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29 March 2019

Barcelona Blog #10: visiting GrowSmarter’s impact in Barcelona

Smart refurbishment for a better quality of life: visiting GrowSmarter’s impact in Barcelona

Efficient insulation and smart refurbishment can reduce households’ energy consumption –and costs –, improve people’s thermal comfort and foster sustainability. This is what the GrowSmarter project has worked on achieving together with the Barcelona City Council, the Housing Agency of Catalonia, the energy services company Naturgy– and 50 families of Barcelona’s Canyelles neighbourhood.

In the framework of the Housing and Renovation Forum of Barcelona, a series of public visits to successful innovative urban initiatives developed in Barcelona were organized by the City Council on March 22nd. The tour included a technical visit of the GrowSmarter solutions in Canyelles, implemented between the second half of 2016 and the beginning of 2017.

The technical team leading the visit explained how the project achieved its goal of generating social, economic and environmental benefits through the refurbishment of a residential building [read the factsheet on the refurbishment ofresidential buildings here].

With micro-grants funded by the GrowSmarter project and the Barcelona City Council –covering up to 80% of the cost of the activities–, the 50 primarily lower middle to low-income families that participated in the project installed more efficient windows and blinds in their homes. At the same time, boilers were replaced to reduce gas consumption, efficient water taps –aerators– were installed, and home energy management systems were deployed. The participation of the community of the building in the GrowSmarter project also meant that the insulation of the façade and the roof was increased and upgraded according to the current minimum requirements by the Spanish Building Technical Code. All measures taken within the initiative reliedon a participatory process involving all relevant stakeholders: the families, the City Council and the GrowSmarter coordination team.

As a result, the community living in the building has reduced its gas and electricity consumption by approximately 31% –saving money for tenants and contributing to their economic empowerment–, which also implies a saving in CO2 emissions. In addition to this, the initiative has succeeded in raising energy efficiency awareness among the families of the community, which are now able to better control their energy use through the home energy management systems. Finally, this solution means a better quality of life for the families in terms of thermal comfort and sound isolation, exemplifying how structural interventions can improve life in cities from both a behavioural and material perspectives.

See the pictures of the study visit.

Contributing authors: Ana Alcantud, Consulting Director at anteverti, Sergio García, Communications Coordinator at anteverti, and Alba Soler, Consultant at anteverti

Iot technology to improve electrical distribution security

The improvement, renewal and continuous maintenance of the network are fundamental to ensure the proper operation of the electrical system. Endesa works to guarantee the quality of the service, the continuity of supply and the safety of the installations, carrying out the necessary actions on infrastructure.

Within the GrowSmarter project, five secondary substations with IoT technology have been equipped to improve the operation of the secondary substations and the safety of workers, in addition to obtaining information that contribute to improving the management of the City.

Until now, there was no information available on the status of the secondary substations.  Thus, there could be situations such as flooded installations or grounding issues not known until an intervention is carried out which puts at risk the people, the installation and the supply.

This technological innovation tool, at the level of electrical distribution, improves security by:

- Sending information about the facilities: Endesa staff and collaborating companies will have information before entering the facilities, knowing in advance the risks that exist.

- Early detection of hazards: Smoke, floods, and other potential risks are detected in an early stage.

As a next step in improving the safety of people and installations, the Open Me project has been launched. It consists of the authorization on demand of access to the installation of the operator who requests it. This is achieved by an intelligent key that only opens the access lock after authentication and authorization.

The objectives that are pursued and achieved with the launch of the Open Me pilot are:

Increase the security of the installations by controlling the access thanks to the authorization-on-demand.Improve operability by reducing waiting times for access

Author: Endesa

 

Gonzalo Cabeza

Site Manager, Barcelona

For the previous blog post, click here

13 March 2019

Cologne Blog #10 : Lessons learned on Open urban Platforms & mobility stations

The GrowSmarter partners in Cologne are very pleased that they can already say that the goals of saving energy in the Stegerwaldsettlement can be achieved. There is a realistic chance that the settlement will become self-sufficient in the energy sector. To achieve the Co2 emission savings goals however, further efforts must be made.

Integrated Infrastructure: Open urban Platforms as key component for integrated SmartCity infrastructures

The implementation phase has shown that the collection and processing of data from different areas is a very sensitive issue. It is often unclear to individuals and to the community how to deal with this issue. This resulted in a number of conclusions for the approach to data collection and compilation listed in detail in the GrowSmarter Concluding Report.

The conclusions are intended to simplify reaching a consensus for both data collectors and data owners in order to have a useable solution for all parties involved, also taking into account everyone’s rights and duties. The most important conclusion seems to be understanding the open questions on how to deal with data. What is the data’s value? What is the best way to use it? Is it possible to create a business model with the data? Is the outcome and the result of using free data a better business model or is it best to share all data for free to optimize the quality of life in a city?

We found out that the first step should be understanding how to best use the data, what to do with it as well as finding a win-win situation for all parties involved.  This means creating a so called „Use Case“:

1.    Defining concretely the desired result in advance; considering known possibilities, defining which data in which quality is needed, and by whom.

2.    Checking the financial conditions: which costs are incurred, regularly or punctually and how can they be covered? Creating a first Business Model.

3.    Clarifying the legal Framework: e.g. legal requirements related to the topic, keywords: enforceable stopping bans, data protection, trade tax exemption, certified smart meter, electricity grid regulation.

4.    Defining and clarifying technical framework conditions: which provider is used, do interfaces/prototypes already exist, is the WLAN network sufficient ? Which innovations in the near future do you have to consider?

5.    The biggest factor of all is: defining and clarifying the „human framework conditions”: Are the inhabitants of the desired area / or your customers open to this innovation?

These are only a few points of the overall conclusions. It clearly depends on the measure and the individual situation, but overall the most important conclusion is staying flexible and open to new findings and required adaptations - use foresight / look ahead!

Room Air monitoring: The GreenAir service

With GreenAir, Colognes project partner RheinEnergie AG offers a room air monitoring service for tenants and landlords.

Sensors will be installed in the apartments to measure temperature and humidity. The sensors have the size of a room thermostat and are not particularly noticeable. The data transmission is carried out using an innovative LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) wireless technology. Thanks to the long range, no gateway is required in the apartments and will be installed outside of the buildings.

The data is processed anonymously and made available to the tenants via an APP. GreenAir provides tenants with an air monitoring service and with reasonable ventilation and heating recommendations based on the monitoring. This will help prevent the formation of mold due to excessive humidity, lead to a better well-being and at the same time saves heating costs.

Particularly after renovation work, the humidity could rise to a critically high level in the apartments if the ventilation behaviour is not adapted. In order to support the tenants in this new situation, GreenAir offers an app for Andriod and iOS, on which the current temperature and humidity in the individual rooms is displayed, and ventilation and heating recommendations are made. Should the humidity rise above 60%, the tenant receives a push message with a ventilation recommendation. Equipped with the information aggregated in a dashboard, the landlord can supervise the condition in his buildings.

Our project partner [ui!] – the urban institute developed the technical infrastructures, the backend components and the apps for the tenants, the landlords and the technicians, who install the sensors in the flats.

Figure 1: GreenAir views for the tenants

This pictures shows two views for the tenants. The left view provides information about temperature and humidity inside the rooms and outside the building. The right view provides the recommendations what the tenants should do to improve the situation inside. At present the user interface is in German only.

Standardization Activities GrowSmarters steering group decided to put a stronger focus on standardization activities in order to ease replication and roll-out of project results to other cities. Cologne considers standardization efforts as important as well and has welcomed this decision. Together with City and industrial partners, Cologne already developed one standard during GrowSmarter, see the blog entry from June 2018[1], and the development of another one has been started in 2018. [ui!] – the urban institute is coordinating the development of the new standard “DIN SPEC 91367 Urban mobility data collection for real-time applications”. The standardisation committee consists again of cities and industrial partners and the standard will probably be available for a download free of charge at www.beuth.de in March.

GrowSmarter’s Opens mobility stations

Within GrowSmarter, the first mobility stations with all partners (RheinEnergie, KVB, Cambio and Ampido) and the combination of e-bikes and e-cars started in the district of Cologne Mülheim. Until this point there was a lot of work to do because of the complicated civil work and the cable laying. Another important fact was the installation of a switch cabinet just for the implementation of the e-bikes next to the stations. This was needed as the power units for the e-bikes don’t fit into the RheinEnergie switch cabinet. Nevertheless the whole project team did a lot of public relation (e.g. tenant events) especially near the mobility station at the Stegerwaldsiedlung.

