Latest news ( 11 - 20 of 30 )

16 October 2017

Stockholm blog #7: Tenants are moving in...

The personnel from Skanska and Stockholmshem have been working hard to finalise the buildings so that the tenants can start moving back as planned in September. In the last weeks, construction workers have been working nights and weekends to accomplish this. Now the first tenants have moved in and can start using all the smart solutions we have implemented. As soon as the heating season starts (we all wish the first snow would just come!) we can start getting some indications on how energy efficient the buildings are.


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


The smart solutions for low energy districts will be rolled out in the building zones in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus areas (see map here). For an overview of the measures being implemented, click here.


In Valla Torg the refurbishment of the first multi-storey building (7G) is on the finish line. There is still some minor painting work to be done in apartments, but all energy efficiency solutions are implemented. Here are some photos of the building:


 



New insulated façade
New subcentre



Accumulator tanks, where the recovered heat from heat pumps are stored
The waste water heat exchanger


 



Photovoltaics on the roof

In this building the tenants have the possibility to use the Active House application from Fortum to control the temperature and lighting in the apartment.


The other two buildings under construction are also well on their way. The first half of the low-storey building 8 is finalised and in September tenants moved in. The other half will be finalised later this autumn.



Eastern half of building 8

The second multi-storey building 6 is going to be finalised by the end of this year.



Building 6

In the private condominiums Brf Årstakrönet, Veolia (who just changed their name to L&T) have installed all solutions for optimising the energy use in the building. These are listed below (with pictures):


1. Adaptive control system


2. Temperature control in each apartment


3. Measurement implemented for:


a) Hot water circulation losses


b) District heat energy


c) Electricity


d) Cold Water


4. Thermographic control


5. Smart control of ventilation in garage:


a) PPM


b) Temperature, humidity


6. Electrical hub installed


7. Electrical battery storage installed


8. PV Cells and control system installed



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 a year.


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 built on top of the fibre network.


The implementation of sensors in the Slakthusarea has started. IBM, who is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), will analyse data to show how people move around in the Slakthusarea. This starts as soon as the sensors can provide data in October. The project team, platform for data management, analysis tools and methodology are all in place.


Waste heat recovery


Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) system is now installed in the datacentre. The heat recover can heat up approximately 700 apartments.



Installations in the datacentre

Smart waste handling


The waste handling system provided by Envac was completed by the end of June. The pipelines, inlets and terminal of the smart waste handling system (solution 7) are in place. The terminal and inlets are now being installed.


 



Terminal
Pipe transporting waste



Container for waste
Inlets where tenants put their waste


 


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 in autumn. 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 when the next phase of the refurbishment begins later in the autumn.


 


The implementation of delivery boxes (solution 9) by Carrier is being done alongside refurbishments of buildings in Valla Torg. When the tenants move back into their apartments starting in September, they can order packages and other deliveries straight to their homes instead of retrieving them from the nearest service point. The delivery from the service point to the building is carried out with cargo bikes.


Smart Traffic Management


KTH has developed a smart phone application (solution 10) to follow up changes in travel behaviour in a way that is more effective and has a greater response rate than traditional travel surveys. This will improve travel demand management measures. In the same application, information about renewable fuels in Stockholm will be shown. This information includes updated information on where each alternative fuel can be tanked, together with the most recent prices. The application will be launched when tenants have moved back later this autumn.


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 three refuelling station (solution 11) for renewable fuels are up and running. The filling station in Årsta is expected to be built in the beginning of 2018.


Communication and marketing


In Stockholm several study visits have been arranged and there is high interest in the GrowSmarter solutions. As more and more smart solutions are implemented, the study visits will become more frequent. In October 2017 there will be an event demonstrating the smart solutions in Valla Torg. Here the focus is on city representatives. In November/December 2017 a similar event will be arranged in Slakthusarea. In spring 2018 an event is planned for tenants in Valla Torg.


A video has been produced showcasing the smart solutions implemented in Stockholm. The video can be seen here.








Discussed in this blog

Solution 2: Smart building logistics


Solution 5: Smart street lighting


Solution 6: Waste heat recovery


Solution 7: Smart waste collection


Solution 8: Big data management


Solution 9: Sustainable delivery


Solution 10: Smart traffic management


Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles


 


Mika Hakosalo


Site Manager, Stockholm


For the previous blog post, click here

12 October 2017

Cologne blog #7: The Day of Good Life

With the first phase of construction completed in the Stegerwaldsiedlung, all that remains to do is to connect the Siedlungsmanagement software. In the world of data, we are also working with a broad range of Cologne's open data to integrate into the urban cockpit. Lastly, our mobility stations - featuring carsharing and electric vehicle charging - are operational. Read on for more details and pictures!



GrowSmarter on the “Tag des guten Lebens/ Day of Good Life”

The “Day of Good Life” is a family and neighbourhood festival for the entire district of Deutz, just south of our project area Mülheim. To show how a district can evolve, thirty streets in Deutz and the Deutzer Bridge across the river Rhine were closed to traffic. On Sunday, 18 June approximately 150,000 visitors came to the Day of Good Life event, a visitor record. All activities had the aim of testing a joint venture on how life in Deutz could be made sustainable and future-oriented over the coming decades. At the GrowSmarter booth, visitors were particularly interested in alternative mobility solutions. The industry partner Cambio CarSharing offered free registration, an attractive that offer was taken advantage of by 37 people.



The “Day of Good Life” event in Deutz


Universities

Students and instructors from three foreign universities would soon like to visit Cologne for a knowledge exchange. The representatives from the University of Barcelona know the GrowSmarter activities in their own city and would like to see how Cologne is implementing their measures. Students at the University of Basel are very interested in learning more about the development of open data platforms.


Exchange of experts with a delegation from China
Study Visit on July 6, 2017

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the Republic of China have reached an agreement on environmental cooperation. China is interested in implementing the objectives of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement. The representatives of the provinces and municipalities are important players in this process of change. The “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit” (GIZ) (Association for International Cooperation) organises regular exchange programs with the support of the German Ministry of the Environment. The aim of the program is the acquisition of new knowledge and the exchange with experts, as well as the deepening of old contacts and the establishment of new contacts for the purpose of the cooperation between North Rhine-Westfalia and China. The focus of the trade exchange and the partner province representatives from Sichuan, Shanxi and Jiangsu was “Emission Control, Air Pollution and Renewable Energies". The representatives were keen on understanding more about GrowSmarter energy measures with the aim to examine which of the measures could be implemented and replicated in China. The delegation was made up of company officials and municipal representatives as well as the regional NRW government guests.



Welcome and presentation in the Stegerwald settlement office


The project was presented to the visitors in the Stegerwald neighbourhood office. The project`s integrated approach was new to the visitors. This aspect was of paramount importance to representatives of municipalities in order to achieve sustainable city planning. RheinEnergie presented its energy management measures.



Presentation of Demonstration Buildings before and after refurbishment


During the tour of the settlement, the participants visited the facilities and were able to ask technical questions.


Particularly interesting for the engineers was the new “Siedlungsmanagement” software (virtual power plant). The approach of saving as much energy as possible in a building as well as implementing intelligent control for a larger number of buildings will be examined by some representatives for their projects in China. There was mutual interest in pursuing this knowledge exchange in the future.


SmartCity conference in Esch-sur-Alzette

In mid-September, Cologne had the chance to present GrowSmarter at the SmartCity conference in its twin city, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxemburg. Esch-sur-Alzette is planning to develop models for the cross-border region with Belgium and France.

The Cologne process of choosing the data platform and urban cockpit was of particular interest for Esch-sur-Alzette. The city is planning to implement a uniform digitalisation strategy for the entire region. Everyone was convinced that a smart city can only be realised with an integrated approach.





Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here


The first construction phase In the Stegerwaldsiedlung section is completed with the exception of final connection work to the Siedlungsmanagement. Phases 2 and 3 have started construction as well. This City of Cologne website shows an interactive map (in German) of the current planned and/or implemented scope of work on each of the buildings.



First (foreground) and second (background) phase of construction at the Stegerwaldsiedlung


The heat pumps have been connected by the RheinEnergie. The first battery storage sets are also installed.



Air heat pumps at the Stegerwaldsiedlung


The RheinEnergie is planning to conduct an informational event for the tenants in November and December to further present and explain the RheinEnergie products Mieterstrom and SmartHome. Tenants who agree to install the SmartMeter equipment will also receive Smart Home.


Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


We have made great progress in this area convincing partners that sharing their data for GrowSmarter will be beneficial for all.


In August of 2016 we reported about the Cologne open data platform (www.offenedaten-koeln.de). This was in place before GrowSmarter, but it offers a comprehensive database, which can be used for the project.


Some very interesting records of the KVB could be included in the open data platform (www.offenedaten-koeln.de/dataset/og_group_ref/37972). It becomes evident that data from our partner KVB is not only a benefit for GrowSmarter but the entire open data community.


For example, errors or failures in the escalators and lifts at the railway stations can be called up in real time. With these data, it is possible to individually define an accessible, personalised route before starting a journey. The data can also be used to ensure that the departure from a platform is possible without complications during the journey. The use of railway is therefore more attractive for people with limited mobility or mothers with baby carriages, for example. We have thus taken another step towards stimulating the population in rethinking their choice of transport.


