Energy communities can support the energy transition, by engaging citizens through collective energy actions and generate positive economic, social and environmental outcomes. Renewable Energy Sources (RES) are gaining increasing share in the electricity mix as the economy decarbonises, with Photovoltaic (PV) plants to becoming more efficient and affordable. By incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, innovative applications can be developed to provide added value to energy communities. In this context, the scope of this paper is to compare Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) algorithms for the prediction of short-term production in a solar plant under an energy cooperative operation. Three different cases are considered, based on the data used as inputs for forecasting purposes. Lagged inputs are used to assess the historical data needed, and the algorithms’ accuracy is tested for the next hour’s PV production forecast. The comparative analysis between the proposed algorithms demonstrates the most accurate algorithm in each case, depending on the available data. For the highest performing algorithm, its performance accuracy in further forecasting horizons (3 hours, 6 hours and 24 hours) is also tested.
The building elements’ thermal transmittance index (known as U value) is the most essential parameter for the estimation of its thermal losses, and subsequently its energy performance. Laboratory measurements of the U value are practically of interest only for pre-fabricated or standardised building elements; hence, the commonly acceptable practice is to use theoretical estimations, taking into account the thermal resistance indexes of the building elements’ layers. In this context, this paper aims at the assessment of the uncertainty budget of one of the already used in-situ building elements’ thermal transmittance measurement, as long as this is applied using a thermal camera instead of contact thermometers. A specially designed and easily constructed auxiliary measurement set-up is presented and is used in comparison with simultaneous thermocouple measurements, to verify the adequacy of the auxiliary set up response time. This study concludes with the analysis of the uncertainty that affects the proposed procedure, along with an assessment of the impact in the final result. The uncertainty of these measurements is strongly related with the respective decisions on building upgrade and renovation. Therefore, managing it with a simplified procedure will be rather profitable both for those seeking to perform an in-situ U value measurement and for those who are engaged into a decision process upon renovating or not an existing building.
As energy efficiency is becoming a subject of utter importance in today’s societies, the European Union and a vast number of organizations have put a lot of focus on it. As a result, huge amounts of data are generated at an unprecedented rate. After thorough analysis and exploration, these data could provide a variety of solutions and optimizations regarding the energy efficiency subject. However, all the potential solutions that could derive from the aforementioned procedures still remain untapped due to the fact that these data are yet fragmented and highly sophisticated. In this paper, we propose an architecture for a Reasoning Engine, a mechanism that provides intelligent querying, insights and search capabilities, by leveraging technologies that will be described below. The proposed architecture has been developed in the context of the H2020 project called MATRYCS. In this paper, the reasons that resulted from the need of efficient ways of querying and analyzing the large amounts of data are firstly explained. Subsequently, several use cases, where related technologies were used to address real-world challenges, are presented. The main focus, however, is put in the detailed presentation of our Reasoning Engine’s implementation steps. Lastly, the outcome of our work is demonstrated, showcasing the derived results and the optimizations that have been implemented.
Photovoltaic (PV) modules and solar plants are one of the main drivers towards zero-carbon future. Energy communities that are engaging citizens through collective energy actions can reinforce positive social norms and support the energy transition. Furthermore, by incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, innovative applications can be developed with huge potential, such as supply and demand management, energy efficiency actions, grid operations and maintenance actions. In this context, the scope of this paper is to present an approach for forecasting an energy cooperative’s solar plant short term production by using its infrastructure and monitoring system. More specifically, four Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) algorithms are proposed and trained in an operational solar plant producing high accuracy short-term forecasts up to 6 hours. The results can be used for scheduling supply of the energy communities and set the base for more complex applications that require accurate short-term predictions, such as predictive maintenance.
Despite the large number of technology-intensive organisations, their corporate know-how and underlying workforce skill are not mature enough for a successful rollout of Artificial Intelligence (AI) services in the near-term. However, things have started to change, owing to the increased adoption of data democratisation processes, and the capability offered by emerging technologies for data sharing while respecting privacy, protection, and security, as well as appropriate learning-based modelling capabilities for non-expert end-users. This is particularly evident in the energy sector. In this context, the aim of this paper is to analyse AI and data democratisation, in order to explore the strengths and challenges in terms of data access problems and data sharing, algorithmic bias, AI transparency, privacy and other regulatory constraints for AI-based decisions, as well as novel applications in different domains, giving particular emphasis on the energy sector. A data democratisation framework for intelligent energy management is presented. In doing so, it highlights the need for the democratisation of data and analytics in the energy sector, toward making data available for the right people at the right time, allowing them to make the right decisions, and eventually facilitating the adoption of decentralised, decarbonised, and democratised energy business models.
The building sector is undergoing a deep transformation to contribute to meeting the climate neutrality goals set by policymakers worldwide. This process entails the transition towards smart energy-aware buildings that have lower consumptions and better efficiency performance. Digitalization is a key part of this process. A huge amount of data is currently generated by sensors, smart meters and a multitude of other devices and data sources, and this trend is expected to exponentially increase in the near future. Exploiting these data for different use cases spanning multiple application scenarios is of utmost importance to capture their full value and build smart and innovative building services. In this context, this paper presents a high-level architecture for big data management in the building domain which aims to foster data sharing, interoperability and the seamless integration of advanced services based on data-driven techniques. This work focuses on the functional description of the architecture, underlining the requirements and specifications to be addressed as well as the design principles to be followed. Moreover, a concrete example of the instantiation of such an architecture, based on open source software technologies, is presented and discussed.
Current climate change threats and increasing CO2 emissions, especially from the building stock, represent a context where action is required. It is necessary to provide efficient manners to manage energy demand in buildings and contribute to a decarbonised future. By combining new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, Internet of things, blockchain, and the exploitation of big data towards solving real life problems, the way could be paved towards smart and energyaware buildings. In this context, the aim of this paper is to present a critical review and an in-detail definition of the big data value chain for the built environment in Europe, covering multiple needs and perspectives: “policy”, “technology” and “business”, in order to explore the main challenges and opportunities in this area.