The process for signing up for an e-bike is similar to the process for conventional bikes. The costumer can sign up for free by using the homepage www.kvb-rad.de, by using the KVB or nextbike App or register on the phone by using the nextbike costumer hotline.

After the registration and the confirming of a payment method, the costumer can rent and return the e-bikes at any of these stations mentioned above. Enough charging spots are available. The fee for renting an e-bike is 3 € for 30 minutes and 19 € for the whole day. The average distance of the e-bike is 45 km. If the costumer is an owner of the so called mobility card and uses a subscription (e.g. Job-Ticket or Mobile Pass), he can use the conventional bikes 30 minutes for free in the free-float-system. This free-float-system KVB-Rad is very popular in Cologne and covers more than 84 square kilometers on both sides of the Rhine River. To date there are more than 90.000 registered users who drove over 2,2 million kilometers in the past three years.

 

Barbara Moehlendick

Site Manager, Cologne

For the previous blog post, click here

13 March 2019

Stockholm Blog #10: The Moment of Truth

In January 2019 IESE researchers visited Stockholm to discuss with partners the economic evaluation of the measures implemented. The partners were also able to have a chat with KTH researchers about the technical evaluation. After this meeting the general feeling was that it is possible to evaluate the measures technically, economically and socially with the available data. IESE researchers also discussed the upscaling of measures and their replicability, which are an important part of this project. In this blog I will elaborate a little bit on the evaluation of measures in work packages 2 and 3 where evaluation data is available.

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

What is happening in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area buildings, what results do we have and what can be scaled-up?

In Valla Torg the refurbishment and implementation of energy efficient measures of the final two multi-storey buildings (2A and 3B) and the low-storey building 5E are finalised. Tenants have moved in to buildings 2A and 5 E and will move in to building 3B in March. The reductions in energy use based on the evaluation this far was as follows:

BUILDING 6F Area size Energy purchased Energy produced locally Energy use
Before refurbishment 4942 m² 650 510 kWh   132 kWh/m²
After refurbishment 5191 m² 193 162 kWh 4 276 kWh (new photovoltaics installed) 38 kWh/m²
Total energy use reduction 94 kWh/m2 or 72%

In Building 6F the total reduction in consumed energy was thus 94 kWh/m2 thus 72%.

BUILDING 7G Area size Energy purchased Energy produced locally Energy use
Before refurbishment 4571 m² 568 136 kWh   124 kWh/m²
After refurbishment 4626 m² 370 578 kWh 11 493 kWh (new photovoltaics installed) 83 kWh/m²
Total energy use reduction 44 kWh/m2 or 36%

In Building 7G the total reduction in consumed energy was 44 kWh/m2 (36%). These figures are lower than expected, but they are largely due to the fact that the exhaust air heat pumps were not functioning before December 2018. The estimation for 2019 with fully functioning heat pumps is a reduction of 64% in consumed energy.

BUILDING 8H Area size Energy purchased Energy produced locally Energy use
Before refurbishment 5401,5 m² 688 049 kWh   127 kWh/m²
After refurbishment 5651 m² 415 170 kWh 3087 kWh (new photovoltaics installed) 74 kWh/m²
Total energy use reduction 53 kWh/m2 or 42%

In Building 8H the total reduction in consumed energy was thus 53 kWh/m2 (42%). These figures were also lower than expected, but they were also largely due to the fact that the exhaust air heat pumps were not functioning before the end of November 2018. The estimation for 2019 with fully functioning heat pumps is a reduction of 66% in consumed energy.

If the estimated values for buildings 7G and 8 H are reached the average energy use per squaremeter in the first three evaluated buildings is 42 kWh/m2.  These are very promising results, considering that the original building is from 1961 and that the requirement for new-built buildings in Stockholm is 55 kWh/m2.

As the results indicate, the technical solutions are indeed able to reduce the energy use in an old residential building by more than 70%, but it is economically feasible? We do not yet have the economic figures, so unfortunately it is too early to define if the refurbishment is economically feasible or not. I should be able to answer this in the next blog in May. There are other issues to consider. One of these issues is the u-value of the windows. The windows chosen in the project have a very low u-value of 0,7. In our northern climate this low u-value has meant that during special weather conditions more than half of the window has had frost on the outside. The frost indicate that heat is not leaking out the window, but for the tenant it is inconvenient when they cannot look out the window.

In the private condominia Brf Årstakrönet the evaluation is on its second year. Compared to the 2015 baseline, the savings in 2018 was around -11% for district heating -13% for electricity (not including electricity used in apartments) and -3% for water.

In Slakthus-area the refurbishment of building 8 is finalised. Compared to the 2017 baseline, the savings in 2018 were 49% for district heating. The baseline for electricity in 2017 is not comparable with the 2018 use as the function of the building has changed becoming amusic club which resulted in an  increased use of electricity of 300% .

The substitute building Kylhuset in Slakthus-area is also finalised for building related energy efficiency measures. Compared to the 2017 baseline, the savings in 2018 were 19% for district heating and 10% for building electricity. The production of electricity from photovoltaics is not available yet 2018, nor the recovery of waste heat from the datacentre. These do not affect the above figures, but they do affect the saving in total CO2-emissions.

Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

Installing smart LED-lighting

The smart LED-street lights (solution 5) have now been in operation for more than two years and the system works well. There are three sub-measures implemented and evaluated. I presented the results in my previous blog post but in summary the savings are between 14 and 46% depending on the sub-measure. The economic evaluation is not yet available, but in my next blog I will be able to talk more about the economic feasibility of this measure.  

A Smart, Connected City

The aim of the measure 5.2 is to implement in the city environment, if possible on existing infrastructure, sensors for data collection, analysis, visualization.  

Two types of sensors have been implemented in the Slakthus-area and have been operating for one year. The 10 sensors for measuring vehicle traffic on a real-time base have been functioning well and have provided accurate data. Some of the sensors were installed in existing infrastructure (a bridge, existing road signs), whereas others were installed on poles specifically set up for that purpose, as neither the traffic or light poles could bear their weight. As it is costly to install the poles, bring electricity and connectivity to them, it is important that the sensors can operate for a long period of time. Therefore we are currently working on extending the measurement time beyond the project time.

The wifi-nodes were installed in buildings owned by the city and could use the existing connectivity (broadband) there. No additional cabling for electricity was needed as the wifi-nodes were connected with power over Ethernet (PoE). Theywere supposed to detect passing people in a very accurate way, but in reality did not do so. The issues were the sensitivity of the sensors, that regularly stopped working and the connection to people’s mobile device which was too long (between 20 seconds and 3 minutes) to determine if people were pedestrians, cyclers, or passing in a car.

We are currently going through all wifi-nodes not providing data to re-start and/or replace them. We also add new wifi-nodes to provide additional data. And as a third step IBM is installing multisensors to gather additional data about pedestrians and bicyclists in the Slakthusarea, as part of M8.1.

The data from the sensors are analysed and visualised in the IOT platform provided by IBM. In the platform we have information about all sensors as well as a map (see below).

IBM, who is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), has built up a multi-use data platform where real-time data can be analysed, but also were the data can be turned into practical usecases on reducing transport emissions and increasing the quality of life for citizens. Data flows from the sensor vendors’ systems via two separate entry points. The data is then immediately stored in the data lake for later processing but also fed online via the IBM Event Streams system for online processing, e.g. real time counting of unique visitors, or passages through the system.

Implementation of a Big Data platform often impose a higher start-up cost for the first use case. Adding additional cases or increasing the usage of the same use case can lower the cost per unit of use case. This effect is basically a result of services or labour costs. The IT related platform cost (IBM Cloud) is consumption based and will have a low cost for the low volumes also at the start.

The Measure is economically sustainable when we assume that the foundation would be used for more cases or at a larger scale. The Measure is installed in a limited geographical  area with few sensors connected which  makes the relative cost per sensor higher.

Waste Heat recovery

Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) system has two sub measures. The first sub measure is “waste heat recovery from data centers”. The data center is now having a load of 0,54 MW heat and will annually generate approx. 4,7 GWh (based on 8760 hours of operation/year) of heat. The heat reuse of the data center is expected to increase gradually to a level of approximately 1MW heat, a heat recovery that is sufficient to heat more than 1,000 apartments while reducing annual CO2 emissions in Stockholm. From the technical perspective, the main innovative solution applied to the data center is the heat pump model used, which is the first of its kind in Sweden. The heat pump is able to produce hot water at a temperature of 85oC instead of around 68oC. This is an advantage since a higher delivery temperature allows for more running hours in the district heating system, also during cold days when district heating customer SLA requires temperatures above 68C.  