For the individual data sets we distinguish between dynamic and static data; this is dynamic data:

http://www.offenedaten-koeln.de/dataset/og_group_ref/1613


Our partner [ui!] - the urban institute is now working on integrating multiple data streams into the urban cockpit.



Cambio CarSharing and KVB Bike


Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Almost all mobility stations are now fully operational. The mobility stations are easily accessible by foot, bus and/or train. The first experiences show that the stations are accepted among transport users.


With the exception of one station, the RheinEnergie charging stations are implemented. All charging stations have two charging points. All stations also include a Cambio CarSharing station. The industrial partner KVB was able to find a suitable partner for the E-bikes procurement, and by the end of the year 10 e-bikes are planned to be implemented. They will be installed at the sites Charles de Gaulle Platz, Mülheim train station and the Stegerwaldsiedlung. Ampido is represented at two of the three main mobility stations so far.

The current situation at each of the stations is presented below:


Charles-de-Gaulle Platz

The Charles-de-Gaulle Platz provides 5 spaces for CarSharing cars (3 conventional cars, 2 e-cars), 12 bikes (7 conventional, 5 e-bikes), 4 Ampido parking spaces and 4 charging stations. This location also provides a public charging station with two charging points for the general public.



Charles-de-Gaulle Platz carsharing, charging stations, parking sharing and bikes


In 2015, the conversation between the City of Cologne and the state legislation regarding unified coordinated signage for the mobility stations thorughout the state started to take shape. This development is unique and has influenced the region’s cities and communities in using the same language of signage in their development of mobility stations.



Charles-de-Gaulle Platz mobility station signage


Train station Bahnhof Mülheim

Fully equipped, this station has 5 carsharing spaces (3 conventional, 2 e-cars), 2 charging stations, 15 Bikes (10 conventional, 5 e-bikes).


Bahnhof Mülheim carsharing and charging stations


Regentenstrasse

At this station 4 carsharing spaces (2 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) and 1 charging station are in operation.



Regentenstrasse CarSharing and charging station


Stegerwaldsiedlung

At the Stegerwaldsiedlung mobility station, where all GrowSmarter energy measures are implemented, 4 carsharing spaces (2 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) and 2 charging stations are already in place. Two Ampido parking spaces and 8 bikes (4 conventional, 4 e-bikes) will be located here by the end of 2017.



Stegerwaldsiedlung carsharing and charging station


von-Sparr-Strasse

At this location residents can use 4 carsharing cars (2 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) and 1 charging station.



Von-Sparr-Str. carsharing and charging station


Höhenhaus, Am Emberg

Six spaces for carsharing cars (4 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) are located at this site. Whether a charging station can be installed is currently under investigation.



Höhenhaus, Am Emberg carsharing spaces


The industrial partners KVB and Cambio are expecting a much greater use of the mobility stations after the introduction of the mobility card.


Users of public transport must have the possibility to use bus, tram (lightrail), bicycles and passenger cars with one ticket. Cambio and KVB are currently developing a so called “Mobiltätskarte (Mobilticket)”, an enhancement of the already existing subscription ticket. With this “Mobiltätskarte” travellers will be able to use bus, trams, bicycles and carsharing cars with their normal ticket.



e-Ticket as demonstration object on a Cambio carsharing car



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

9 June 2017

Stockholm blog #6: Adaptive control for smart cities

The winter and spring weather in Sweden has been very odd, with the weather changing from cold to warm from one day to another. This year we had minus degrees and snow during Easter in late April. With the adaptive systems we have installed we have still been able to keep a steady indoor temperature inside the apartments. With traditional systems it would have either been too cold or too warm. We have also received good results from the smart street lighting and the combined renewable energy production, control and storage system. All these solutions are examples of adaptive control in cities. In this blog I will write some more about these and the other adaptive control systems we are now implementing.


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


The smart solutions for low energy districts will be rolled out in the building zones in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus areas (see map here). For an overview of the measures being implemented, click here.



In Valla Torg the refurbishment of the first multi-storey building (7G) is going forward and many of the smart energy saving solutions are already implemented. All installations will be finalised in the summer and tested in August. The tenants start moving back into their apartments in September. When the next heating season starts, we can begin evaluating exactly how much energy we can save in these buildings. In this building the tenants have the possibility to use the Active House application from Fortum to control the temperature and lighting in the apartment. They can also use the home/away button, which means that when they leave the apartment to go to work or on holiday, they can cut unnecessary electricity and lower the temperature a few degrees in the apartment. With a mobile application they can push the home button, which will adjust heating and electricity back to normal before they arrive home.


In the private condominiums Brf Årstakrönet the adaptive control system by Veolia has been in operation for more than a year and has resulted in substantial energy savings as well as more stable temperatures in the apartments over the year. The energy hub that consists of photovoltaics, a current equalizer and battery storage has been in use for half a year. The system provides a higher output of solar electricity and a better interface between the production and use of locally produced electricity.


In Slakthusarea the refurbishment of building 8 is well on its way and will be finalised in autumn 2017 by the Fastighetskontoret (Real estate administration office). The selection for a substitute building in Slakthusarea is done and is only waiting for an official approval from the Commission. Work on the substitute building can begin in summer 2017 and all energy saving solutions are to be implemented during this year.


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 a year. There are three different methods used to adjust the street lights to use less energy while still providing the same sense of security for pedestrians and bicyclists. The first method is applied to street lights on a walking/bicycling path. When there is no movement the lights reduce to 40% capacity. When a person approaches, the lights ramp up to full power and when the person has passed they dim down again. The second method is that each individual luminaire keeps track of when it is turned on and off and uses those times to calculate a middle point. From that middle point, the brightness is lowered to 66% for a duration of 6 hours, or until it is turned off. In the third method, all luminaires are connected to a Central Management System where a dimming schedule runs. In the dimming schedule, lighting levels are set according to sunset/sunrise and specific times during the night. The lighting is turned on at sunset to 100%, at 10 PM it is dimmed to 67%, at 1 AM it is dimmed to 50%, at 5 AM it dims up to 67% again, at 6 AM 100% and is turned off again at sunrise.


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 built on top of the fibre network.


The implementation of sensors in the Slakthusarea has faced data protection issues which needed to be examined very carefully. Even if both solutions have previously been used at small scales in other cities, they have never been combined. The combination of sensors measuring the pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic in the area will provide very accurate information about the movement of people. A communication plan must also be produced to communicate to citizens that sensors are collecting data from passing vehicles and mobile phones to be able to provide better traffic flow in the areas, especially during events. The implementation of sensors will be done during August so that the communication plan can be finalised before implementation.


IBM, who is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), will analyse data to show how people move around in the Slakthusarea. This starts as soon as the sensors can provide data. The project team, platform for data management, analysis tools and method are all in place.


Waste Heat recovery


Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) system has been recovering heat from a Supermarket in Farsta, some 5km south of the Slakthus area. The installations in the data centre will be done in June and as soon as the heating season starts again, the waste heat can be used to heat buildings.


Smart waste handling


The waste handling system provided by Envac will be completed by the end of June. The underground parts of the smart waste handling system (solution 7) are in place (see image below). The terminal and inlets are now being installed.



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 in autumn. 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 when the next phase of the refurbishment begins later in the autumn.


The implementation of delivery boxes (solution 9) by Carrier is being done alongside refurbishments of buildings in Valla Torg. When the tenants move back into their apartments starting in September, they can order packages and other deliveries straight to their homes instead of retrieving them from the nearest service point. The delivery from the service point to the building is done by cargo bikes.


Smart Traffic Management


Insero is together with NOAE (Network of Automotive Excellence) and Global car OEM, implementing an information system for drivers (solution 10). In Stockholm, ten traffic lights are equipped with software that can communicate and provide information about the status of the light and when it is about to switch to another colour. This is achieved through a data connection between the traffic light, the cars’ on board software and GPS, and a central computer handling the calculations. Through a special device in the car, the driver can receive information on what speed to adopt in order to reach a green light at the next intersection. This information tool will be tested in two cars starting in May/June 2017. 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 a way that is more effective and has a greater response rate than traditional travel surveys. This will improve travel demand management measures. In the same application, information about renewable fuels in Stockholm will be shown. This information includes updated information on where each alternative fuel can be tanked, together with the most recent prices.


Alternative fuel driven vehicles


As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum has planned to install up to 10 charging stations and one fast charger (solution 11). The fast charger is installed in Årsta. The normal chargers will be installed in Valla Torg, Slakthus area and Årsta by the end of 2017.


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


Communication and marketing


In Stockholm several study visits have been arranged and there is high interest in the GrowSmarter solutions. As more and more smart solutions are implemented, the study visits will become more frequent. In August 2017 there is a plan to have an event demonstrating the smart solutions in Valla Torg. Here the focus is on city representatives. In November/December 2017 a similar event will be arranged in Slakthusarea. In spring 2018 an event is planned for tenants in Valla Torg.


A video has been produced showcasing the smart solutions implemented in Stockholm. The video will soon be available at the GrowSmarter website.


Mika Hakosalo


Site Manager, Stockholm

8 June 2017

Cologne blog #6: CeBIT and Study Visit in Cologne

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts
To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

The CeBIT - Global Event for Digital Business - is the largest trade fair in Europe. From 20 – 24 March 2017 GrowSmarter partners from Cologne present the project at a joint stand together with Lighthouse City projects from Munich and Hamburg (Smarter Together and mySMARTLife). For the fair, the three cities prepared a joint appearance.

