Energy awareness and development of smart energy grids

The aim is to increase the population awareness about energy consumption through resource monitoring to facilitate the creation of smart energy distribution and self-consuption grids. More specifically, we will study and develop an open system to monitor energy production and consumption, by means of a continuous mapping of the potential for renewable energy production and actual energy production and consumption, taking full advantage of project big data and widespread sensors infrastructure.

Meteorological models developed in the project will be used to estimate renewable energy production, integrating the information obtained through sensors spread across the territory, either as environmental and production system measures. In terms of energy consumption, the aim is to allow timely, and not just aggregate, analysis of the demand,  by means of distributed sensors that will measure environmental, external and internal, variables, consumer consumption and the information voluntarily provided by the population on their habits and movements.

Cost-effective and readily available sensors will be wirelessly connected to an aggregator obtained by specializing the edge gateway platform developed in the project. This system in turn will be connected, via a LTE network or other technologies, when LTE does not guarantee the necessary coverage, to the computing and networks platform made available by the JIC Lab. Different connectivity technologies will enable the coverage of the whole city area and the creation of a benchmark test between them.

In the first phase, the sensor distribution will be limited to selected users (CRS4 sites, public schools and municipal buildings) allowing for greater control during the initial stages of experimentation and for the support of didactic activities, to be carried out in other projects. After this first stage, a wider and more extensive experimentation will be carried out on a voluntary basis by the population.

Data provided by citizens, accumulated through sensors distributed in the city, and processed using simulation models for production and consumption forecasting, will be returned to citizens as open data in a useful and readable way, by means of an easy-to-access web application based on what developed in the project. Finally, a planning tool will be devoted to the assessment of technical and economic benefits associated with the management of micro-electricity grids and to the definition of actions in terms of user management and distributed generation, with the aim of optimizing investments in the energy sector.