This measure has been economical feasible for both the district heating company Stockholm Exergi and the supplier. For Stockholm Exergi the recovered heat has been cost efficient compared to other production units. For a large-scale implementation of heat recovery into the district heating network Stockholm Exergi gains in other aspect such as avoiding peak production capacity investments and reducing operation and maintenance costs thanks to third party ownership of the production asset. For the data center, heat recovery generates a revenue stream from the waste heat that otherwise would be costly to get rid of. Since the datacenter had expansion plans there was an investment need in more cooling capacity. Instead of another conventional cooling machine, this heat pump solution with heat recovery was chosen. If you compare these two options this measure shows economical gains for the supplier compared to conventional data center cooling. Pay-back for the supplier will be within 5 years time but the economical values will remain over the total technical lifetime of approximately 15-25 years.

The second sub measure is “waste heat recovery from fridges and freezers in supermarkets”. The studied supermarket had a heat recovery potential of up to 30 kW which would approx. generate 219 MWh annually. As long as the measure was in operation, during January to August 2017, the running time was over 99%, way higher than the initial aim of 50%.

The conclusions regarding the sustainability of this measure shows that implementing heat recovery will contribute to decreasing the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions independently of the electricity mix used when calculating the footprint.

The economic feasibility of this measure could not be adequately evaluated due to the lack of data caused by the limited time of operation.  The pay-back period for the supplier is estimated to be within 10 years’ time but the generation of economical value would continue over the equipment’s total technical lifetime of approximately 15-25 years.

Smart waste handling

The waste handling system provided by Envac has been running since summer 2017. This solution demonstrates a smart waste solution for residential areas using differently coloured bags for different sorts of waste, transporting the bags long distance underground and sorting them automatically in a treatment plant. There are currently six inlets in operation in the installation due to the general time plan of the refurbishment of the Valla torg site. When the automated waste collecting system is in full operation there will be 13 inlets, thus increasing the amount of waste significantly, in turn making the evaluation more relevant.

There is no data available for the sorting rate prior to the installation of the automated waste collecting system, so the sorting rate is compared to reference values from the Optibag sorting facility in the city of Eskilstuna, see table 1. Notably the residents in Årsta sort their waste better the residents of Eskilstuna. There is less rest fraction and more of organic fraction and paper packaging, even though there is slightly less plastic packaging. This is a good sign, since there were no sorting of organic waste prior to the installation of the AWCS in Årsta.

Fraction Årsta 181122-181212 Eskilstuna reference values (source : Envac Optibag AB)
Rest fraction 41% 52%
Organic fraction 41% 34%
Plastic packaging 6% 8%
Paper packaging 13% 7%

The organic fraction can be used for biogas production, which in turn can be used in vehicles. So it is very promising that this fraction per quantity is the largest.

A normal consequence of the installation of an AWCS from Envac is a substantial reduction of waste truck traffic in the area. This is also the result for the Growsmarter installation in Årsta/Valla Torg.  The traffic in the area is reduced by 90%.With the available information the measure seems to be financially sustainable, if the present revenues are maintained along the life time of the asset.

As the evaluation of measures in workpackages 2 and 3 shows, we do have some interesting results and measures which have a great potential for replication both in Stockholm and in other European cities. We will return to WP4 measures as well as WP2 economic evaluation in the next blog when I have this data available.

With this I wish you a pleasant and sunny spring.

 

Mika Hakosalo

Site Manager, Stockholm

For the previous blog post, click here

29 June 2018

Cologne Blog #9: Making the smart city available - Smart home systems and Open Urban platforms

Our smart district is producing a lot of information. Our “SmartHome GrowSmarter” research study for example will look at the feedback that the volunteer tenants will give from the use of Smart systems in their energetically renovated houses. Open Urban Platforms such as the one developed in GrowSmarter, including our Urban cockpit, is becoming a reference for smart cities. 

 

Action Area 2 - Low Energy Districts: SmartHome Systems in the Stegerwaldsiedlung

RheinEnergie found a manufacturer (homee) who is going to equip the Smart Home system with an interface that enables AGT to collect and measure the required data. The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of Smart Home systems on users' quality of life and potential energy savings.

Every tenant who lives in one of the 16 energetically renovated houses can apply to participate in the “SmartHome GrowSmarter” research study. RheinEnergie offers to install up to 50 free systems. Participants will receive a SmartHome system worth approx. 1.000€ (including installation) which they can keep after the end of the study.participants must agree to share their experiences in surveys which will be sent out at least quarterly.  The data will be evaluated anonymously and confidentially by the technical university of Cologne (TH Köln).

With the SmartHome system provided, tenants have an open system that can combine different radio protocols and components from many different manufacturers to set up individual SmartHome systems. The research study decided to use the radio protocol Z-Wave. The tenants received the homee base cube, the Z-Wave radio cube and various matching components, such as the smart heating thermostat, window and door sensors and smart plugs to measure the electricity consumption. The base cube collects information, processes it and stores it locally. It acts as the central control over the smart components. A Wi-Fi connection allows the control of the connected devices via smartphone or PC. To connect more sensors or actors you can add more cubes to the brain cube which support other Smart Home radio protocols like Z-Wave, Zigbee or EnOcean.

The Smart Home system allows a comfortable control of lights, heating, etc. via Smartphone from any room. You can, for example, check that all windows are closed while being away from home.

At both informational events on March 24th 2018 and on May 17th 2018, the project partners RheinEnergie (with the TH Köln) and AGT had a display wall to explain the system and the extra components to the tenants and show them its advantages.

Photo: The home base cube (white) and the Z-Wave radio protocol cube (purple) and demonstration wall

Action Area 3 - Integrated Infrastructure: Open urban Platforms as key component for integrated SmartCity infrastructures

The European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) exists since 2013 and now has more than 5,000 affiliates in over 31 countries. The EIP-SCC discusses central questions of the Smart Spatial Development. A central finding of the Cluster “Integrated Infrastructures & Processes”[1] is the need for open urban platforms prerequisite for the rapid implementation of intelligent solutions in the cities that can be used by the various actors in a city. The first step in this direction has been made by the Urban Platforms initiative, which comprises three areas: the demand side, which is mainly represented by cities, the supplier side, and the standardization.

With a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) “Towards Open Urban Platforms for Smart Cities and Communities”, the initiative aims to provide broad support from the industry for the implementation of open solutions. Currently, 44 companies from the industry have signed the memorandum. On the demand side, a declaration of intent has been signed by the 24 cities and two city networks, which will help to develop the core requirements for open, urban platforms.

[ui!]UrbanPulse is one of the first urban platforms that has been aligned to the reference architecture of the MoU and thus the open urban data platform of Cologne according to GrowSmarter's “Integrated Infrastructure” measure “8.1 Big consolidated open data platform” conforms to the reference architecture.

DIN SPEC Open Urban Platform (OUP) The German standards organization DIN has picked up the activities of the Action Cluster Integrated Infrastructure and Processes on the MoU and developed an “Open Urban Platform” with a regional consortium consisting of members from cities, operators, vendors, and academia the DIN SPEC 91357[1]. The reference architecture of the MoU has served as a sound base as depicted in the figure below. Both core partners of WP3 in Cologne, the City of Cologne and [ui!], were members of the DIN SPEC team and provided strategic guidance. As consortium leader, [ui!] orchestrated input also from other members working in SCC01 projects such as Triangulum, Smarter Together and mySMARTLife.  

 

MoU Reference graphic

Urban COCKPIT The GrowSmarter Cologne Urban COCKPIT is a solution developed on top of the open urban platform and is based on the [ui!] COCKPIT. It is designed to support analytics of real time data. By integrating, processing and visualizing data, a proof of concept can be done proving that the data is really available and in good quality. This is an important step for using and offering the data for value added services.

The WebAPP has been developed for GrowSmarter to provide insight in the different measures implemented in Cologne. It gives decision makers an easily understandable overview of the current and historical state of the pilot implementation. This includes traffic and parking loads, parking situations, energy consumption and production and mobility stations. All data is provided by the infrastructures and does not include personal data. It will be used to understand which data is available, at which quality in a human understandable way. It serves therefore also as a communication tool with other departments within the City administration as well as with external parties.

Urban cockpit main view and map view

The indicator on the left side of the Urban COCKPIT main page is pulsing and gives information of the current “pulse” of the city. In case of large traffic loads, much pollution, bad parking situations, high amount of non-regenerative energy consumption, etc. the pulse is very high which indicates the city suffers from “stress”. On the right side, different tiles or certain Smart City indicators are arranged. The timeline on the bottom of the cockpit can be used to see historical states of the city.