Click here for more information about the presentation.

The overview of projects, focuses and targets presented at the event was very well received by visitors. A presentation of the GrowSmarter ran in a loop at the stand. The booth was always surrounded by interested visitors, especially by industry and cities representatives. Many companies see that the approaches developed in the project can generate promising business models. Inquiries also came from representatives from other cities who want to shape sustainable urban development based on the experience of the projects presented. After CeBIT, 12 companies and 3 cities agreed on meeting dates for further exchange of experience. The successful joint appearance of Cologne, Munich and Hamburg will mean that the three cities will again be exhibited together at trade fairs in the future.



GrowSmarter Study Visit Cologne
The GrowSmarter Study Visit was a two-day event, including the SmartCity Cologne Conference on 26 April and the on-site visit at the Stegerwaldsiedlung on 27 April.

Dr. Rau (Deputy Major for Social Affairs, Integration and Environmental Affairs) welcomed the Study Visit participants in Cologne on 26th April. He gave a short introduction and overview of Cologne’s current situation in areas such as environment, demography, economy and mobility. Cologne is an important economic and cultural center in Germany, which is currently facing a dynamic growth period: its economy is thriving and its population has just surpassed one million. Therefore, Cologne faces large challenges in terms of growing mobility problems, lack of qualified workforce and increasing energy use, to name a few. Dr. Rau pointed out that extremely high traffic loads (Cologne is the city with the most traffic jams in Germany) have brought about a strategy of change in the direction of more sustainable urban development. The GrowSmarter project and the solutions found therein are testing grounds that could lead to implementation across Cologne.

Following Dr. Rau’s introduction, Dr. Barbara Möhlendick gave an overview of the Smart City Cologne initiative and projects as well as how the GrowSmarter project came to be in Cologne. Julia Egenolf presented the planned measures in GrowSmarter and the current state of their implementation.

The subsequent SmartCity conference: Köln - mobil 2025+ introduced a variety of alternative mobility concepts. Sven Plöger (German TV weatherman and keynote speaker) delivered a fascinating speech about the mechanisms and consequences of climate change related to global and local events, including the City of Cologne. The reduction of CO2 is of utmost importance and the contributions from the Cologne SmartCity projects’ energy-saving solutions, such as the GrowSmarter project, are of immense important.

Start-up entrepreneurs were also at the conference, showing how successful business models have emerged from alternative transport concepts.

At the GrowSmarter booth, Cologne showed the GrowSmarter mobility measures on a touch screen as well as an overview of all Horizon 2020 SmartCity projects since 2015. Visitors were invited to use the interactive touchscreen to learn about the individual measures in Cologne, Stockholm and Barcelona as well as the other projects, such as Triangulum, Remourban, etc.


GrowSmarter touch screen at SmartCity Cologne Conference on 26 April 2017


Day 2
On 27 April, participants toured the Stegerwaldsiedlung, where they could see energy refurbishment and alternative mobility measures implemented through GrowSmarter.


GrowSmarter study visitors at the Stegerwaldcafe, Cologne


Findings
An important outcome of the discussion with the GrowSmarter partners was the fact that solutions can only be implemented if city and industry partners cooperate closely and strive for a win-win situation. It was also clear that the success of the measures depended greatly upon clear compliance with legal frameworks.

The concept of the mobility stations – multi-modal transport hubs – was well received by participants, and several cities were interested in implementing similar stations.

The intensive exchange on the data platform led to planning of further discussions and meetings. The acquisition of data and the goal of providing as much data as possible to the citizens openly and free of charge were seen as a major challenge.

The visits to the Stegerwaldsiedlung as well as the computer centre successfully showed that complex energy-efficient solutions can be implemented within existing buildings in smart ways.

Participants positively evaluated the usefulness of the Study Visit, answering either “good” or “excellent”.

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts
To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

On 27 April 2017, RheinEnergie presented the current state of implementation of the measures in WP2 (Low Energy Districts) and set up a pavilion in front of the first completed buildings.


Presentation during study visit


Measures

Refurbishment
The refurbishment of the first construction phase was completed by DEWOG. The second construction phase is in progress.


Finished buildings
Refurbishment in progress


Energy
The settlement was connected to the district heating grid and the buildings from the first construction phase have been using district heating since December 2016. The installation of heat pumps and battery storage for the first construction phase will start in May 2017.

During a tour around the settlement and in the basement, we presented the current state of the project and share our experiences gained from implementing the solutions.


District heating station

PV on the roof tops



Model of the housing for the battery storages


Furthermore, the energy management software, the “Siedlungsmanagement”, was explained in detail, including the forecasting and optimisation modules. The software is still in development, as not all of the devices that it will manage have been installed or connected yet. The system will learn from past events and self-regulate to optimise energy flow.


Structure Siedlungsmanagement


Smart Home
At the End of the presentation, the Smart Home System from RheinEnergie was presented along with a demonstration.


Dashboard of the Smart Home System



Smart Home System


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

The evening Hackathon event on 27 April demonstrated the building and use of cost-effective environmental sensors. As all cities admitted having issues producing good-quality environmental data at acceptable costs, this was an especially relevant topic. The more citizens that use environmental sensors, the more they can help improve the city's measures for reducing air pollution.

It Cologne’s Smart City Solutions were very interesting for many other cities, who have now started developing own concepts for similar solutions, such as Nürnberg or Porto. The study visit was a good opportunity to share knowledge, findings and experiences and to get closer in touch with each other in order to transfer knowledge and results. For example, Cologne and [ui!] now have a better understanding of what the follower city Porto needs and what results might be easily transferable from Cologne to Porto.



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

First Mobility Station Charles-de-Gaulle Square
On 27 April 2017, participants visited the mobility station “Charles-de-Gaulle Platz near the Deutz Train Station, a multi-modal transport hub that brings together various modes of public and private transport.



Together with the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the city of Cologne has designed signage to identify the mobility station and the transport options available there. It’s also planned to install a mobility station sign inside the train station, which is currently under negotiation with Deutsche Bahn AG.


Front site Charles-de-Gaulle Platz
Front site Charles-de-Gaulle Platz, view to train station in background


The station for (e-) bike sharing is expected to be built in the fourth quarter of 2017. The intended location is between the ampido station and the public charging points. Until now, KVB-AG has already been operating a conventional bicycle rental system.



KVB-Bike started in May 2015 as a free float system. Today there are nearly 1,500 bikes in circulation across an area of 84 km2. It is integrated in the public transport systemof Cologne and the surrounding area.

But what does “integrated” really mean? Regular public transportation customers receive annual passes as an e-Ticket on a smartcard and soon on a smartphone too. Over 600,000 people are now e-Ticket holders. With that e-Ticket, customers get access to public transportation, KVB-Bike and probably in autumn to CambioCarsharing. This means that with one e-Ticket, they receive access to many different vehicles. In the case of KVB-Bike, customers can register for the service directly at the bike by holding their e-Ticket on a card-reader attached to the bike. After providing a mobile phone number and accepting the terms and conditions, a 6-digit PIN is sent via SMS and the bike lock opens automatically. Once successfully registered, customers are able to rent a bike via eTicket + PIN, phone number + PIN, or a smartphone app.

In June 2016, KVB started construction and implementation of 100 bike sharing stations, mostly at tram and mobility stations. The system will now be operated as a mixed system, with free-float bikes as well as a fixed station, and offering conventional bikes as well as e-Bikes. Especially with e-bikes, KVB faces some challenges: today e-bikes are still not really suitable for public bike sharing systems due to cost and vulnerability to vandalism and theft. Requirements for public E-Bikesharing system are:


  • Solid and reliable e-bikes in operation

  • Cheap in procurement and maintenance

  • Easy access just like a standard bike (no enclosures)

  • Mixed operation with standard bikes

  • Operating mode: free-float and station-based

  • Year-round operation



A KVB e-bike is still in the development phase, with a prototype to become available in 2017.

The first e-bus project started in 2014. KVB AG ordered eight articulated, full-electric buses. Because of the high additional costs compared to a diesel bus, KVB needed financial assistance. The total contribution for the project was € 1.92 million. There are two interfaces for charging the vehicles. The first one is the pantograph; it is placed on the roof of the vehicle and is used for fast charging with 240 kW at both end points of the bus route. The second charging interface is designed for slow charging at the depot via cable and CCS connectors with 50 kW charging power. We needed to make some adjustments at the workshop for the electric buses. For example we needed a frame for working on the roofs of the buses, insulated tools, personal protective equipment, and an overhead crane.



(E-)Car-Sharing
The company Cambio is currently operating a car sharing scheme on Charles de Gaulle square with a total of 5 parking spaces. The charging infrastructure allows Cambio to operate a total of three electric vehicles and two conventional vehicles at this location.



Cambio explained the registration process for car sharing during the study visit. It was particularly interesting for the participants to learn how quickly one can use vehicles after registration. Tanya Bullmann gave a brief overview of the future planned online validation possibilities via camera, followed by a demonstration of how easily and comfortably the vehicles can be booked and borrowed. Participants were particularly curious about the networking possibilities with other forms of mobility. Cambio explained the concept of the mobile ticket planned together with KVB for 2017. This idea was received very positively by the participants. Following the presentation of the electric vehicles, RheinEnergie presented the corresponding charging technology for the e-vehicles.

