Among the challenges related to matching the global increasing energy demand, there are resource deficiency and emissions of greenhouse gases. Two common responses to meet these challenges consist of introducing measures to decrease the energy consumption or choosing more sustainable energy sources. This dual approach can be found in the project FIEMSER (Friendly Intelligent Energy Management System for Existing Residential Buildings), where the development of a ground-breaking energy management system for buildings (BEMS) is currently taking place. The project is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission (FP7), a grant funding programme, running for three years and coming to an end in 2013.
The technologies developed within the project are new and innovative elements in the field of damage-reducing techniques, designed to increase the awareness on energy consumption and decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases. The new system, called BEMS, will both be applicable to existing and new residential buildings and improve the energy consumption situation regarding two aspects: through optimising and decreasing the energy use of the building and through interactions with the building user.
BEMS is a home energy manager, which is a control system that coordinates the energy demand systems in the buildings with the local energy generation and that provides a flexible platform for interactive consumption measuring in households. A system with a number of technical solutions are applied within the BEMS system, and can also be used individually:
- An intelligent control system, making the control decisions of the BEMS to optimise the energy management of the building (by minimizing the building energy demand, energy cost and CO2 emissions, also managing local generation and energy storage).
- A multimodal user interface that is available and usable by many target user groups, designed as a package of software tools to be used via a PC (installed in the same location as the BEMS), mobile devices (through the internet connection of the smartphone) or a household TV (through internet-connected TV-solutions)
- A database for storing data
A data model with more than 100 classes has been defined to integrate the components of the BEMS system. The architectural design of the model has been complemented with data modelling of the information exchanged between the main parts of the system. Within the building a monitoring and control network (BMCN) is installed for collecting information on the current energy use from sensing devices in the building, communicating with the BEMS system.
This built environment assessing and monitoring system will be used for identifying energy-related improvements in the home and is thereby able to give recommendations for energy efficiency measures without intruding on the comfort of its inhabitants. Targeting energy consumers and buildings, this project has acknowledged the need to achieve energy positive buildings through solutions based on a rational consumption of energy, local generation and an increase in the consciousness of the building owners towards their energy consumption habits.
Reaching the existing building stock has specifically proven to be a complex task.
The project is characterized by consumer-close and reality-based research and development, and the system will be validated in buildings in two different locations: Bilbao, Spain, and Munich, Germany. The user interface has nearly been finished and the pilot installations are under development. As the project is still running and its outputs are not complete yet, the technology readiness level is currently estimated to be 3 on the TRL scale.