Federation of Open Urban PlatformsWithin the DIN SPEC 91357 and in alignment to the MoU, the federation of open urban platforms has been addressed. A federation allows different urban data platforms to exchange data in a transparent way thus that smart services in any given city can benefit from data sources even outside of the city as well as deploying smart services into other cities.

The below figure provides a schematic view of such a federation depicted from the DIN SPEC 91357.

User scenario

Let’s assume, a start-up from Cologne would like to develop a mobile application that enables the multi-modal routing and integrated usage of public transport, electric mobility and different energy infrastructure elements (e.g. charging stations) across Germany. Therefore, the start-up obtains relevant data regarding the current city from the related Open Urban Platform via an Open Data Portal (e.g. https://offenedaten-koeln.de/). To extend their service to other cities in Germany the start-up uses the GovData.De portal and its data-catalog to lookup for Open Urban Platforms of other cities providing equivalent datasets and services required by their mobile application. The available information from the Open Data Portals and their corresponding Open Urban Platforms of Hamburg and Cologne has been harvested by integrating their data catalogs. This way the mobile application can transparently provide services both in Cologne and Hamburg, instead of having two APPs, e.g. one for each city. Given a user opens the mobile application in Cologne to plan a journey to Hamburg. The mobile application should provide the most convenient combination of transportation means concerning the traffic situation and public transport options and availability of charging stations.”

Our vision is therefore to connect the urban platforms within GrowSmarter across the three GrowSmarter lighthouse cities Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona and if applicable between lighthouse cities and follower cities. This way, we allow for more smart services to be developed and thus creating an even larger ecosystem adhering to our ambitious goal of prosperity and growth.

 

Barbara Moehlendick

Site Manager, Cologne

For the previous blog post, click here

29 June 2018

Stockholm Blog #9: Looking at first evaluation results

In 2014, when we selected the smart solutions and the partners that would implement these in Stockholm, we wanted to show how a city can tackle the sustainability challenges of rapid urban growth. Now that these solutions are in place we want to evaluate the results to show that we can achieve the goals initially defined and do so in an economically sound way. When we look at the first set of evaluation data collected we can see at the same time promising results, no results at all and negative results. In many cases we simply do not have enough data to give an accurate answer. Also the systems have in many cases not been fully optimised and/or is running on partial capacity, so it is too early to define if they are working well.

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts - What is happening in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area buildings and what results do we have?

In Valla Torg the refurbishment of the two first multi-storey buildings (7G and 6) and the low-storey building 8 are finalised and the tenants have moved in. The evaluation of energy use has started, but the first set of evaluation data is not complete, so it is too early to tell how well the energy efficiency measures have worked. Refurbishment of the other buildings are still in progress and will be finalised between September 2018 and January 2019.

In the private condominia Brf Årstakrönet the evaluation is on its second year. The use of electricity, water and energy used for heating is evaluated. Each energy source is followed on a monthly basis and compared to the baseline.  Also the amount of solar energy produced by PV cells are measured.

Compared to 2015, the first full operational year of savings was around -10%, for district heating -30% for electricity (not including electricity used in apartments) and -4% for water.

In Slakthusarea the refurbishment of building 8 is finalised. The evaluation of energy use has started, but as the building and energy measures were so recently done there is no data yet available telling how well the energy efficiency measures have worked. The substitute buildings Kylhuset in Slakthusareaare also finalised for building related energy efficiency measures. The waste heat recovery will be installed in summer 2018 as well as the PVs combined with battery storage.

Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

Installing smart LED-lighting

The smart LED-street lights (solution 5) have now been in operation for 1,5 years and the system has worked well. There are three sub measures implemented and evaluated and the results for the first year of evaluation is presented below. It is important to understand that the baseline is LED-street lights. So the energy saving of replacing a metal halogen street 50 W with LED light of 30W is not included. This saving is about 30%.

  • The first sub measure is “Sensor controlled LED lighting for pedestrian and bicycle paths” to enable the lights to provide base lighting to satisfy the feeling of safety at all times and increase the level of lighting when someone approaches. The first 12 months of evaluation indicate an energy saving of 45,9% a year. The original target of 40-50% savings was thus reached.
  • The second sub measure is “Self-controlled LED street lighting with pre-set lighting schemes”. The first 12 months of evaluation indicate an energy saving of 14,4% a year. The original target of 20% savings was not reached in this first year.
  • The third sub measure is “Remote controlled LED street lighting which can be controlled from a distance”. The first 12 months of evaluation indicate an energy saving of 19,3% a year. The original target of 30-50% savings was not reached in this first year.

The next step will be to define how cost effective these sub measures have been.

A Smart Connected City

The aim of the measure 5.2 is to implement in the city environment, if possible on existing infrastructure, sensors for data collection, analysis, visualization and via an IOT platform also test the possibilities to use sensor data for direct communication to citizens as well as using flow data to pre-program and steer city infrastructure such as street lights.

Two types of sensors have been implemented in the Slakthusarea. The first type is 10 sensors for measuring vehicle traffic on a real-time base and the second type are wifi-based sensors to measure pedestrian and bicyclist traffic. The data from the sensors are analysed and visualised in the IOT platform provided by IBM. Below are some examples of visualised data analytics.

IBM, who is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), will build up a multiuseable data platform where real-time data can be analysed, but also were the data can be turned into practical usecases reducing transport emissions and increasing the quality of life for citizens. The development work is done in an agile process were users from different city organisations work together with IBMs development team. Currently the development team is working on developing a mobile application to help event visitors in the Slakthusarea to navigate in the area is a best possible way. In autumn the development team will start working with how the flow data collected could be used to steer street lights in the area.

CO2 emission (g/km) from passing vehicles (left) and amount of pedestrians in the area during an event (right)

Smart waste handling

The waste handling system provided by Envac has been running since the summer 2017. This solution (Measure 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3) demonstrates a smart waste solution for residential areas using differently coloured bags for different sorts of waste, transporting the bags long distance underground and sorting them automatically in a treatment plant. There are yet only two inlets in operation in the installation due to the general time plan of the refurbishment of the Valla torg site. When the AWCS is in full operation there will be 13 inlets, thus increasing the amount of waste significantly, in turn making the evaluation more relevant. The organic fraction can be used for biogas production, which in turn can be used in vehicles. So it is very promising that this fraction per quantity is the largest. 

Waste sorting results
Color Fraction Quantity Distribution
White Rest fraction 76 20,4%
Yellow Paper packaging 90 24,1%
Orange Plastic packaging 80 21,4%
Green Organic fraction 127 34,0%

Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

Building logistics centre and delivery boxes

The Building logistics centre (solution 2) implemented by Carrier, will start handling more materials for the last buildings to be refurbished in Valla Torg. Unfortunately the evaluation data is not yet available, so it is not possible to define how well the solution is working.

The implementation of delivery boxes (solution 9) by Carrier is done. The delivery boxes are actually a delivery room, which later on can be used for other purposes. The delivery room can be easily used for any type of deliveries, small and big. The deliveries are transported by bike to the room. When the package has arrived the tenant will get a message and with an app, open the door and then go and collect it.  The tenant can also put returning packages in a special shelf. As the system has been in use for a short time, only a tenfold of packages were delivered. The camera surveilled room together with identification of users and specified door codes guarantee that a package is not accessed by other users by mistake.

From package delivery by bike to pick up from Tenant using the app

Smart Traffic Management

Insero has together with NOAE (Network of Automotive Excellence) implemented an information system for drivers (solution 10). Effects on travel time and the drivers’ experiences has not yet been evaluated.

KTH has developed a smart phone application to follow up changes in travel behaviour. In the same application, information about renewable fuels in Stockholm will be shown. The application is launched, but no evaluation data is available.  

Alternative fuel driven vehicles

As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum will install up to 10 charging stations and one fast charger (solution 11). The fast charger is installed in Årsta. The normal chargers are also installed in Valla Torg.

The first four refuelling stations for renewable fuels are up and running. The filling station in Årsta is expected to be built in 2018. Data from the first refuelling station shows some drastic results. The station was launched in 2016 as a renewable station and drivers did not think they could also get traditional diesel there. When they did understand this, the diesel sales increased. It is important to remember that only 10% of all trucks in Sweden are defined as green vehicles, so in that perspective 18% sales of biogas is a good result.

Stockholmshem launched its electrical carpool (solution 12) for tenants and habitants in February 2018. In February and March there were 14 tenants who have enrolled themselves to the carpool. The cars are frequently used especially during weekends.

Communication and marketing

An event for tenants in Valla Torg was organised 18th of April 2018. In the events Stockholm Site partners showed smart solutions for the tenants and they could also test solutions like the cargo bike. The event was successful and received positive feedback from tenants.

All photos from the tenant event was taken by Bengt Alm.