Online parking space management
Ampido currently operates its online parking management system all across town at many privately owned parking spaces. For the duration of the GrowSmarter project, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia allowed ampido to introduce its system at three mobility station locations on public land, so far with a total of five parking spaces.

In their presentation, ampido noted that the pilot project reduces CO2, reduces time spent searching for parking spaces, and can even lower parking prices. By using the parking app, we can get rid of parking ticket machines and achieve faster cost coverage, leading to reduced parking prices. The e-charging stations from RheinEnergie are a practical addition: customers can reserve not only a parking space but also a charging location. With this combination, CO2 savings are improved further.



Public Charging Infrastructure
Two public charging columns provide charging interfaces for a total of four electric vehicles. Non-electric vehicles are forbidden from using these parking spaces.



The company cleverciti was commissioned by RheinEnergie AG to install sensors for parking space monitoring at Charles de Gaulle-Square. The sensors hang on the public lighting and transmit data in real time, which is available at: http://system.cleverciti.com/koeln/
8 June 2017

Barcelona blog #6: Nearly Zero Energy Buildings and innovative heating/cooling solutions

Action area 1: Low Energy Districts
To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

Smart solution 1: Works ongoing in the refurbishment of tertiary building Ca l’Alier

The refurbishment work in the future office building Ca l’Alier is ongoing. The building, owned by a Public-Private Partnership between the Municipality of Barcelona and Cisco, is composed of three units built in 1877 with a total surface of 2,400 m2. It has been out of use for a very long period, and thus suffered from degradation of the building facilities.

The old textile factory will be rebuilt into a nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB) including a range of passive and active measures. nZEB describes buildings with energy use near to 0 in a “typical year”, meaning that much of the energy consumed comes from the building itself by means of renewable sources. The renovations will be carried out in order to turn the building into a "prototype of a self-sufficient habitat" that produces enough energy resources to meet its own demand. The project aims to achieve a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certificate awarded by the US Green Building Council.

Work on the foundation started in June 2016 and finished in April 2017, which is now followed by refurbishments to the basement, paving and underground sewage networks that started in April 2017 and will continue out through 2017.


Foundation work in September 2016. Source: BIMSA



Ongoing refurbishments. Source: BIMSA


Ca l’Alier will demonstrate the feasibility of an nZEB site through active technologies, such as LEDs and occupancy sensors for lighting, variable speed fans and free-cooling for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), photovoltaic panels, connection to the local DHC network that uses waste heat from Municipal Solid Waste incineration, and a Smart Energy Management System. Passive measures include exploitation of natural lighting, wall and roof insulation to lower heating and cooling demands, and rainwater collection to lower water consumption, among others. In order to meet the technical specifications for nZEB, coverage of 70% or more of the consumption of primary energy will be from renewable resources while a special effort in the design has been put on lowering the building energy demand. Also, the energy management system will be capable of optimising current consumption and forecasting the future building energy consumption. Finally, Ca l’Alier will demonstrate the compatibility of open communication protocols with HVAC equipment.

With advanced ICT infrastructure, advanced control of facilities and connection to district energy networks, Ca l’Alier integrates the features of a low energy district and will be an excellent demonstration of smart city solutions in the city of Barcelona.

Smart solution 1: Refurbishment of the Sports Centre

Collaboration Agreement
Following the audit, engineering, proposal and negotiation phases, a participation agreement was reached within GNF and Fundació Claror. The sports centre up for refurbishment within GrowSmarter is the Cartagena Sports Centre, located in the Sagrada Familia neighbourhood in Barcelona.

The refurbishment is taking place under an Energy Services contract, through which the Energy Services Company (ESCo) provides a turnkey solution and provides the initial investment, while the customer pays an annual fee.

Public-Private collaboration
Fundació Claror is a non-profit organisation that manages publicly owned sports centres. The organisation is interested in carrying out energy refurbishments in the facilities they operate to improve sustainability, energy and economic efficiency, and increase comfort.

This and several other sports centres in the city are publicly owned, and exploitation is awarded to private companies by the Barcelona Sports Institute (IBE, in Catalan). This organisation has also participated in negotiations and supported the project.

The Sports Centre
The Cartagena Sports Centre is an urban sports centre with a large swimming pool area (over 600 m2), a spa area, an indoor sports pitch and a fitness area. Other facilities include group activity rooms and spaces dedicated to physical therapy. The total surface area is close to 3,000 m2.



Current equipment mainly consists of natural gas-fired boilers that satisfy most of the heating demand and DHW needs, electric heaters that serve the spa pool, an electric chiller that serves air handling units (AHUs) in the fitness area and other spaces, and dehumidifiers for the pool and spa areas.

Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
In the framework of GrowSmarter, an integrated refurbishment of the Centre’s facilities will be carried out, ranging from passive measures that aim to reduce thermal demand to installation of new equipment to increase energy efficiency in the production of thermal energy. The measures selected are intended to complement each other and achieve a technically and economically optimised level of investment and savings. Work in the sports centre began in April 2017.


  • As passive measure, the roof over the main pool hall has been refurbished by adding a layer of insulation within the dropped roof to reduce losses through this surface.

    Initial roof – no insulation

    Insulated roof

  • The heating demand of the pool hall will be further reduced by replacing the current dehumidifier with a new machine that consumes less electricity and includes a thermal recovery module. The bottom line is a reduction of the electricity consumption and heating needs of the pool space, ultimately reducing the amount of heat required from gas-fired boilers.

  • The current chiller will be replaced with a new electric heat pump that produces heating and cooling at a high efficiency. In order to integrate this heat which is available at 40-50ºC, it is necessary to separate existing thermal demands in low temperature and high temperatures through modifications in the distribution system. This solution is especially interesting in buildings with simultaneous heating and cooling needs such as sports centres (pool spaces are often heated while other areas are cooled).

  • To further capitalise on high-efficiency heat from the heat pump, the spa basin will be connected to the new heating ring. This will yield important electricity savings, as it is currently being heated using electric resistance heaters, which are very inefficient.

  • Heating needs not covered by the EHP (e.g. DHW heated up to 70-80ºC for sanitary reasons) will be covered using a new set of high-efficiency boilers replacing the existing ones.

  • Important electricity savings will come from replacing existing lighting equipment with equivalent LED lamps.

  • New equipment and other key systems will be monitored with a new Building Energy Management System (BEMS), which will provide relevant information for more efficient energy management and allow remote monitoring of main energy indicators via web access.



Altogether, total energy consumption is expected to be reduced by more than 40%.

Added value
Gas Natural Fenosa has been offering Energy Services contracts to commercial and industrial customers for several years, including several sports centres in Barcelona, making this project highly replicable in further clients.

Through this contract, Gas Natural Fenosa guarantees energy savings for the sports centre, providing an increased value to the solution from the client’s point of view. Data gathered by the BEMS will be fundamental to assess these energy savings. Furthermore, the company guarantees the correct running of the refurbished systems for the duration of the contract.
12 March 2017

Stockholm blog #5: a variety of smart solutions in implementation

GrowSmarter has reached a milestone year: by the end of 2017, all the smart solutions will be in place and in use in Stockholm. Smart solutions from each area of action have already been implemented, so the work is now shifting from implementation to demonstration and evaluation of the project. A lot of emphasis is put on communication and marketing activities in 2017 and 2018. Each partner will make a communication plan and contribute to the demonstration site’s general communication activity plan, but also look into how the smart solutions can be marketed internationally.


Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts


To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


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


The smart solutions for low energy districts will be rolled out in the building zones in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area (see map here). For an overview of the measures being implemented, click here.


In Valla Torg The refurbishment of the first higher storey building (7G) started in September 2016. Insulation of facades, installation of new windows and other climate shell related measures were carried out by Skanska.


 


The refurbishment of the first lower storey building (8H) started in October 2016. Work on insulating facades and changing windows has already been done, and other climate shell measures will be finalised by the end of March 2017.


The refurbishment of the second higher storey building (6F) started in December 2016. All of the measures to be implemented are part of the energy efficient climate shell (solution 1).


In the private condominia, Brf Årstakrönet, the implementation (solution 1) and (solution 3) started in January 2016 with the installation of an adaptive control system by Veolia. Veolia has also installed photovoltaic arrays (solution 4) on the roofs. The solar energy production is connected with energy storage (batteries), so that solar energy can be stored and used when it’s needed. The same solutions will also be implemented in the Slakthus area buildings during later stages of refurbishment.


In Slakthus the refurbishment of building 8 by the Fastighetskontoret (Real Estate Administration Office) started in October 2016. Unfortunately, the overall budget for the Real Estate Administration was cut, so the second building (building 7) cannot be refurbished in 2017 as planned. Therefore, we are working on finding a replacement building. The alternative building will also be situated in Slakthus area.


Action area 2: Integrated infrastructures


To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Installing smart LED-lighting


As described in an earlier blog, the installation of smart LED-street lights (solution 5) was finalised in June 2016 in Valla Torg and has now been in use for a full winter season. The measure will bring an estimated 50% energy savings, but actual figures have not yet been analysed.


