected Distributed Systems", our R&D activities include:

Energy Management Framework OpenMUC

OpenMUC architecture
© Fraunhofer ISE
OpenMUC architecture.

"OpenMUC" is an open source software framework for the monitoring and control of distributed energy systems in the Smart Grid. It contains the collective expertise of many years of research and is our primary tool for answering scientific questions relating to the energy transition and the digitalization of the power grid.

Due to its lightweight architecture, the framework is ideal for embedded systems such as on-site data loggers, edge controllers, gateways or energy management systems, where it provides secure and efficient plant control via standardized communication protocols. In addition, OpenMUC
 has numerous interfaces for seamless integration into cloud-based applications and back-end systems.

OpenMUC has been successfully used in many national and international projects and tested in multi-year field tests. With this tool, we offer our customers and research partners the possibility to test new business models and control algorithms cost-effectively in the field or in our laboratory. Through continuous further development and support for customer-specific adaptations, we jointly create innovative solutions for the energy system of tomorrow.

Our services include:

  • Prototyping and operation of energy management systems (software)
  • Realization of Proof of Concept for interconnected control systems
  • Implementation of drivers and communication protocols


You can find further information and an overview of our references at www.openmuc.org

Communication Protocols

Communication protocols have to be adapted for new use cases and business models
© Titima Ongkantong/shutterstock.com
Communication protocols have to be adapted for new use cases and business models.

The basis for the control and monitoring of decentralized systems is formed by communication protocols that enable data exchange between the systems and the backend. Technological advances in the field of ICT and the development of new types of systems and devices, such as intelligent charging stations, intelligent inverters or smart meter gateways and control boxes, are changing how data is transferred. New requirements must be addressed. Therefore, existing and new communication protocols are being (further) developed in standardization committees.


Within the scope of our research activities, we are involved in various committees. Our job is to investigate which protocols are most suitable for the specific tasks. Based on the customer’s requirements, we develop new data models and extend the functional range of existing protocols, evaluating the functionalities by performing hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) tests in our laboratory. In
addition to providing consulting and development services, we offer communication stacks for IEC 60870, IEC 61850 and EEBUS as an open source implementation for industry and research to support them in developing innovative solutions.

Monitoring and Field Test Operation

High-resolution monitoring is the basis for meaningful data analysis
© guruXOX/shutterstock.com
High-resolution monitoring is the basis for meaningful data analysis.

Important elements of our research are the evaluation of newly developed optimization algorithms, operational management concepts and communication solutions under real conditions to ensure their suitability for practical use. For this purpose, we conduct extensive field tests with appropriate pilot plants and all actors involved. The test spectrum ranges from tests with single plants to complex plant networks in the urban quarter and micro grid. With our range of services, we support our customers and research partners in all phases of field testing, from planning and test execution up to the final data analysis and the documentation of results. 

Further Information on this Research Topic:

OpenMUC

Open Source Software Solutions for Monitoring and Control Systems

R&D Infrastructure

Digital Grid Lab

in our Center for Power Electronics and Sustainable Grids