In Slakthusarea an inauguration was held 15th of May introducing the smart solutions implemented in the area. Some 100 persons from different organisations attended the event. It was a wonderful weather and the visitors had a possibility to both listen to presentations as well as see the solutions in practice in a study visit.

All photos from the Slakthusarea event was taken by Sven Lindwall.

With this I want to wish you a very nice summer.

 

Mika Hakosalo

Site Manager, Stockholm

For the previous blog post, click here

26 June 2018

Barcelona Blog #9: Drawing the lessons of the low-energy districts solutions

Read about Barcelona's first lessons learned from the implementation phase of low energy district solutions: learn the importance of business models, regulatory framework and finding value proposition for energy consumption visualization platforms. Get more details on the refurbishment of the Escola Sert center, a part of The College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC). 

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts - Lessons learnt

The main objective of the GrowSmarter work package called "Low energy districts" is the deployment of energy efficiency measures to reduce the environmental impact of the existing building stock in cities.

To date, we have already reached the stage within the GrowSmarter project where practically all measures are completely executed and the corresponding monitoring phase has started. This has allowed the collection of the first conclusions and lessons learned from the last 2 years of implementation work required to make the proposed measures reality.

In total, 123 000m2 of constructed surface area have been refurbished in the three Lighthouse cities (including private and public buildings, tertiary and residential buildings), and local energy generation has been promoted by connecting buildings to District Heating and Cooling networks, on-site renewable electricity production, and advanced smart energy management of the local energy generation. The project has also promoted the deployment of Home Energy Management Systems to raise awareness on energy efficiency among the citizens. In this context, each Lighthouse city has implemented Smart solutions of different nature but with the same goal: the demonstration of measures leading to a more energy efficient city building stock.

In Barcelona, the partners involved in the Low energy districts work package have highlighted the importance of the following topics:

  • Explore feasible business models behind the private building energy retrofitting in relatively low heating demand areas (Mediterranean zone): The industrial partner responsible for the demonstration of private building energy retrofitting in Barcelona highlights the general need for Public-Private partnerships and, in case of commercial buildings, the need for agreements between building owners and operators. In Barcelona, the feasibility of actions related to the energy retrofitting of private buildings by an industrial partner has been possible through the figure of an ESCo (Energy Service Company) that has promoted Public-Private partnerships in order to find a favourable funding for the building owners.  
  • Define the value proposition of energy consumption visualization platforms prior to installation: The two energy consumption visualization platforms deployed in Barcelona have shown different value propositions. The Municipality deployed the free Virtual Energy Advisor, which aims at empowering citizens to decrease the electricity consumption in the residential sector. The local utility GNF deployed a commercial HEMS (Home Energy Management System), which will increase consumers’ energy efficiency awareness while providing valuable information on energy consumption consumers’ habits.
  • Consider the strong dependence on National regulation for the implementation of Self-consumption systems (Photovoltaics + Battery systems) with Smart energy management systems: Considering the existing regulation in Spain at the time of the GrowSmarter project’s implementation phase, a distributed photovoltaic (PV) energy generation installation can only feed a single consumer. Hence, in order to implement this measure, the PV systems had to be installed at the common rooftop of the residential building and can only satisfy the common end-uses of the building (i.e. elevators and lighting). Moreover, the current legislation does not allow any retribution from the injection in the grid of surplus renewable electricity generation. This limits the possibilities that the smart energy management can offer.

 

Refurbishment of Escola Sert (COAC)

Sert School is a continuous formation centre through which The College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC) offers a systematic program of training and accompaniment to the professional group. The College of Architects of Catalonia is an institution, established in 1931. Its building was built between 1959 and 1962 and it is located in Plaça Nova, Barcelona.

The project will affect the College building’s façade where the Sert School will be located after the refurbishment. This is a protected building catalogued as historical heritage. Therefore the intervention has been designed and executed respecting the composition and aesthetic of the original building while improving its energy performance and comfort.

On February 2017, the final agreement between Gas Natural Servicios and COAC was signed in order to take part in the GrowSmarter project. At that moment, COAC was already carrying out a global reform, not limited to an energy refurbishment. The municipal permissions were obtained during 2015. The scope of Growsmarter within the global project consists in implementing façade-integrated PV plant and a Building Energy Management System (BEMS).

The implementation started in June 2017 with the PV glass and the electrical installation engineering. The works related to the façade started in October 2017 and they finished in January 2018. The Building Energy Management System (BEMS) was installed once all the refurbishment works finished. The collaboration is taking place under an Energy Services contract, through which the Energy Services Company (Gas Natural Servicios, GNF’s ESCo) provides a turnkey solution and performs the investment in exchange for an annual fee. GNF is responsible for the PV glass supply and its integration in the building electrical installation and also the design and implementation of the BEMS.

The school and the whole building are undergoing a global refurbishment complemented by the GrowSmarter project:

  • Façade refurbishment, incorporating mostly glass surface: Improvement of the sound insulation and reduction of the thermal losses
  • Implementation of a 19.5 kWp façade-integrated PV plant for self-consumption.

Specific photovoltaic glasses have been selected taking into account both technical and aesthetic properties.

COAC Façade under construction and photovoltaic glasses (PV). Source: Diputació de Barcelona

Added Value

Data gathered by the BEMS will be used for better energy management by the building operator resulting in further reductions in energy consumption that achieved using that data. In addition, one of the main aspects to highlight in this refurbishment is the definition of an optimal PV installation design integrated in a building façade, minimizing the visual impact and maximizing the power production that can be obtained through self-consumption.

 