A Smart Connected City


In Stockholm the smart connected city will use the extensive fibre optic network provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council. Several Internet of Things applications and solutions can be built on top of the network.


In April 2017 sensors will be installed in the Slakthus area. One set of sensors will measure the pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the area. Another set of sensors will analyse vehicle traffic. We are especially interested in understanding how people travel to events that take place in this area: there are three sports arenas situated close to each other which host events year-round.


We will also install sensors for measuring air pollution. These will be placed in the same locations as the vehicle transport sensors. The real-time data that is collected will be delivered to an open consolidated big data platform for further analysis. A workshop with city departments and other interested parties is planned for the 8th of March to define the types of analysis to be done. Later in spring when the first set of data has been analysed, further workshops will be planned to define what kind of applications can be developed for lowering transport-based emissions based on the real-time data. In doing this we are defining ways to provide higher quality of life for citizens with smart connected solutions.


IBM, who are responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), have two ongoing roles in GrowSmarter: “Sensing City Scale people movement” and “Movement of Pedestrians/Bicyclists”.


Under “Sensing City Scale people movement” IBM will analyse data on the flow of people to show how people move in the Slakthus area over time by creating heat maps. This analysis will be combined with other data such as public transport capacity, traffic measurements, weather, etc. to see how well the different transportation modes and capacities are optimised in the area, especially during events with a lot of people in motion. The project team, platform for data management, analysis tools and method are all already in place.


In “Movement of Pedestrians/Bicyclists” IBM will measure and study in detail specifically how pedestrians move in the city. A prototype user interface environment has been developed on the Bluemix platform. Sample data sets from relevant data sources have been uploaded into the Bluemix environment and made available for users, including vehicle traffic measurement data, bicycle traffic measurement data, bicycle accident data, and weather data for specific locations in the city. End user functions and graphical visualisation tools have been developed.


Together with the Traffic Administration, a plan for implementing new sensor data sources has been made. There will be 7 video sensors in the city connected via the fibre optic network to the Bluemix platform, which will feed into the traffic planner user environment in Bluemix. These sensors will be able to measure the flow, volume and direction of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles in the selected city areas covered.


Waste Heat recovery


Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) will be implemented in two locations. In Västberga, waste heat from data centres will be integrated into the district heating system.The same will be done for waste heat from Supermarkets in Farsta (some 5km south of the Slakthus area). The agreements have been signed and the installation in the Supermarket is completed. Due to delivery problems the heat pump could not be delivered as planned in March, so the installation in the data centre is postponed until June. When the solutions are in operation, the waste heat collected can be distributed into the district heating system and provide heat and hot water to more than 1,000 apartments.


Smart waste Handling


The waste handling system provided by Envac will be completed in June this year, with the terminal and inlets being installed during spring 2017. The different waste types will be separated by tenants into different coloured bags. The tenant places the bags in the inlet, and each bag colour is automatically identified and measured. Data from all six buildings in the project will be collected. The waste is then transported in underground pipes to the terminal. From the terminal the waste bags are sent to the sorting facility, where the different coloured bags are separated for recycling.


The smart waste handling has several benefits. It saves space compared to conventional waste containers, which can then be used for other purposes. The system also brings about benefits for hygiene and reduces bad odours. As the waste is piped to the terminal for collection, traffic for collecting waste at buildings will be reduced, meaning reduced traffic emissions but also less noise at residential buildings.


Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility


To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Building logistics center and delivery boxes


The building logistics centre (solution 2), implemented by Carrier, started in September 2016 with the delivery of windows to Valla Torg. Carrier is together with Skanska discussing which material streams can be best handled by the logistics centre. The construction logistics are part of the production process, so the better production is planned and organised, the easier it is to provide just-in-time deliveries to construction sites. The materials are delivered outside work hours (after 5pm) so that they are available in the next morning at the construction site.


The implementation of delivery boxes (solution 9) by Carrier will be done in three buildings as part of the 2017 refurbishment plan in Valla Torg. Tenants can order packages and other deliveries straight home instead of picking them up from the nearest service point. The delivery from the service point to the building is done by cargo bikes.


Smart Traffic Management


Insero, together with NOAE (Network of Automotive Excellence) and Global car OEM, is implementing an information system for drivers (solution 10). In Stockholm ten traffic lights are equipped with software that can communicate and relay information about the status of the light and when it is about to switch. This is achieved through a data connection between the traffic light, the cars’ onboard software and GPS, and a central computer handling the calculations. Through a special device in the car, the driver will receive information about what speed to drive in order to reach a green light at the next junction. This information tool will be tested in two cars starting in March 2017. Effects on travel time and the drivers’ experiences will be evaluated.


KTH has together with Info24 (now Tingcore) developed a smartphone application (solution 10) to study changes in travel behaviour in a way that is more effective and has a greater response rate than traditional travel surveys. This will improve the travel demand management measures. In the same application, information about renewable fuels in Stockholm will be shown. This information contains updated information on where each alternative fuel can be tanked, together with most recent price.


Alternative fuel driven vehicles


As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum has planned to install up to 10 charging stations and one fast charger (solution 11). The fast charger is installed in Årsta. The normal chargers will be installed in Valla Torg, Slakthus area and Årsta during 2017.


The first refuelling station (solution 11) for renewable fuels is up and running. The filling station in Årsta is expected to be installed in the beginning of 2018.


Communication and marketing


In Stockholm several study visits have been arranged and there is a great interest in the GrowSmarter solutions. As more and more smart solutions are implemented, the study visits will become more frequent. In August 2017 there is a plan to have an event demonstrating the smart solutions in Valla Torg. Here the focus is on city representatives. In November/December 2017 a similar event will be arranged in the Slakthus area. In spring 2018 an event is planned for tenants in Valla Torg.


 


All Stockholm partners will produce their own communication activities plan in April, and contribute to an overall communication activities plan for the Stockholm site. In addition, the partners will start producing a marketing plan for their smart solutions as soon as the implementation is completed.


Mika Hakosalo


Site Manager, Stockholm

5 March 2017

Barcelona blog #5: public private cooperation in energy refurbishments

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here


Solution 1: Smart shell refurbishment


Site 1:

As mentioned in a previous blog post, this building is composed of 207 dwellings with a total surface of 14,165 m2, which will benefit from the passive refurbishment of the entire building façade. See the factsheet which provides an overview of this process here.


The scaffolding on various façades of the building. Source: PMHB


Insulation of the building is expected to lead to a reduction of the heating demand of the dwellings by approximately 43% due to the improved air tightness. 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 for baselines, and a second survey and monitoring campaign will follow in 2018. Electricity and gas invoices will also be collected for baseline and reporting periods. The informational meeting with some of the tenants was held on 19 January, 2017 and was well received.


Meeting with neighbours of the building in order to inform them about the survey and monitoring campaigns. Source: IREC


All the refurbishment work in the residential building of Passeig Santa Coloma 55-71 is being promoted by the public body responsible for social housing in Barcelona, Patronat Municipal de l’Habitatge de Barcelona - PMHB.


A successful case of public-private partnership in a residential refurbishment project

In March of 2016, after long negotiations, the first agreement for a pilot project of passive integral refurbishment was completed in a residential building in Barcelona. The refurbishment is being carried out within the renovation plan of Canyelles, a neighborhood built in the 1970s in response to a period of great migration.


In 2007, an agreement was signed between the City Council and the neighbourhood association to carry out renovation work on 65 buildings with a total of 2,524 dwellings in six phases, over six years. Each phase has been designed to carry out actions in different buildings, giving priority to structural problems and the improvement of thermal insulation, but also contributing to improving the urban elements. Phase 5 began in 2016.


Thanks to the public-private partnership agreement between the Housing Agency of Catalonia (AHC), which manages the renovations in the Canyelles neighborhood, and Gas Natural Fenosa, one of six residential buildings to be refurbished in phase 5 was included in the Growsmarter project at the beginning of 2016. It is a 56-dwelling building of about 5,000 m2 and the refurbishment is mainly based on passive criteria.




The European subsidy (GrowSmarter) and the participation of Gas Natural Fenosa as an Energy Service Company (ESCO) meant the refurbishments could be more ambitious than orginally planned, including: the additional installation of new windows and blinds in those dwelling sthat agreed to participate (77%) insulation of façade was increased, exceeding the current minimum requirements and further measures, like change of boilers, installation of efficient water taps (aerators) and home energy management systems have been included.


As part of the renovations, home energy management systems (HEMS) have also been installed allows the owners to monitor the energy usage of their home, becoming aware of their consumption and learning to reduce this by adjusting their consumption habits. In addition, the lessons learned from the installation of the HEMS will help Gas Natural Fenosa to develop customised value-added services for its customers in the future.


The monitoring of consumption through the HEMS’ installation started in July 2016 and will be carried out for two years from the end of the renovation project. Taking into account the limitations of the Organic Law on Data Protection, the values of aggregate consumption of the building will be available on the platform of the Barcelona City Council. In addition to this, within GrowSmarter, the dissemination of the results will be carried out nationally and internationally, with the aim of replicating this experience in buildings with similar characteristics.


Renovations started in June 2016 were completed at the beginning of this year. A technical-energy study of these passive measures carried out in collaboration with the Catalan Association of Architects (COAC) indicates that reducing heating demand and increasing thermal comfort in winter. Under these criteria, it has been estimated that the improvements proposed in GrowSmarter will allow a savings of 44% over current total energy consumption.


