The SEMIAH solution

Different challenges, one solution – SEMIAH

Demand Response is currently being implemented on a large scale in energy hungry industries all over Europe, boosting the development of Demand Response mechanisms.

Residential households account for approximately a third of total European electricity consumption, which makes them a profitable target for Demand Response providers. However, due to lack of infrastructure, implementation costs, and comprehensive business models, the penetration of this new market has not yet been attempted.

The consortium behind SEMIAH has developed an open source ICT infrastructure capable to penetrate this new market with State of the Art technology.

The system

The system consists of the following elements:

  1. A back-end system, consisting of a central server which manages and controls information from the households connected to the system network, and which provides intelligent services for energy management of the household.
  2. A Home Energy Management Gateway to control customers’ loads based on OGEMA framework.
  3. A user interface (smartphone application and consumer web portal) that allows the user to configure the settings of household equipment and add/remove equipment to/from the system.

Elements 2 and 3 represent the front-end system of SEMIAH. The solution is compliant with the IEEE 2030-2011 standard for Smart Grid interoperability.


The SEMIAH front-end and back-end system communicates over TCP/IP by using the residential broadband connections of the households. Data and control information are exchanged between the front-end and the Back-end by using RESTful web services carried over HTTP and/or its secure counterpart HTTPS.

In the Home Area Network, ZigBee is used to establish communication between the gateway and the front-end devices controlling and sensing appliances in the household. ZigBEe has built-in layer-2 security based on current state of the area ciphers such as AES-CCM. The SEMIAH project has defined a proper key management scheme to work with the implemented security standard, taking into account the needed key strength and update frequencies etc.

For end-to-end application interoperability, data models were designed inspired by current practice of the Common Information Model (IEC 61970-301 and IEC 61968) in the smart grid area. A formal specification language such as UML is used to document the SEMIAH data models.