A virtual image of the physical solar eclipse in Germany

Millions of people in Germany have witnessed a partial solar eclipse on Friday, March 20th. With 20.5% of all renewable power generation in Germany being represented by photovoltaic (PV), the solar eclipse may have had an effect on the grid stability. Therefore, the four TSO (transmission system operators) of Germany had commissioned a report on the analysis of those effects and had prepared themselves for the solar eclipse.

As for the energy team at Bosch Software Innovations, we planned on following the solar eclipse through a PV plant at our site in Waiblingen (Stuttgart), which is connected to our Virtual Power Plant Manager (VPP). After all, we were very excited to see whether it would be cloudy – hence, with no visible effect – or sunny – therefore, with a visible effect.

The VPP is a solution not only to monitor and control decentralized energy resources, but even further to plan and optimize them for various scenarios – e.g. to support the grid stability. By connecting multiple renewable energy plants to the VPP it is possible to influence even parts of the low voltage grid. Day-ahead forecasts of the PV production and reports to the DSO (distribution system operators) enable them to optimize their plans on local grid level and ask the VPP for partial load shedding through a demand response program.

After all, we were lucky – the sun was shining bright throughout the whole day, which allowed us to follow the effects of the solar eclipse in our VPP. Apart from this, the solar eclipse was also visible in another application, the Metering Data Hub. Furthermore, as our PV plant is also fitted with a smart meter and smart meter gateway, the solar eclipse was also visible in our Smart Metering portfolio.

I look forward to your comments and starting a discussion on the solar eclipse 2015, here or @BoschSI on Twitter.

Please find the screenshots from the monitoring components of our VPP and Metering Data Hub below, including the corresponding course of the moon partly covering the sun.


Corresponding Solar Eclipse. Source: Katharina Stoever, 2015

Monitoring - Virtual Power Plant - Sonnenfinsternis_755x442

Virtual Power Plant Manager online data

Monitoring - Metering Data Hub - Sonnenfinsternis_755x442

Metering Data Hub measured data


About the author

Mark Nigge-Uricher

Mark Nigge-Uricher

Since 2012, Mark Nigge-Uricher has been responsible for Bosch Software Innovations’ product management and business development in the company’s Product Group Energy. Before, he held various positions in consulting and business development for IBM, Tannoy, SerEnergy, and Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. Mark graduated from Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR) in business informatics and holds an M.Sc. from University of Strathclyde Glasgow / Aalborg University in global innovation management.