What are the advantages of the public-private collaboration within GrowSmarter?

Collaboration between the Housing Agency of Catalonia and Gas Natural Fenosa combined the efforts of GrowSmarter with the Aid for the refurbishment of residential buildings in 2016, published by the Housing Consortium of Barcelona (CHB). Thanks to this, both this residential tower and the other residential buildings selected in the project will be able to offer financial support to the residents for these renovations.


On the other hand, Gas Natural Fenosa has the opportunity to test a new business model, acting for the first time as an energy service company (ESCO) in the integral passive refurbishment of a residential building.


this business model the customers (residents) deal with a single company that completes the renovations and keeps track of energy savings over time. The residents can choose to pay for their share of the investments through monthly fees or a single upfront payment.


The project will improve the quality of life of the residents, providing improved comfort, reducing energy consumption, increasing the value of the dwelling, all with a reduced investment and a very affordable form of payment.


Lessons learned: difficulties and replicability

Due to the low heating demand in residential buildings in Barcelona and that only an estimated 40% of the heating demands are covered (PECQ 2011-2020 - Energy Plan, climate change and air quality of Barcelona), it is difficult to justify the renovations based only on savings. The aspects to be considered are rather the improvement of thermal comfort and the increased value of the property. But even so, the investment needed for the energy refurbishment are not affordable for the owners alone.


In the case of this project, the ongoing refurbishment project for the structural façade provided an an opportunity to tack on additional sustainable renovations, taking advantage of the fact that costs for painting, scaffolding, etc. could be shared.


The public-private collaboration is still a key factor in carrying out these measures: public administration has the role of proposing ways to favour the amortization of building refurbishment, for example through subsidies or tax incentives, and private enterprise can solve the problem of high investment costs for individual owners by acting as an energy services company (ESCO) to the community of owners of the building.


Smart solution 3: Stochastic model of appliance energy consumption


Among other research activities being carried out at the IREC (Catalonia Institute for Energy Research) is a GrowSmarter measure called the ‘Stochastic Model of Appliances Energy Consumption’. This is a tool that provides detailed load profiles of electric devices in a household.


In its current state, the tool is able to randomly generate the load profile of 15 different appliances according to the characteristics of the household, e.g. the building type (single family house or multifamily house), the number of occupants (from 1 to 5 occupants) and the appliance stock (type and energy labelling). This random generation of use profiles is based on the Spanish Time Use Data (TUD), a survey done in Spain by the Spanish Statistical Office (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, INE). TUD describes what people do at home over the course of the day, providing occupancy patterns and relating them to the use of appliances (e.g. if the activity is “laundry”, the “washing machine” will be used at that moment).


Structure of stochastic model of appliances energy consumption


As an output, the model provides the following information: a) detailed profiles of each appliance’s consumption at 3-minute intervals b) a summary of the annual energy consumption of every appliance; and c) an energy comparison with more efficient appliances.


Impact of the stochastic model in the current trends of progressive electrification of households

The Stochastic Model of Appliances Energy Consumption is expected to be integrated in energy simulation tools and/or platforms to provide detailed information about the energy consumption of appliances in residential buildings.


From the point of view of the professional sector, this tool will generate detailed information related to electrical devices consumption. The aim is to design comprehensive strategies to reduce and manage energy consumption, including all types of energy usage in the residential sector, not only thermal ones (heating, cooling and domestic hot water).


From the point of view of the end-user, the tenants will have accurate and personalised consumption profiles at hand, enabling them to improve the energy performance of their homes. The most important impact of the model is to raise awareness about appliances’ consumption among citizens, in order to address appropriate strategies to improve energy efficiency in homes and to contribute to changing customer behaviour.



Action Area 3: Sustainable Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Microdistribution of freight: On-board sensor units.




The on-board sensor unit deployed as part of the GrowSmarter project will be installed in the electric vehicles used in the microdistribution of freight measure in order to track different parameters (temperature, humidity, pollution, location …) while the tricycles are moving through the city. The information collected by the sensor units is transmitted to the GrowSmarter platform. These data can be lately used as input for different applications (e.g to determine the benefits of the micro-distribution of freight or to analyze the variation of pollution in a specific area)




2CAT has been working on the design and implementation of the on-board sensor unit that will be installed in several electrical vehicles used for the distribution of freight in a specific area of the city. This prototype is a multi-sensing wireless device that will monitor several parameters, such as temperature, luminosity, humidity, noise level, air pollution, and also the position at which these measurements are taken, so that it will be possible to map these parameters and monitor their variability during the full two years of the pilot duration. This monitoring solution will serve to:


• Explore the feasibility of tracking environmental parameters in a city in a mobile scenario with low-cost sensors to complement the information from the static environmental and pollution stations installed in specific places the city.

• Evaluate the environmental impact of the micro-distribution of freight solution through the comparison of the pollution in the delivery area with the one in its edges.

• Provide real-time tracking information about the path followed by the tricycles, which can be helpful to optimize delivery routes and, thus, improve the service and make it more competitive for the last-mile operator.


The sensing unit in the tricycles will be powered by the battery of the vehicles and will support cellular and WLAN communications to transmit the monitored information to the Growsmarter platform, where it will be processed and made available for the city services.




The mobile devices deployed in the project serve also as proof of concept to show the feasibility of using on-board units to monitor different parameters in a wide area (such as a city). This would help to reduce the expenses of installing and maintaining static and dedicated equipment for this aim.


During the next months i2CAT will work on the integration of the prototype with the electrical vehicles and on its on-field calibration and validation before the measure definitely starts. The microdistribution service is expected to be fully operational in early 2017.


Roberto Furió

Site Manager, Barcelona

5 March 2017

Cologne blog #5: open air hackathon and international exchange

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Energy consultation in the Stegerwald settlement


The City of Cologne and its cooperation partner, the consumer center NRW, support the GrowSmarter project in Cologne. Tenants in the project area of the Stegerwaldsiedlung are eligible for a free energy consultation. This consultation is the perfect preparation for the installation of smart home devices and smart meters in the area. Tenants can receive an overview of their electricity and heating energy consumption as well as advice about heating and ventilation.


Consultants look at all household appliances, lamps, TVs and computers, as well as electric water heaters and other big electricity consumers, taking into account also the heating costs and total annual electricity consumption. In addition, tenants are asked about their electricity consumption habits, typical ventilation habits, and radiator settings. The design of the building and the location of the apartment are also included, since these factors also influence energy consumption. The total level of energy consumption is calculated from the data gathered, and the consultant provides recommendations for better-performing appliances the results are given to the energy consultant in a report for further check up.

The tenants were informed about this with a special invitation:




Action area 2: Integrated infrastructures

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Open Air Hackathon – Cologne is starting to become a smart city



What is a smart city exactly and how can one bring it to the general public? –What about transparency, citizen participation and new forms of climate protection? Initiated by the activities of GrowSmarter, the City of Cologne, RheinEnergy and representatives of civil society pursued this question on 28 October 2016 at an Open Air Hackathon.




First meeting on Friday, 28 October


Within the framework of a “Pen and Paper Hackathon”, new application scenarios for a smart city were sought with specially developed environmental sensors. Under the motto "Open Air Cologne", interested parties were invited to place initial rudimentary sensors in different locations in Cologne to get an overview of where and how pollutant concentrations are generated and spread. As a first step, about 20 NO2 measuring stations should be installed for interested citizens in Cologne.

NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) is a gas emitted, among others, by combustion engines. The goal is not 100% accurate measurement results, but the transfer of technology and know-how. Competent experts from research and science as well as from the field of industry provide corresponding input before the first prototype sensors can be used to gain experience.



Sensor Data from Friday, 2 February – 06:00 AM

The pursuit of new ideas did not end with the conclusion of the Hackathon, it continues with the cooperation of the city of Cologne, project partners from GrowSmarter and the Kölner OK Lab (codefor.de) as well as the regular Open-Data-Roundtable initiated by the City of Cologne (#ODRC). The Hackathon was the starting point for a regular exchange with interested citizens and stakeholders, centring around questions like: What was the experience like with the sensors? How can technology be used in a targeted way to solve problems with open data? Does the solution already exist somewhere?


The Cologne OK Lab is a regional group of designers, developers, journalists and others who meet every two weeks to work on useful applications for open data.


In the process, the group develops different applications, for example to display Cologne’s playgrounds or monuments on maps, to find homes for animals in Cologne's animal shelters, or to show 3D representations of how many young people live in Cologne.


OK Lab is sponsored by the Open Knowledge Foundation, which launched the network of OK Labs in 2014. Code for Germany provides OK Labs with the necessary infrastructure to network with each other. In addition, the program supports the local groups in communication with government, institutions and the public. Decision-makers and administrations are also involved in the processes.


In this respect, the organisers of the Hackathon were grateful to have found this group interested in establishing the participative approach of GrowSmarter permanently. The event itself was divided into two sub-events: the actual sensors were built at the beginning of the one-week festival as part of an embedded hardware meetup and were distributed during this workshop. First, the functional principles of the sensors were shown and explained. There were demonstrations about what happens with the collected data and how it can be examined and further processed, e.g. to correlate with other data or create visualisations.


