22.02.15 - 27.02.15, Seminar 15091

Smart Buildings and Smart Grids

Diese Seminarbeschreibung wurde vor dem Seminar auf unseren Webseiten veröffentlicht und bei der Einladung zum Seminar verwendet.


Motivated by the increasing importance of producing and consuming energy more sustainably, a new and highly dynamic research community within computer science has evolved: Energy Informatics (EI). Researchers active in the EI field investigate information age solutions for monitoring and controlling large cyber-physical infrastructures with a focus on the following goals: (i) an overall reduction of the energy consumption of these infrastructures, and (ii) the integration of distributed renewable energy sources into these infrastructures. This seminar focuses on two use cases of existing cyber-physical systems, buildings and power grids. These use cases have been chosen due to their relevance in terms of energy footprint. The seminar has three major goals: (i) to provide a forum for leading EI researchers to discuss their recent research on Smart Buildings and Smart Grids, (ii) to further elaborate EI research agenda and methods, and (iii) to kick-start new research projects with industry.

Smart Buildings: Modern buildings already incorporate increasingly sophisticated Building Management Systems (BMS) that integrate building control with improved sensors and better data collection and presentation capabilities. However, these systems currently only enable simple, decoupled control of building services like lighting, ventilation, heating and cooling. Their architectures and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are not standardized, and often proprietary: only the BMS vendor can add functionality. This slows the pace of innovation, buildings remain rigid in the functions and services they provide, and their quality and effectiveness remain difficult to quantify. Contemporary BMS attempt to achieve global service levels based on local control instead of meeting individual occupant requirements based on global control. Standardized building management APIs and scalable middleware solutions that enable reliable communication between building sensors, users, control systems, and machinery could accelerate energy innovation in the building sector.

Smart Grids: Contemporary electricity grids and markets were designed for a scenario in which large and mostly fossil-fueled power plants are dispatched to meet an almost inflexible demand. Achieving sustainable energy supply, however, requires moving towards a scenario where the variable power supplied by distributed renewable resources like wind and solar has to be absorbed by supply-following loads and energy storage whenever it is available. Thus, instead of dispatching a relatively small number of large generators, the large-scale integration of new types of generators and loads into electric grids requires new types of information systems for monitoring and controlling them, while making efficient use of existing assets. The task of controlling large numbers of flexible loads, e.g., air conditioning systems in buildings, electric vehicles, and small-scale energy storage systems, while guaranteeing overall system stability, is highly demanding in terms of computational complexity, required data communication and data storage. In the Smart Grid space, the challenge faced by EI researchers is to develop and carefully evaluate new ideas and actual system components enabling Smart Grid systems that are scalable, efficient, reliable, and secure.