Gonzalo Cabeza

Site Manager, Barcelona

For the previous blog post, click here

26 February 2018

Barcelona Blog #8: Breathing new life into old buildings

Read about how Barcelona has completed refurbishment works in several building complexes, including social housing buildings, student residences, a new library and more! Energy saving solutions have been implemented together with smart monitoring systems to track the new energy performance of the buildings. The solutions being implemented could be replicated across the city and have a considerable impact on the energy performance of Barcelona's buildings. Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts To see all the measures to be implemented, click here. Inaugural ceremony of newly retrofitted public library The refurbishment works on the public library owned by Barcelona Municipality, which are part of the GrowSmarter project, have been completed. The inaugural ceremony of the Library Montserrat Abelló in the district Les Corts was held on 26th January with the attendance of the Mayor and other representatives of the City Council. Located in an old silk factory, the new public library is an example of the refurbishment of an industrial building owned by the Municipality of Barcelona. In this case, three adjacent buildings (an old industrial building most recently used as a warehouse and two office buildings) have been retrofitted to become the new public library of the district, a public facility of more than 3,000 m2. The new library is the first public building in the city of Barcelona with the BREEAM® (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) certificate, a world-leading sustainability assessment method for buildings. In order to achieve this, the Municipality included energy efficiency criteria in the structural refurbishment of the building to reduce its environmental impact. The scope of the energy retrofitting works includes the improvement of the façade, roof, ground floor and glazing insulation to reduce the demand for heating and air conditioning of the building, the installation of radiant floor system for heating and cooling that contributes to the energy savings of the building, and the installation of software for the energy management of the building (BEMS). In addition, the library will cover part of its own electrical demand with a solar photovoltaic installation on the rooftop. To watch a summary video of the inaugural ceremony please click here.
The official speech held by the Administration during the inauguration ceremony. Source: Sergi Ramos/Diputació de Barcelona
General view of the ground floor of the library. Source: IREC
Works on social housing building finished by Barcelona Municipality The refurbishment works in the residential building of Passeig Santa Coloma 55-71, promoted by the public body responsible for social housing in Barcelona Institut Municipal de l’Habitatge i la Rehabilitació - IMHAB , were finished in December 2017. This building is composed of 207 dwellings with a total surface of 14,165m2, which will benefit from the passive refurbishment of the entire building façade. The insulation of the building façade is expected to lead to a reduction of the heating demand of the dwellings. The benefits for the tenants will not only be lower heating and energy bills, but also improved comfort and other qualitative aspects, such as noise and humidity insulation. In order to assess the impact on user comfort, a survey and monitoring campaign was done in February 2017 as a baseline, and a second survey and monitoring campaign will now follow in February 2018, since the insulation works are now finished.
The new appearance of the north façade of the building. Source: IMHAB
One of the 8 renovated building entrances. Source: IMHAB
District heating connection between Melon District and DistrictClima Melon District Melon District Marina is the biggest student residence in Barcelona with more than 500 rooms. Melon District has a privileged location in the city thanks to its situation near the one of the most innovative neighbourhood in Barcelona, named 22@, as well as being just ten minutes walking from the centre of Barcelona.
Before the refurbishment, HVAC installations consisted of electric heaters that satisfied the heat demand and a connection to the nearest district heating and cooling (DH&C), named DistrictClima, for cooling in the summer and for domestic hot water. Collaboration Agreement At the outset of GrowSmarter, two buildings (not in Melon District) were under consideration for connection to the district heating network. However, after energy pre-analyses and a first contact with the communities were done, these buildings were deemed unsuitable for the project. Finally, after a long period of searching, Melon District was identified and its participation in the project was accepted by the property management in July 2016. The agreement was a private-private collaboration between Melon District property and Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF). Before the agreement between the student residence and GNF, Melon District had already planned a refurbishment of its building, though the heating system was not part of its initial refurbishment plans. But thanks to the European subsidy (via GrowSmarter) and the participation of Gas Natural Fenosa as an Energy Services Company (ESCO), the expansion of the initial scope of the refurbishment project was made possible. GrowSmarter measures in Melon District The refurbishment works carried out in the framework of GrowSmarter include connecting the heating installation to the nearest DH&C (DistrictClima) and installing a building energy management system (BEMs). Work on the building started in August 2016 and finished in March 2017. Specifically, the refurbishments in Melon District were based on:
  • Connection to the DH&C: Before the refurbishment, the heating system in Melon District was based on electric heaters to supply the heat demand. After the refurbishment, all the electric heaters were disconnected and heat is instead provided DistrictClima. This connection to the district heating network, shown in the following pictures, allows to Melon District to considerably reduce its primary energy consumption thanks to replacing the use of electricity with the DH&C.
  • Building Energy Management System (BEMS): A new Building Energy Management System (BEMS) was installed in Melon District, which will provide relevant information about the energy consumption of the building. The BEMS allows the property managers to understand the energy impact of the students' habits and reduce consumption through the application of new control strategies. Furthermore, the BEMS will help Gas Natural Fenosa to develop new strategies to better respond to disturbances or stresses in the system. A Home Energy Management System (HEMS) was also installed on one floor (B4) of the Melon building, which monitors the energy use of the four bedrooms and one kitchen on the floor. Thanks to the data gathered here, Gas Natural Fenosa will be able to disaggregate total consumption measured by the BEMs by each room and kitchen in Melon District.
Together, these measures are expected to reduce the primary energy consumption of the building by 38%. Added value All the measures and works carried out in Melon District were part of an Energy Services contract, through which the Energy Services Company (ESCO) guarantees energy savings to Melon District as well as the correct operation of all installations for the stipulated period, in exchange of an annual fee. Moreover, thanks to the Gas Natural Fenosa’s background and its large range of different clients, the project carried out in Melon District will be easily replicable beyond what has been demonstrated in GrowSmarter, multiplying the beneficial impacts of the project. Last but not least, all data obtained by BEMS and HEMS will be fundamental to assessing the energy savings guarantees, thus improving the know-how of Gas Natural Fenosa and allowing Melon District to be more self-sufficient in its energy consumption. Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures To see all the measures to be implemented, click here. Smart solution 8: Big data management In Measure 8.2, we have added data access and query functionality beyond what GrowSmarter proposes. Concretely, we can now query and cross data from more than one source, in this case from the GrowSmarter API and from other triple stores containing Barcelona urbanistic data (where data is in RDF/OWL format). This is a first step towards integrating Linked (Open) Data. Discussed in this blog Solution 3: Smart energy-saving tenants Solution 6: Waste heat recovery Solution 8: Big data management
Gonzalo Cabeza Site Manager, Barcelona For the previous blog post, click here
23 February 2018

Cologne Blog #8: Exchanging with tenants and sharing Cologne's experiences

With construction nearly completed in Stegerwaldsiedlung, we held an informational event with tenants in the newly renovated buildings and area. We've also been actively participating in a number of international events, sharing the experiences of the GrowSmarter project in Cologne with interested parties from all around Europe and the world.

GrowSmarter dissemination

Informational event for the Stegerwaldsiedlung tenants

As the construction work in the project site area Stegerwaldsiedlung is almost complete, the project management and partners believed that it was time to hold an informational event for the neighbourhood tenants to inform about the process and foster acceptance. As the tenants stayed in their apartments during construction time, burdens such as long road closures, lack of parking spaces, construction noise, etc. had to be endured.

The City of Cologne together with the project partners invited the Stegerwaldsiedlung tenants to an informational event on November 7th, 2017. The invitations were distributed to all households in the project area and were available in all social insti-tutions.

Poster announcing event

Informational event for the tenants. Photo: Uta Konopka

The aim of the informational event was to inform the tenants about the measures and the current state of the implementation, and to report on the perspectives that arise for the entire district of Mülheim. The event was supported by an external moderator and facilitated by the Community Reporter group (a group was founded to teach professional video shooting and then accompany projects they choose in Co-logne). More than 100 tenants attended the event.

Informational event for the tenants. Photo: Uta Konopka

The project management welcomed the attendees, explained the project goals, pre-sented the status of the implementation and pointed out the perspective until the end of the project and beyond. Most importantly, the team explained the benefits of the project for the tenants. Two City of Cologne employees (City Strategic Planning and Urban Development) reported on how the district of Mülheim will develop in the areas of local supply, mobility and construction. The tenants were invited to ask questions and express their wishes. Many questions asked were related to the status of the construction site, new heating system, the parking situation and how high future rents will be.

As a result of this meeting, the City together with the partners will send a letter summarising the event’s results. DEWOG already sent a detailed letter explaining the new heating system and the energy cost saving potential. At the end of the event, the tenants had the opportunity to get to know each other personally. The Community Reporters produced a video showing the event and subsequent interviews with some of the participants. You can view the video here (in German):

The next tenant informational event is planned for May 2018.

Study visit at the World Climate Conference COP 23

The World Climate Change Conference took place in Bonn from November 6 to 17. For more information please visit the official website.

COP23 provided an extensive framework program surrounding the main programme for the conference participants. The aim of this programme was to show the participants as many projects as possible in the field of local climate protection activities. Within this context, the GrowSmarter project partners offered a study visit to the Stegerwaldsiedlung. The The study visit, which took place on 13 November, was announced in a press release as well as in the COP23 event programme, which all attendees received.

Informational event for the tenants. Photo> Uta Konopka

The GrowSmarter team conducted the study visit at the Stegerwaldsiedlung in both German and English. 26 people participated in the study visit. The project management team explained the overarching GrowSmarter goals and the efforts in all three lighthouse cities. The local work-package leaders presented Cologne’s measures in energy, mobility and integrated infrastructure. During the neighbourhood tour, the participants were able to see the implementation of the measures first hand.

Study visit COP 23. Photo: Uta Konopka

The solutions related to energy retrofitting, energy management with the control of neighbourhood management and the mobility stations were of particular interest. Many questions came up, including which measures were particularly effective, the prospects for transferring the measures to other cities and how residents are in-volved. Participants were keen to continue the dialogue and to be kept informed about the project.

GrowSmarter at THERMOS conference in Brussels

This event took place at the Permanent Representation of Romania in Brussels on January 25th, 2018. It addressed the question of making integrated heating and cooling systems part of the backbone of Smart Cities and Communities, including concepts on local, open and affordable energy transition by providing state-of-the-art planning tools, solutions and insights.

Cologne was invited to speak on a panel, providing the city’s perspective on thermal optimisation and refurbishment in the framework of CELSIUS and GrowSmarter.

THERMOS conference. Photo: Julia Egenolf

THERMOS conference. Photo: ICLEI

GrowSmarter at the SmartCity Replication Workshop in Brussels

The SCC replication workshop titled ”Learning from the successful” took place in Brussels on January 26th, 2018 and focused on the question of how Lighthouse city Smart Solutions can be replicated in Follower Cities. How can stumbling blocks be overcome in order to achieve replication possibilities of Horizon 2020 projects and their solutions for Follower Cities? Three workshops, each held twice, were divided into 4-5 roundtables for the topics of energy, integrated infrastructure and mobility. The event saw more than 100 participants in the moderated workshops. Cologne moderated the mobility roundtable, and car-sharer provider Cambio gave information on setting up mobility stations, as has been done in Cologne. Cologne’s energy provider, RheinEnergie, participated in the roundtable on virtual power plants/energy management systems, including storage. Each roundtable discussion was facilitated by a moderator who introduced presenters from industrial and city partners. The sessions started with a presentation touching on the planning, implementation, technical evaluation, business model and the replication possibilities of specific solutions. The participants then had 40 minutes to discuss barriers and possibilities to replicate.

At the end of the workshops, the moderators summarised the key success factors and how to overcome the main obstacles.