Participants could take sensors home, install them, and thus support Open Air Cologne with their own data. The second part of the Hackathon focused on the actual development of applications and the optimisations around the sensors themselves, including measurement accuracy, design of housing, etc. The discussions went until late in the evening with the participants working enthusiastically. For the first time, interested people will be part of the data collection and, in addition to the hardware and software engineering of environmental sensors, will also learn about the background and technical know-how on topics related to environmental measurements.




Design concept of Sensor Board and Body


Where does it go from here?

Additional information will be found on following websites: http://openair.codingcologne.de/

The entire codebase will be available on: https://github.com/openaircgn



Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Progress in CarSharing for sustainable urban mobility


The expansion of the mobility points in the Mülheim district is proceeding rapidly. Last year, four new Cambio CarSharing stations were opened. Two of them, REGENTEN and VON-SPARR, have already been equipped with charging stations from RheinEnergie (so-called Tank-E) and electric cars.


All new stations are within walking distance to public transport nodes. This is important in order to complement and connect different forms of mobility in the area. The station Bahnhof Mülheim is connected to tram, suburban train and regional transport. At the station Deutz, next to the station Auenweg at Charles-de-Gaulle-Platz, there is also a connection to the long-distance transportation. In the entire city area of Mülheim there will also be the possibility to use KVB´s bicycles, completing the service offer.


A total of 31 vehicles - including 4 electric ones - are now available to residents of the Mülheim area at different seven stations. Due to the variety of vehicles - in addition to the e-vehicles and small cars, there is also a truck, van or transporter – there are specific vehicles for many different requirements.


The GrowSmarter mobility points are not yet equipped with electric cars, but will also be equipped with Tank-Es and Renault Zoes in the following weeks. With a range of almost 120 km, the Renault Zoe is not just for going shopping in the city. Despite the compact size, it offers enough space for four people. Also the trunk has significant storage space. The Zoes are charged with green electricity. Thus the people of the Mülheim area can make a trip to the countryside without producing particulate pollution.


In addition to the seven existing stations, the station network in the district of Mülheim is to be further consolidated this year. Currently, two new stations are planned for 2017. The aim is to imlpement a comprehensive car-sharing service in Mülheim.




Map of car-sharing points in Mülheim Map of car-sharing point in Deutz



Presentation of GrowSmarter at 3rd World Internet Conference in Wuzhen/Shanghai

In September 2016 a delegation consisting of mayors of large towns, employees of market-leading enterprises and representatives of the company CETC visited the city of Cologne. The delegation was led by Dr. Wanje Chen from Graz, a follower city in GrowSmarter.


The representatives were informed about the aims and management of the smart city projects in Cologne. During a study tour in Stegerwald settlement the GrowSmarter project was presented. The integrated approach in the areas of energy, mobility and information technology impressed the delegation very much, and the city of Cologne was invited to participate at 3rdWorld Internet Conference in Wuzhen /Shanghai. This conference is attended by participants from all over the world.


The representative of the city of Cologne answered questions about smart city projects and GrowSmarter specifically to an audience of about 800. Particular attention was paid at the way of information and participation of the affected citizens during the entire process. The majors were highly interested in the implementation of innovative measures.


The exchange across the borders of continents has brought new knowledge and ideas to all sides, and should be continued.



Photo of Representatives of Wuzhen Conference and City Cologne (M)



District talk in Mülheim - Citizen participation in the GrowSmarter

On 15 December 2016, Mayor Reker invited the citizens of Mülheim to express their concerns and questions related to GrowSmarter. All the construction measures in Stegerwaldsiedlung as well as the plans for the mobile stations in the urban area Mülheim were presented. More than 600 suggestions and questions were collected from the participants, and Mrs. Reker assured that the questions would be answered within 14 days. A film was also shown to present the GrowSmarter measures and directly address tenants' concerns. The dialogue process is to be continued in summer 2017 with an event in Stegerwaldsiedlung.



Photo of GrowSmarter Information Point

31 October 2016

Stockholm blog #4: from nothing to everything all at the same time

GrowSmarter is a complex project in which many solutions are linked to each other and both planning and implementation must happen in an integrated manner. This is very evident in Valla Torg, where the tenants must first vacate the buildings before the smart solutions can be implemented in and around the buildings. As this process didn’t start as planned in February 2016, but rather in August, we are now in a very hectic implementation phase where everything happens at the same time, as we still need to keep the original timetable. In this blog I will explain in more detail everything that will happen in the next few months to come.


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.


For those of you who didn’t have a chance to read my previous blog posts, the smart solutions for low energy districts will be rolled out in three building zones, namely Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area (see map here). For an overview of the measures being implemented, click here. In Valla Torg tenants began leaving the buildings in August and the first high-story building has scaffolding (pictured). Work on the façade will start in October. The walls will receive more insulation and new energy-efficient windows will be installed by Skanska. The interior work will also start at the same time. Old pipelines will be removed and new insulated pipelines will be installed. All these measures are part of the energy efficient climate shell (solution 1).


In the private condominia Brf Årstakrönet, the refurbishments (solution 1) and (solution 3) started in January 2016 with the installation of an adaptive control system by Veolia. Veolia will also install photovoltaics (solution 4) on the roofs upon receiving the building permit. The same solutions will also be implemented in the Valla Torg and Slakthus area buildings during later stages of refurbishment.


The real estate administration office (Fastighetskontoret) has made a procurement of a building contractor for Slakthusarea, but the decision has been appealed. As soon as the court has given its decision the work can continue.


Action area 2: Integrated infrastructures


To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Installing smart LED-lighting


The installation of smart LED-street lights (solution 5) was finalised in June in Valla Torg. The adaptive LED-lighting will reduce energy consumption by 50% while still providing the same sense of security along walking and bicycling paths. Each street light features a radar detector that senses movement on the path (Picture). As soon as any movement is detected, the light is activated and the movement is communicated wirelessly by radio to a number of nearby street lights. As a result, cyclists and pedestrians experience normal illumination levels along their entire route. In Stockholm the lights are not fully turned off during periods without movement, but rather dimmed down and then activated to full light as soon a person approaches.



Smart LED-lighting in Stockholm

Waste heat recovery


Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) will be implemented in two locations. Waste heat from Data Centres in Västberga and waste heat from Supermarkets in Farsta (some 5km South of the Slakthus area) will be integrated into the district heating systems. The agreements have been signed and the installations will begin in October-November. When operational, the waste heat collected will be distributed into the district heating system and provide heat and hot water to more than 1,000 apartments.


A smart connected city


In Stockholm the smart connected city will use the extensive fibre optic network provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council. Several Internet of Things applications and solutions can be built on top of the fibre optic network. Together with different departments and city owned companies, we are defining ways to provide higher quality of life for citizens with smart connected solutions in a series of workshops. We will start the process with defining the users’ needs. We have defined three groups of users: inhabitants, visitors and companies. In the Slakthus area we are focussing on visitors and companies, while in Valla Torg the focus is on inhabitants. In my last blog I addressed some of the activities in the Slakthus area, so in this blog I will cover how apartments with simple installations can provide many new functions.


In residential houses, as the tenants change over time, we should install equipment which can be used by several end users and for several purposes. Let’s say we install a movement sensor and water meters in every apartment. If the inhabitant is old, maybe the relatives would like to have a way to monitor her well-being. For example, a simple alarm function could be built and an automatic message sent to relatives when the motion sensor senses the person is inside the apartment, but has not used water for 12 hours. We can also collect water use data and the housing company could, for instance, detect leakages when water is being used and no one is home. If we realise that people use water in different ways, from very little to very intensively, we can create individual water billing so that everyone only pays for the water they use.


IBM, who are responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), are involved in two parts of the project: “Sensing City Scale people movement” and “Movement of Pedestrians/Bicyclists”.


In “Sensing City Scale people movement” IBM planned to analyze mobile phone data and create heat maps to show how people move in the city over time. This analysis was to be matched against other data such as public transport capacity, traffic measurements, weather, etc. to see how well the different transportation modes and capacities are optimised in the city. The project team, platform for data management, analysis tools and method are all in place. A subcontractor was identified and final negotiations for delivery of Telco data were in progress at the beginning of 2016, with the project start scheduled for 1 February 2016.


But an unexpected issue arose. Based on a thorough legal assessment of the current Swedish Personal Data Legislation (PUL) and the EU General Data Protection Legislation (EU GDPL), the subcontracted Telco cannot provide the requested mobile telephone data for citizens of Stockholm in a way that would make it useful to the use case defined by IBM Research Dublin Lab. The only legally approved way for getting access to mobile phone trajectory data is to ask the citizens to voluntarily participate in the project and thus explicitly give consent for the project to track the movements of their mobile phones over time.


The merits, challenges and feasibility of this alternative approach will be assessed by the City of Stockholm and IBM, and a decision on whether to attempt this approach - by consent will be made in 3Q 2016.


In “Movement of Pedestrians/Bicyclists” IBM will measure and study in detail especially how pedestrians move in the city. A prototype user interface environment has been developed in the Bluemix platform. Sample data sets from relevant data sources have been uploaded into the Bluemix environment and made available for the users, including vehicle traffic measurement data, bicycle traffic measurement data, bicycle accident data, and weather data for specific locations in the city. End user functions and graphical visualization tools have been developed, e.g. new work project definition, traffic data selection, report generation, and graphical data visualization.


