Smart meters for proactive consumers

Title of the research project

FLEXMETER - Flexible Smart Metering architecture for multiple energy vectors.

Scientific area 

Computer Science, Electrical and Energetic Engineering


The FLEXMETER project focus is the development and demonstration of a flexible smart metering architecture, based on cheap and already available components, that can be implemented in a plug and play way, combining metering of different services (electricity, water, gas, district heating), providing advanced services to the users, to the Distribution System Operators and to the other utilities, and enhancing the possibilities of the retail market


Description of the research project 

The introduction of the electricity market, the widespread diffusion of distributed generation from renewable and non-programmable energy sources and the need for storage are quickly changing the problems that Transmission and Distribution System Operators (DSOs) have to face in their activity and introduce the need of  a smarter grid. A first step in this direction is the development and installation of a flexible smart metering architecture for multiple energy vectors, with multiple objectives: not just to produce billing improvements but also to obtain end-user affordability of electricity, energy and market efficiency, CO2 emissions and pollutants reduction. [IS1] In the FLEXMETER project Simple off-the-shelf meters will be placed at the users for electric, thermal and gas metering; they will communicate with a building concentrator; a central cloud system will collect data from the building concentrators and from MV/LV (Medium/Low Voltage) substation meters. Innovative services will so be available for the prosumers (e.g. analysis of the energy consumption), for the DSOs (e.g. fault detection, network balancing and storage integration) and for the retail market. In the FLEXMETER project two pilot applications in two different countries (Italy and Sweden), on real systems, with the involvement of the local DSOs and volunteer prosumers will be demonstrated. The results on the demonstrators will then be scaled up to the size of the cities in order to evaluate the advantages on a real scale.

In order to understand how the system works, you can consult a video about this research project.

Impact on society 

The development of a “second generation electric energy smart meters” interconnected to other public utility services via a common data-exchange platform, will foster the spreading of innovative services both at consumer and DSOs level. Open, real-time data systems will play a fundamental role in the future of smart grid. Social impacts will be strictly related to real-time data availability even at consumer level. This represents a starting point for other more integrated and innovative services (house remote control systems) that will change people behaviors (active demand). ICT based services and tools will be simple, intuitive and always available (apps for smartphones or tablets), in order to reach users of all kinds.

Working group @Polito 

EDA - Electronic design Automation group

Enrico Macii, Full Professor

Andrea Acquaviva, Associate Professor

Edoardo Patti PostDoc researcher

Lorenzo Bottaccioli, PhD Student

Alessandro Aliberti PhD student

Luca Barbierato, Researcher.

EESG Group

Ettore Bonpard, Full Professor

Enrico Pons Researcher

Abouzar Estebsari Research Fellow

ALCO Automation Logistics and Combinatorial Optimization Group

Della Croce Di Dojola Federico, Full Professor

Ghirardi Marco, Researcher

Salassa Fabio Guido Mario, Researcher

ORO - Operations Research and Optimization Group

Tadei Roberto, Full Professor

Edoardo Fadda, PhD student

National and International partners 

Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (Italy)

Iren Energia spa (Italy)

STmicroelectronics srl (Italy)

Telecom Italia s.p.a(Italy)

Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische (Germany)

Hochschule Aachen (Germany)

Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble (France)

Universitatea Politehnica di Bucuresti (Romania)

Siveco Romania sa (Romania)

E.on Sverige ab (Svezia)

 FLEXMETER project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 646568

  • Budget: 3.200.000 euro
  • Start date: 1/01/2015
  • End date: 31/12/2017