A design-driven approach for developing new products for smart grid households

Uchechi Obinna, Angele Reinders, Peter Joore, Linda Wauben

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


The transition of the electricity system to smart grids requires residential end-users to be more involved in managing energy demand and supply. New innovative products and services could help to support end-users to play a more active role in the management of the future electric power system. This paper evaluates the role of Industrial Design Methods (IDMs) in the development of new innovative smart grid related product concepts at the household level. Based on students' design projects, carried out within a master study programme, various IDMs were systematically utilized to develop new innovative products for smart grid households. Our study shows that five IDMs, namely: platform-driven product development, delft innovation model, theory of inventive problem solving, technology roadmapping, and innovative design and styling were mainly applied in the development of the conceptual products. This study shows that a thorough and careful application of various IDMs helped to develop inspiring potential smart grids product concepts that could support end-users at the household level to gain more insight into their energy use, and contribute to balancing energy demand and supply. These concepts include various in-home displays, smart plugs, and smart wall sockets. The resulting product concepts are presented in this paper. We conclude that the systematic use of various IDMs helped to identify and incorporate various technological, societal, market, and end-user aspects necessary for creating innovative smart grid related products that meet end-user and future market expectations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe (ISGT-Europe 2014), 2014 : 12-15Oct. 2014, Istanbul
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4799-7720-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event5th IEEE (PES) Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe (ISGT Europe 2014) - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 12 Oct 201415 Oct 2014
Conference number: 5


Conference5th IEEE (PES) Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe (ISGT Europe 2014)
Abbreviated titleISGT Europe 2014
Internet address


  • End-users
  • Household level
  • Industrial design methods
  • Innovative product concepts
  • Smart grids


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