Small logo of ETH main building ETH Zurich : Computer Science : Pervasive Computing : Distributed Systems : Education : SmartEnergy HS2018

Smart Energy

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Dr. Verena Tiefenbeck
Dr. Vlad Coroama

Where and when:

Wednesday, 13:15 – 16:00, (Link to course catalogue)


The lecture covers the role of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) for sustainable energy usage. It starts out with a general background on the current landscape of energy generation and consumption and outlines concepts of the emerging smart grid. The lecture combines technologies from ubiquitous computing and traditional ICT with socio-economic and behavioral aspects and illustrates them with examples from actual

Specific topics include:

  • Background on energy generation and consumption; characteristics, potential, and limitations of renewable energy sources.
  • Introduction to energy economics.
  • Smart grid and smart metering infrastructures, virtual power plants, security challenges.
  • Demand management and home automation using ubiquitous computing technologies.
  • Changing consumer behavior with smart ICT.
  • Benefits and challenges of a smart energy system.
  • Smart heating, electric mobility.


Participants become familiar with the diverse challenges related to sustainable energy usage, understand the principles of a smart grid infrastructure and its applications, know the role of ubiquitous computing technologies, can explain the challenges regarding security and privacy, can reflect on the basic cues to induce changes in consumer behavior, develop a general understanding of the effects of a smart grid infrastructure on energy efficiency. Participants will apply the learnings to two course-accompanying projects, which include both programming and data analysis. The lecture further includes interactive exercises, case studies and practical examples.

Projects and Grading

The lecture will also include smaller interactive exercises as well as two larger projects. The first, larger project will start in the 2nd week of the semester and run until the 9th week; the second, smaller project will last for the remaining 4-5 weeks of the semester. They both represent compulsory continuous performance assessment tasks (i.e., ‘obligatorische Leistungselemente’), and are awarded grades that count proportionally towards the total course-unit grade. Not taking part in either or both of the projects yields a grade of 1.0 for the project(s) in question.

Overall grading: 20% for the first practical group project; 10% for the second project; 70% oral exam.


Learning Material

Lecture Date Slides Content
1 19.09.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-1.pdf
Introduction: Energy and Electricity, Energy Usage
2 26.09.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-2.pdf

Project #1: Description.pdf
Project #1: Presentation.pdf
Project #1: Training data set

Android Intro.pdf
World Energy Demand, Presentation 1st Project, Android Introduction
3 03.10.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-3.pdf Electricity Production and Storage
4 10.10.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-4-1.pdf
Electricity Grid, Smart Grid
5 17.10.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-5-1.pdf
Smart Meters, Smart Metering for Energy Conservation
6 24.10.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-6.pdf
ICT for Behavior Change
7 31.10.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-7-1.pdf
Energy Costs and Economics, Demand Response (part 1)
8 07.11.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-8.pdf Demand Response (part 2), Smart Heating (part 1)
9 14.11.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-9.pdf

Project #2: Description.pdf
Project #2: Smart Heating Simulation and HH Data
Student Presentations Project 1, Smart Heating (part 2), Description 2nd Project
10 21.11.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-10.pdf
Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM), Smart Grid Security
11 28.11.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-11.pdf
ICT Abatement Potential, Rebound Effects
12 05.12.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-12.pdf
ICT Energy Consumption
13 12.12.2018 SmartEnergy-Lecture-18-13.pdf
Electric Vehicles
14 19.12.2018
Student Presentations Project 2


If you have questions regarding the lecture, please contact Vlad Coroama.
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated June 20 2023 01:45:01 PM MET vc