Questions and answers about the Electricity Bank research project

The Electricity Bank project

What did the project aim to achieve?

In the Electricity Bank research project we did investigate an innovative model intended to enhance own use of electricity from decentralised generation, especially private photovoltaics systems. Here, any excess electricity generated was stored in a central district storage facility and fed back into the grid when required. In practical trials, we were gathering experience with this model to enable us evaluate the approach.

Does the Electricity Bank actually work like a real bank?

Basically yes. Rather than cash, it is electricity that consumers "deposit" and "withdraw". During the field test, trading electrical energy within the quarter was among the simulated strategies.

What does the district storage facility look like?

The battery storage facility used for the practical trials has been positioned in a customary 20-foot freight container at an MVV Energie site in Rheinau-Süd. The dimensions of the container are around 6 by 2.5 by 2.9 meters (L/B/H). It weighs around 14 tonnes. As well as the actual battery storage facility and air-conditioning and protective technology, the container also includes the communications equipment to manage the charging and discharging processes at the storage facility.

Who was involved in the Electricity Bank project?

The project consortium consisted of the consortium manager MVV Energie, the Mannheim-based grid operator Netrion, , the battery manufacturer ads-tec from Nürtingen and the University of Stuttgart. The project was financed by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg within the BWPlus programme.

The Electricity Bank account

How are the Electricity Bank accounts managed?

The Electricity Bank account is managed via an app that is installed on tablet computers. Like with online banking, participants could view their account balances and latest electricity flows. Thus, Strombank customers could closely follow their current account balance, see how much electricity their system is currently generating and check whether they are depositing or withdrawing electricity at any given time.

Can participants also sell the electricity stored on their accounts?

Yes, surplus electricity can also be sold. As soon as the account used in the practical trials was full and participants continued to generate surplus electricity, this surplus energy volume was supplied in a simulation to another district resident. The app presented the potential sales volumes and revenues.

What installation work is required to use an Electricity Bank account?

The participants in our practical trials have been equipped with smart metering systems. These involve two smart electronic meters (one for electricity generation and one for electricity consumption) and a communications unit, comprising a router, gateway and a mobile radio antenna to transmit the encrypted measurement data. The measurement data serve as the basis for managing the storage facility and thus for determining the account balance. This information can be viewed via the Electricity Bank app.

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Foto von Robert Thomann

Dr. Robert Thomann

Project Manager MVV Energie


+49 621 290 2498

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Project partners

The Electricity Bank is a joint project of MVV Energie, Netrion, ads-tec and the University of Stuttgart. You can find out more about the partners here .