Mitsubishi Electric is teaming up with researchers from the prestigious Japanese university, Tokyo Tech, to jointly design a blockchain-based trading system that can support more flexible, peer-to-peer energy trading.

Announced on January 18, the new system is designed to support the efficient use of excess electricity generated from renewable energy sources. In particular, it is hoped that the trading system will be able to ensure that the maximum available amount of surplus electricity is available on the consumer market at any time.

The design of peer-to-peer energy trading allows consumers and prosumers to act directly as buyers and sellers. To make their new system less dependent on high-volume, hardware-intensive calculations, Mitsubishi Electric and Tokyo Tech have adapted their blockchain system to optimize matches and make the settlement of buy and sell orders more efficient.

According to the announcement, a distributed optimization algorithm, different from most blockchain technologies, allows client computers to share their trading goals and data and then “optimally match buy and sell orders with minimal calculations.” What Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech call their “new mining method” not only requires less computation, but can also be run on a microcomputer server. The four steps involved in the method are as follows:

In the first step, information about buy and sell orders with a common trade goal (market surplus, profit, etc.) is shared by computer servers over a predetermined time frame. Second, each server searches for buy and sell orders that match the common goal in The first step. Third, each server shares its search results. In the fourth and final step, each server receives the search results and generates a new block by selecting transactions that best meet the shared goal it adds to each blockchain. “

In addition, to ensure fair trade, the search for the solution to each shared purpose takes place in a decentralized manner – ie, in parallel on multiple computers, where equivalent matches are randomly selected.

The flexibility of the system allows buyers and sellers to make trades above or below bid prices if the right match is found. Those who fail to enter into a trade can also change the terms of their next bid based on the assessment of the previous bid / bid terms.

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech expect that by ensuring that as much excess electricity as possible is available for trading in the market, the cost of consumer durables such as electric vehicles will decrease accordingly. By proposing a peer-to-peer solution, it is no longer up to retail energy companies to respond to market fluctuations.

As before reportedBlockchain-based digital energy platforms have been operating in other countries for a while. For example, Australian company Power Ledger offers blockchain-based transactive energy solutions, including peer-to-peer energy trading and virtual power plants, in addition to trading carbon credits and renewable energy certificates.

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech have announced their goal of getting the product to market as soon as possible, after evaluating the system’s performance that began in April.