SCC replication workshop. Photo: Julia Egenolf

Action Area 1: Low-Energy Districts

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

The first construction phase has been completed and the evaluation began in January 2018, as planned. The remaining construction phases are scheduled to be completed by March 2018, after which their evaluation phase will also begin.

Both RheinEnergie AG and AGT international will send informational letters to all Stegerwaldsiedlung tenants until March and inform them about the possibility to have the Smart Home system installed for free. This will be done in up to 50 homes. If there are more interested tenants than expected, RheinEnergie will have to assign them by lot.

RheinEnergie AG was able to find a manufacturer who was prepared to equip its smart home system with an interface that enables AGT to collect and measure the required data (WP3). The system will be presented and demonstrated to the tenants in a workshop, where they can learn how to operate it in person and understand the advantages of the system. We intend to cover the first experiences with the system our the next blog update.

Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

RheinEnergie was able to install three electric charging stations on existing street lighting poles. An existing WiFi grid connection hotspot is already in place at these locations.

Photo: RheinEnergie AG

The community driven project ”OpenAir Cologne” has made progress; in the past months, the website has been editorially revised and the project was presented at several different events.

OpenAir Cologne is a joint project of the Oklab Cologne, the City of Cologne, the TH (University of applied Sciences), the University of Cologne and the For-schungszentrum Jülich (research center). The project focuses on generating data, especially measurements of fine particulate matter, through environmental sensors. This project is the outcome of an idea from citizens, supported by science based institutions and initiated by the City of Cologne.

Data fine dust collected from environmental sensors. Photo: City of Cologne

The overall idea came about via “Citizen Science”, in which citizens and their ideas and perspectives are actively involved in governmental tasks. The objective is to connect citizens with their local public administration and to accelerate cooperation between the government and the inhabitants in the areas of Open Data, participation and citizen information. The greater purpose in this context is to enable an actual collaboration between citizens and the government.

The project is being implemented by collecting sensor data from volunteers and processing them for the community as Open Data, as well as to open them for discussion and to review their informational value. The goal is that the sensors will allow coverage of a large area in order to generate as much reliable information as possible. To support the project, the city offers different types of workshops, from soldering to understanding weather forecasts.

Given the current situation, OpenAir Cologne was able to set up 50 environmental sensors in the urban area of Cologne. Most importantly, it was possible to raise awareness and interest for the environment and to disseminate environmental topics amongst the public.

Model OpenAir Node Sensor Copyright City of Cologne

Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

All ten planned mobility stations are now in place, in various sizes and with various combinations of partners. Three mobility stations will be equipped with e-bikes this month and next. Photos of the individual stations can also be found in our previous blog post.

Overview of Mobility Stations and partners involved

After overcoming some legal stumbling blocks for ampido locations in public spaces, the team has now been able to integrate this partner with the inclusion of some spe-cial clauses in the law. Ampido is equipping the Mobility Stations with parking spac-es that can be booked in advance. This system has so far only worked on private land and is now possible on public lands for the duration of the project or until city ordinances change. Ampido is represented at the Mobility Stations found in the map above. Some of the stations have already been shown in previous blogs. These photos show only ampido’s spaces, as they are the most recent additions.

Wiener Platz, right in the center of Mülheim at the “Stadthalle”, 5 parking spaces:

Jan-Wellem-Str, Copyright Ampido

Bergischer Ring, directly opposite the district town hall Mülheim, 2 parking spaces:

Bergischer Ring, Copyright Ampido

Bahnhof Mülheim, Montanusstrasse, close to the Mülheim train station, 2 parking spaces:

Montanusstrasse, Copyright Ampido

Mobilitystation Stegerwald neighborhood, 2 parking spaces:

Stegerwald neighborhood, Copyright Ampido

The mobility card: “MultiTicket”

The mobility partners in the project are convinced that better utilisation of Mobility Stations depends on their attractiveness. cambio CarSharing and KVB have there-fore developed a combined mobility card: the “MultiTicket”. With the MultiTicket all means of transport (bus, tram, car- and bike-sharing) can be used. It is a further de-velopment of the existing "JobTicket", a monthly ticket paid for by companies for their employees. All JobTicket users are now able to register with cambio in order to use their car-sharing cars. The cars themselves can be opened with the MultiTicket - no further card is needed. In addition to public transport, all MultiTicket users get a dis-count of 10% for car-sharing.

The MultiTicket, which became available in October 2017, offers virtual consolidation by bringing the various modes of transport to one place, which the Mobility Sta-tion does physically.

Multiticket

The introduction of the MultiTicket has not yet been promoted with a major press and advertising campaign. Still, the offer was very well received - almost 500 people have registered already, almost one third of the overall new cambio customers since October 2017. The use of the new Mobility Stations in the Mülheim project area has also increased. In the near future, further advertisement of the MultiTicket is planned in order to gain more customers and to make the Mobility Stations even more successful.

An example of the cambio CarSharing flyer advertisement can be seen below:

Advertising flyer page 1

Advertising flyer page 2

Discussed in this blog

Solution 1: Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment

Solution 3: Smart energy-saving tenants

Solution 4: Smart local electricity management

Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles

Solution 12: Smart mobility solutions

Barbara Moehlendick

Site Manager, Cologne

For the previous blog post, click here

22 February 2018

Stockholm Blog #8: Inside a flow

Csíkszentmihályi, who defined the state of flow, has said, "If challenges are too low, one gets back to flow by increasing them. If challenges are too great, one can return to the flow state by learning new skills.". Even if it is often referred to a personal state of mind, it could also be put in the context of the smart solutions implemented as a joint effort in Stockholm. Most of the solutions in Stockholm are implemented the first time in a larger scope, with high goals and a very tough schedule, but they are also very tightly linked to each other. Now that the implementation phase for most parts is over or in a repetitive phase it becomes evident how challenging the project actually has been and how it has required developing new skills. Now we are stepping out of this state of flow and starting sharing our experiences. And I think we have a very interesting story to tell.

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

What is happening in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area buildings?

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

In Valla Torg the refurbishment of the two first multi-storey buildings (7G and 6) are finalised and the tenants have moved in. The evaluation of energy use has started and will continue until the end of the project to secure a 2-year evaluation time.

The second half of the low-storey building 8 is finalised and tenants have moved in.

In the private condominia Brf Årstakrönet the evaluation is on its second year indicating clear energy savings.

In Slakthusarea the refurbishment of building 8 is finalised. The new tenant, nightclub Slaktkyrkan, is open and have a full schedule of live shows planned for this spring. The pictures below show some of the energy efficiency measures implemented.

New interior window with u-value 0,6, the external window is original

The building with integrated solar panels on the southern side (upper right) of the external glass roof, all lights are LED-lights

The substitute building Kylhuset in Slakthusarea is also finalised for building related energy efficiency measures. The waste heat recovery will be installed in summer 2018.

Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

Installing smart LED-lighting

The smart LED-street lights (solution 5) have now been in operation for 1,5 years and the system has worked well. The results have been so promising that now the City of Stockholm will scale up this solution on a district level.

A Smart Connected City

In Stockholm the smart connected city will use the extensive fibre network provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council (more information) Several Internet of Things applications and solutions can be developed thanks to the fibre network.

The implementation of sensors in the Slakthusarea is soon finalised. Most of the sensors for vehicle traffic flow measurements are now installed and most of the wifi-based sensors are going to be installed within the next two weeks.

Vehicle sensor installed measuring in- and outcoming traffic in Slakthusarea

Sign informing pedestrians and bicyclists of traffic flow measurements

IBM, who is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), will build up a multiuseable data platform where real-time data can be analysed, but also were the data can be turned into practical usecases reducing transport emissions and increasing the quality of life for citizens. The development work will be done in an agile process were users from different city organisations work together with IBM:s development team.

Waste Heat recovery

Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) system has been operating during the heating season and has given better results than expected. The heat recovery can thus heat up more than the earlier calculated 700 apartments.

Smart waste handling

The waste handling system provided by Envac has been running since summer. The system has worked well with the bags provided for this purpose, but in some cases the tenants have used other plastic bags which has unfortunately broken. In the picture below you can see how the waste fractions look like inside the container before the delivery to the end sorting facility.

Mixed different coloured bags inside the container

Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

Building logistics centre and delivery boxes

The Building logistics centre (solution 2) implemented by Carrier, will start handling more materials for the last buildings to be refurbished in Valla Torg. Carrier has together with Skanska agreed which material streams can be best handled by the logistics centre, and these materials will be handled by the centre during 2018.

The implementation of delivery boxes (solution 9) by Carrier is done. The delivery boxes are actually a delivery room, which later on can be used for other purposes. In the room for instance tools could be safely kept and booked by tenants.