A plan for implementing new sensor data sources in Aug/Sept 2016 has been agreed upon with the Traffic Administration. This will consist of 7 video sensors in the city infrastructure connected through the city fiber optic network to the Bluemix platform. Data from these sensors will be uploaded into the traffic planner user environment in Bluemix. These sensors will be able to measure the flow, volume and direction of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles in the selected city areas covered.


Smart waste handling


The underground parts of the smart waste handling system (solution 7) provided by Envac will be implemented in October and November (pictures). The terminal and inlets will be implemented during the beginning of 2017. The waste is compacted right below the waste inlet in the storage pipe instead of upon arrival to the waste terminal. The compacted waste allows for smaller pipes and a reduction of the airflow by as much as 50%. These factors together result in a reduction of energy consumption up to 50%. The solution will consume less energy per tonne of collected waste than any other comparable traditional waste collection, including ordinary waste collection vehicles.






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 center (solution 2) and delivery boxes (solution 9) will be implemented by Carrier starting in October and November. The location of the buildings logistics centre has changed and will now be in Slakthus area. Carrier has together with Skanska discussed which material streams can be best handled by the logistics centre. The construction logistics are part of the production process, so the better production is planned and organised, the easier it is to provide just-in-time deliveries of materials to construction sites. Typically the materials are delivered outside work hours (after 5pm) so that they are available the next morning at the construction site. There are several benefits of the construction logistics centre. First, there are fewer materials wasted and damaged at the construction site, along with less traffic to and from the construction site. The construction site can also be kept clean, as the packaging waste is regularly removed. What’s more, production is enhanced as materials needed for work are constantly available and it is always clear where the materials are and how much is in stock.


Delivery boxes (pictured) are installed in the entrance of the refurbished buildings in Valla Torg next to the post-boxes. Tenants can order packages and other deliveries straight to their homes instead of retrieving them from the nearest service point. The delivery from the service point to the building is done by cargo bikes.






Smart Traffic Management


Insero, together with NOAE (Network of Automotive Excellence) and Global car OEM, is implementing an information system for drivers (solution 10). In Stockholm around ten traffic lights will be equipped with software that can communicate and inform users about the status of the light and when it is about to change. This is achieved through a data connection between the traffic light, the cars’ onboard software and GPS, and a central computer handling the calculations. Through a special device in the car, the driver will receive information on what speed to adopt in order to reach a green light at the next intersection. This information tool will be tested in two cars for a few months’ time. Effects on travel time and the drivers’ experiences will be evaluated.


Alternative fuel driven vehicles


As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum has planned to install up to 10 charging stations and one fast charger (solution 11). The fast charger will soon be installed in Årsta. The location has been selected and the charger has already been delivered. The normal charging stations will be installed in Valla Torg, the Slakthus area and Årsta.


The first refuelling station (solution 11) is up and running (picture). The filling station in Årsta is expected to be established in the beginning of 2017.



Citizen engagement


A citizen engagement event was organised in Valla Torg in September. The event was very successful with around 500 visitors and positive feedback. The event was also the launch of the refurbishment in Valla Torg, and the audience had the opportunity to get information both on the GrowSmarter project and the different smart solutions from our partners, and to visit the exhibition apartments.







Mika Hakosalo


Site Manager, Stockholm

31 October 2016

Cologne blog #4: citizen involvement and integrated infrastructure

I am happy to share with you that Cologne has been recognized with an award for its participation in GrowSmarter by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy! Projects all over Germany related to intelligent networks were reviewed, and Cologne won in the category “cross-sectoral”. More information can be found in this article (in German)






Action area 1: Low energy districts

Citizen involvement: the Stegerwald Settlement

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


At the Stegerwald Settlement in Cologne, the first construction phase is underway and the second phase of construction started in May 2016. The planning and tendering process for the different local energy productions is mainly completed.


With photovoltaic modules installed on the roofs of the first four buildings, our progress is becoming more and more visible!


Smart Solution 1 Energy efficient refurbishment of the building



© RheinEnergie


As you can see on the map the scaffolding is now progressing and the construction of the next buildings is coming closer.


(Insulating of buildings, installing triple glazed windows) © RheinEnergie


DEWOG has started the refurbishment and is currently insulating the buildings, basement ceiling, and roofs as well as installing triple glazed windows in some of the buildings. The façades will be reinforced with an additional 10cm of insulation on the gable side, adding to the existing 6cm insulation. Houses which are not yet insulated are being provided with 16cm of insulation. Also the buildings in the Deutz-Mülheimer Street (which are in the second construction phase) will be insulated with 16cm after dismantling the existing 6cm. The insulation keeps the temperature of the buildings more consistent, whether during warm or cold temperatures. By doing so, we can significantly reduce the primary energy consumption for heating and cooling.


The old self-contained central heating has been replaced with central heating in two buildings. The two other buildings in the first construction phase will be completed soon. The installation of new energy efficient elevators is also underway. Furthermore, the stairway lighting in all renovated buildings will be replaced with efficient LED lighting.



(Preparation of the elevator shaft) © RheinEnergie


DEWOG will install modern, electrically powered heat pumps with high efficiency which will be powered by the PV-modules of RheinEnergie. Soon RheinEnergie will also add electric storage. The combination of these components will reduce the consumption of primary energy in the Stegerwald Settlement significantly.


© RheinEnergie


Until the modern heating components are finished, the tenants of the settlement must be provided with temporary heating stations. To this end, RheinEnergie has deployed three heating stations (two rented and one mobile RheinEnergie heating station) presently in use. We expect to complete the installation of the new heating components in October, just in time for the winter.


© RheinEnergie


Smart Solutions 3 and 5: Smart Home System and Smart Meter analysis and actuators

With the SmartHome application of RheinEnergie in combination with SmartMeter of AGT International, the tenants are able to track the current energy consumption of connected devices. As a result tenants are able to recognize devices which consume large amounts of energy and should get a better general overview about their consumption of electricity. This could motivate them to replace their electrical equipment, or parts thereof, with energy-saving devices.


AGT International and RheinEnergie are currently working on a joint venture to combine both systems into one. Since the Federal Government is currently deciding about the necessary IT-security (potentially to conclude by the end of 2016), the rollout of smart meters may begin mid-2017.


The SmartHome system was shown and explained to the tenants at an event in the Stegerwald Settlement in November 2015. Another event is planned for November 2016, where SmartHome will be presented to the tenants again.


In order to display the functions of the system, DEWOG in cooperation with RheinEnergie and AGT International is installing the Smart Energy Solution (hardware and software) in the Stegerwald Café.


© RheinEnergie


Smart Solution 4: Virtual power plant – “Siedlungsmanagement”

Virtual power plants for holistic settlement management have so far only been carried out as research projects. The RheinEnergie „Siedlungsmanagement” software leads to an autonomous self-sustaining development for communities. This would partially replace the supra-regional grid expansion as well as the construction of new conventional power plants. In addition, it provides the residents with the opportunity to influence their own energy consumption. The “Siedlungsmanagement” is a tool that is designed to be replicated in other city or town.


Based on the data provided by smart meters and smart home appliances, RheinEnergie is better able to offer attractive tariffs (“Mieterstrom”) and useful services to the tenants.


The holistic interaction of all components, such as power generation, storage, SmartHome, Smart Meter and consumption, will lead to a change in energy awareness as well as a social sense of community within the settlement.


© RheinEnergie


Smart Solution 11: Developing charging infrastructure

The City of Cologne, together with 12 partners, is working on a project called "colognE-mobil". This is one of the largest field tests as part of a program called “model regions for electro-mobility” launched by the German government. The charging infrastructure for GrowSmarter will be implemented together with the e-mobility.


The city government has now approved the mobility-stations, so RheinEnergie is able to start installing the charging infrastructure. That hasn’t been an easy task!


Lots of planning was required, including coordination with all affected city departments, transportation agencies, as well as with North Rhine-Westphalian legislation. RheinEnergie will install approximately 15 charging stations in the project area Mülheim.


© RheinEnergie


To promote the GrowSmarter project, we use opportunities like street festivals that are very popular in the summer months. One such festival, with a rich history of tradition, took place in Deutz, neighbourhood neighbouring district to the Stegerwald settlement and the location of one of the mobility stations at the Charles-de-Gaulle Square. With our partners KVB and cambio CarSharing we informed citizens about the trend-setting solutions in traffic, energy, and communication technology that we are launching within GrowSmarter. While discussing how to steer traffic flows and fulfil climate protection goals, many of the citizens decided to reduce their private car usage and signed up for carsharing and bike rentals. An important factor in this decision is the central location and the wide range of mobility options at the mobility stations.


© Stadt Köln


This demonstrates the importance of good promotion for GrowSmarter!


Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructure

Cracking open data - stimulating local entrepreneurs & traffic management


To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


In our last blog we told you about our partner KVB, who provided their locations for the rental bikes as well as the actual position of each rental bike. A member of the open data community has now used this data to develop an application: https://tom.cologne.codefor.de/kvbrad/

The application is not yet finished – at the moment it only works properly in Google Chrome - but it is a very good example of how open data can be used to encourage innovation. We are very encouraged to gather and provide more data!