Energy management in buildings and residential sector

The Application Experiment will test the SIMON platform developed by EVOGY, an Italian SME, to building and residential context.

Traditionally, the market of energy in the buildings and residential sector is seen as a “necessary evil” and not a core activity for building management and maintenance.
The state of the art of energy management using ICT technology in “residential and civil industry” is characterized by a traditional monitoring approach which could assess the energy consumption of the building but that cannot manage and act the required action to improve the energy management according to a demand side approach.
The idea of SIMON is to overcome the traditional monitoring approach promoting a CPS-based approach which, starting from sensors embedded in field and modelling the equipment, built a CPS model of equipment useful to simulate and act in a Cyber way to ACT the Physical world to optimize the energy consumption of building.

PartnerExpertiseRole
EvogySW development in real Estate contextRunning and validating the pilot
MiraitekEquipment monitoringDeveloping Software
IntellimechArtificial IntelligenceCPS / AI
POLIMIDIHExploiting the results of the project and ecosystem creation

The experimentation will be facilitated by Politecnico di Milano, which acts as DIH, supporting to fill the gap between technological supply and demand and exploiting the results also in other industries and applications. The test will be based on the application and testing of the SIMON platform developed by Evogy. IMECH and MIRA will support the experimentation as technology provider in terms of software and architecture development (MIRA) and CPS modelling (IMECH).

Problem/Business Case description

On one side, the Large Enterprises are well served as energy management since this is one of the core processes of the company also in terms of cost and criticality on process performances. On the other side there is a plethora of SMEs in particular in civil market (real estate, buildings, residentials, …) in which is not possible to exploit the competences and the leverage used in the LE ones. Anyway, due to the high responsibilities of these sectors on the pollution and also to the opportunity to save energy and money optimizing the consumption based on a Demand Side Management approach, there is the need to optimize the energy consumption in this market.

Stemming from these considerations, Simon platform aims at aggregating the energy demand coming from the plethora of buildings and, according to CPS and AI approach, not only monitoring the consumption but also actuating the equipment, based on simulation and the equipment “cyberization” always considering the constraints from customers such as comfort for people in the building.

The idea is to have three main technologies:

  • CPS of the equipments / buildings controlled. This means also the simulation of the building taken into account the constraints such as people comfort in the environment.
  • Artificial Intelligence which can „capture and replicate “the operators’ competence to optimize the energy management
  • Embedded systems since it is necessary to equip with sensors and HW the building plants to activate the required action to optimize the global energy management portfolio

In parallel, for each technology, it is important to take into account:

  • The data security: this is fundamental since Simon platform could manage also data from people and anyway it manages economic and setup from private industry;

Human Machine Interaction: the Simon platform needs to be managed by operators without specific skills and should also suggest in an easy way to the operators the action required in case is not possible to perform it automatically.

AE description

The experiment will consist in the application of SIMON platform to a residential building to apply the CPS architecture.

Simon is organized to manage systems in multi-site configuration, with a hierarchical division into levels that includes:

  • “Project” layer: the most aggregate level of information display. The HMI is particularly important since this is the presentation layer of the aggregate consumption
  • “Plant” layer: individual site or plant level;
  • “Device” layer: in this level is possible to log into a virtual representation of each single component of the system. In this layer is represented the Cyber Physical System
  • “Datapoint” layer: single elementary information level (e.g. multimeter consumption value, setpoint, alarm).
  • “Security” layer: this layer is responsible for data security.

In the experimentation each layer has specific features that join the display of one or more information shown in the list above:

  • the plants geolocation on google maps with digitized building planimetry;
  • A customized dashboard with graphic widgets that can display KPIs, EnPIs or other aggregation layers of the obtained information;
  • reports creation (on demand and / or with time planning) based on the user’s template (which can be imported on the platform in excel format);
  • alarm management with trigger and notification rules based on role/user;
  • sending of commands in ON/OFF or set point format, persistent or with duration according to CPS signals;
  • commands in single and aggregate form (for plant areas, for areas, for floors), with and without time schedules for and management of exceptional events;
  • advanced data analysis and model construction (consumption, forecasting based on CPS model) to optimize the plant management and consumption/expense balance by referring to a baseline agreed and loaded on the platform.