Smart Traffic Management

Insero has together with NOAE (Network of Automotive Excellence) implemented an information system for drivers (solution 10). Effects on travel time and the drivers’ experiences will be evaluated.

KTH has developed a smart phone application (solution 10) to follow up changes in travel behaviour. In the same application, information about renewable fuels in Stockholm will be shown. The application is launched.

Alternative fuel driven vehicles

As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum will install up to 10 charging stations and one fast charger (solution 11). The fast charger is installed in Årsta. The normal chargers are also installed in Valla Torg.

The first four refuelling stations (solution 11) for renewable fuels are up and running. The filling station in Årsta is expected to be built in 2018.

Stockholmshem launched yesterday its electrical carpool (solution 12) for tenants and habitants.

The Valla Torg Electrical Car Pool

Communication and marketing

In Stockholm Emma Borggren-Franck has taken the responsibility of the demonstration of smart solutions. Several study visits have been organised and still more are planned for this year. There has also been a great interest for presentations of the smart solutions implemented in Stockholm. A few weeks ago we presented our experiences in Brussels and last week I was in Wien and Bratislava presenting results and experiences. In spring there are two events planned. One will be focused on the smart solutions in Slakthusarea and the second one on smart solutions for tenants in Valla Torg.

Presenting GrowSmarter in Bratislava, Slovakia

Discussed in this blog

Solution 1: Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment

Solution 2: Smart building logistics

Solution 5: Smart street lighting

Solution 6: Waste heat recovery

Solution 9: Sustainable delivery

Solution 10: Smart traffic management

Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles

Solution 12: Smart mobility solutions

Mika Hakosalo

Site Manager, Stockholm

For the previous blog post, click here

23 October 2017

Barcelona blog #7: Urban-scale air quality monitoring and microdistribution

Read about how Barcelona will pilot a beyond state-of-the-art wind and air quality monitoring network, including how it will integrate with the GrowSmarter platform. In addition, the first results from our last-mile delivery services with electric bicycles are available!




Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures
To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

Sensor deployment in the 22@ district of Barcelona
Within GrowSmarter, measures are being carried out to develop an air quality model at the urban-scale using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. In order to provide real-case inputs for the operational air quality nowcasting and the short-term forecasting of the CFD models, a set of monitoring sensors will be deployed in an initial pilot area in Barcelona. The monitoring nodes, composed of wind and air quality sensors, will be installed in 4 Smart Towers in the 22@ district. This use case will also include vehicle counting equipment for emission monitoring purposes.

An urban-scale air quality model - why?
Air quality and associated impacts on public health are matters of growing concern in many urban areas. Public administration and health agencies are tasked to monitor the quality of air and, eventually, to make model forecasts to assist the adoption of reactive measures and to warn the public of air pollution that could affect vulnerable groups of citizens.

Urban-scale pollutant dispersion models require of two critical inputs: high-resolution wind fields near urban-scale morphologies (buildings) and pollutant sources (mainly derived from vehicle combustion) through sensors and emission inventories. Today, the increase in computational capabilities is making it possible to envisage a near-future scenario in which Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models will be used to simulate urban-scale winds and pollutant dispersion operationally. In this scenario, the massive deployment of low-cost sensors for monitoring wind and the concentration of critical pollutants will be critical.


Mesh of Barcelona, obtained from LIDAR data, topography and cadastre data



Results for wind field (speed and direction) obtained from CFD simulation



Web-based graphical user interface for visualisation of air quality results


Sensor deployment at 22@ district of Barcelona
Using the city of Barcelona as a test bed, this use case will deploy a low-cost sensor network to extend the current monitoring network of environmental sensors to selected urban areas of Barcelona. Real-time data will be used to initialise and validate an in-house CFD-based high-resolution (tens of meters, hourly output) urban-scale air quality model before its operational implementation. This system is being developed at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in a joint collaboration with the Barcelona City Council (IMI - Municipal Institute of Information) and the CAPTOR project, who provides the monitoring nodes that integrate the air quality and wind sensors.

The monitoring nodes for wind and air quality will be installed in 4 GrowSmarter Smart Towers in the 22@ district, also including vehicle counting equipment for emission monitoring purposes.

The use case will deploy a monitoring system for:

  • Wind field (speed and direction),
  • Air quality (NO2 and O3),
  • Flow of vehicles (vehicles per minute).


  • Each monitoring node will be composed of an Arduino node, which have been developed as part of the Horizon 2020 CAPTOR project, and integrating several sensors on a single device. This control hardware node is in charge of monitoring, management and post-processing of raw data coming from the following integrated sensors:

    • a Davis anemometer for wind direction and velocity
    • several (up to 3) NO2 MOX sensors
    • several (up to 3) O3 MOX sensors
    • vehicle sensor to detect flow of vehicles


    The environmental Arduino nodes will be deployed in the 22@ district and are self-contained packs that are designed to be installed on public street lights and poles at a minimum height of 5 meters to avoid vandalism. All the devices in this pack are designed to be long-lasting and highly durable to reduce maintenance. This installation pack is composed of the components shown in below:


    Components of the Arduino pack


    The collected data will be sent to the GrowSmarter platform through the GrowSmarter API. The data will be used by the air quality monitoring software (nowcasting) developed by BSC-CNS that can predict wind fields in the streets with a resolution of 10 metres and 1 hour, and gas concentration with resolution of 10 metres and 1 hour. These resolution values are beyond the state of the art in air quality modelling for nowcasting.

    Moreover, the sensing data information and the sensor-derived nowcasting maps will be offered as Open Data to third parties through the GrowSmarter platform so that consumers of these environmental data can use this information to provide environmental monitoring services.

    Benefits for GrowSmarter
    This use case is a clear example of synergies gained from integrating infrastructures of GrowSmarter: The Smart Towers will provide support for the monitoring nodes and provide communication infrastructure, while the GrowSmarter platform will provide the required data storage for the collected data. The air monitoring software is an example of a service developed on top of the GrowSmarter platform that will provide monitoring services. Moreover, this use case is an example of collaboration among different entities and projects beyond the GrowSmarter project.

    Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility
    To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

    First results on the microdistribution of freight in Barcelona
    In January 2017 the microdistribution platform became operational. The service is offered by the company Vanapedal. The municipality of Barcelona has leased a public space to the company, which is obliged to be neutral in the market and work with any logistics operator willing to use the service.

    The main objectives of the measure are to:

    • Introduce a more efficient and effective freight transport system in the city centre,
    • Analyse the administrative management of a public concession,
      Analyse the business model of the service,
    • Analyse the reduction in CO2 and vehicle kilometres due to shift from conventional vehicles to electric bikes, and
    • Test a new sensor system to measure pollutants and other environmental parameters using the bicycles of the service.


    The Last Mile Operator Vanapedal offers different services, the most relevant of which is the distribution of parcels and packages from other carriers to their final destination. Carriers bring these items to the microplatform which is conveniently located close to the city centre. These are then transferred to electric bicycles and tricycles. The last mile is then performed by drivers from Vanapedal following their established routes. Parking and access regulation do not apply to bicycles, so no delivery time window restrictions affect the distribution.

    The service has been running since January 2017 from the Estació de França location with success, although the market is difficult to reach since there are also competitors and some logistics companies have begun operating their own last mile deliveries using sustainable modes of transport.


    Location of the microplatform at Estació de França


    Currently, up to 9 bicycles are being used in daily operation. The company gathers all business information of their operations including the daily number of deliveries and pick-ups, the number of kilometres covered and the time needed to cover all routes. This information is being collected monthly and the first results of the analysis of this information have been made. During the first three months of operations, 23,000 journeys have been performed and an increase in the daily number has been noted.


    Average daily number of journeys


    In February, the average distance covered was of 65.5km/day, while in March this figure increased to 160km/day due to the introduction of three more tricycles.


    Km performed by all bikes daily between January and March 2017


    Also, the effectiveness of the deliveries is being monitored. So far, the average percentage of successful deliveries has been 92.73%. This value has increased over time, but it is seen as very good compared to conventional carriers.


    Evolution of the daily effectiveness of deliveries


    The next step is to continue analysing the data obtained from the operator of the microplatform and compare it with the data obtained from the sensors that have been installed in three bicycles that offer further information such as the routes followed or the concentration of contaminants.

    The last step of the process will determine how much traffic and CO2 this measure has reduced. This will help to encourage other cities to implement similar last mile services.

    Discussed in this blog
    Solution 8: Big data management
    Solution 9: Sustainable delivery

    Gonzalo Cabeza
    Site Manager, Barcelona

    For the previous blog post, click here