The smart grid controller for domestic devices is a control box which allows regular domestic devices to be started ‘automatically’ by an active demand control system. This way the devices can be turned on when this suits the (smart) grid the best, but always within the comfort zone of the household.

Smart Controller for Domestic Appliances


  1. Include domestic devices without embedded smart grid controllers in a smart grid, active demand or energy management system and obsolete the need to replace all devices in a household.
  2. single control interface is shared by all devices that are connected to the controller. So through one single interface the energy management system can access different types of appliances.
  3. Independent of the domestic device brand or vendor.
  • An energy smart dishwasher? Control the energy flow in your house!

    All domestic devices that comply to the following requirements can be made ‘energy smart’ with the smart grid controller. Conditions:

  • the device executes a program, limited in time once started, such as dishwashers, washing machines, dryers...
  • the devices that continues its programme automatically if the power is restored after an interruption.


In the current electricity system the production of electricity follows the demand of electricity. However, due to the increasing share of renewable energy, which is dependable on availability of wind, sun, etc., this demand driven control scheme becomes ever more expensive to maintain.

Additionally, in our attempts to save energy, the usage of electricity increases. Examples of this are heat pumps, electric vehicles, etc. This burdens the distribution grid beyond its limits, again with high costs associated.

‘Smart Grid’ is the envelope name for those technologies that tackle the challenge of intermittent energy in an economically acceptable manner, with ‘active demand’ being one of the most promising technologies. Active demand uses the flexibility of energy consumption to shift the control paradigm: the consumer adapts its energy usage to the availability of wind and sun, and in function of the constraints of the distribution grid. So the availability/production of energy takes precedence over the consumption of energy.

For this active demand to be acceptable for the end consumer, such technology should operate with as little interaction as possible for the user, and without loss of comfort, which is exactly what this smart grid controller is designed for.

Technical details


Smart grid controller


Schema Smart Grid Controller
  1. The user switches the power of the domestic device on.
  2. Using the display and control buttons on the smart grid controller, the user selects the time the domestic device should start or stop at the latest (time deadline).
  3. The user starts the domestic device.
  4. The smart grid controller uses the power measurement, detects that the domestic device starts functioning, and disconnects the power of the domestic device.
  5. The smart grid controller reconnects the power to the domestic device if:
    - the active demand system receives a start signal from the smart grid.
    - the time deadline from the user is reached.
  6. When the power of the domestic device switches on again, the programme is continued and finished.

Want to know more about the Smart Grid Controller? Feel free to contact one of our experts.

Wim Cardinaels


Wim Cardinaels

Project Manager Energy Technology at EnergyVille/VITO; Research line coordinator Thermal Systems at Energyville