Pilots and validation
iURBAN pilot sites
The pilot locations for the iURBAN project are located in Plovdiv in Bulgaria, and Rijeka in Croatia.
When deciding on inclusion of a building into the project , experts from EVN and EAP, Plovdiv and ENERGO, Rijeka considered various factors such as; the technical requirements of the project, type of heating installation in a building (i.e. horizontal type). Based on the list with the residential buildings, the public buildings and the private office buildings and after the technical analysis, they made estimated calculations for the number of the devices which are need for the project buildings.
Before making a decision on the device specifications, experts made an extensive analysis of the technical infrastructure and the device compatibility.
For the project, there are 30 buildings included in Plovdiv with different profiles so to gather data necessary for validation of the various use cases:
- 18 residential buildings
- 7 kindergartens;
- 1 high school;
- 1 public building (Trakiya City Hall);
- 2 office buildings (one of which is prosumer);
- EVN CHP plant.
At the end of the first project all the necessary devices for installation in the buildings listed were acquired for the project iURBAN:
- 279 heat meters for apartments and substations
- 362 hot water meters for apartments and substations
- 35 concentrators
- 65 receivers
- Auto client and Router for the metering system
- 30 licences
Figure - infrastructure in Plovdiv for iURBAN project – 30 buildings
Solar Prosumer Smart Metering System
EAP coordinates, facilitates and conducts the iURBAN project activities related to the heating prosumers in the city of Plovdiv, i.e. the seven kindergartens with solar panels for self-hot water production.
The buildings were chosen at pre-proposal stage after intensive consultations with the Municipality of Plovdiv. All of them are renovated and have solar panels for hot water through national funding.
In October – November 2014 EAP deployed the installations in all prosumer kindergartens – solar thermal meters for the solar installations were installed, “blind” PC and communication modules were connected. EAP linked the Smart Prosumers System to the iURBAN Cloud and made adjustments to the data transmission granularity.
In summer 2015, EAP contacted the local gas supplier – CityGas – to establish partnership within iURBAN and explore the possibility of installing a pilot smart gas meter in Prikazen Svyat Kindergarten. A number of meetings were held between EAP and CityGas experts to determine the parameters of the new meter, possibilities for its installation, ICT configuration and its set-up. This is the only building in the pilot city of Plovdiv that is connected via gas measurements to the iURBAN cloud.
iURBAN data transmission service by EAP
In order for EAP to secure the data transmission to the iURBAN Cloud, EAP has developed a local server running service software. The software provides data on all parameters sent by the metering equipment, sends notification emails if a prosumer goes offline and needs technical check, automatically fills-in data gaps, provides feedback on prosuming and statistics, and exports data.
The software service is intended for developer’s and experts’ use only and is not aimed to be user-friendly.
Figure - EAP buffer server service software to manage iURBAN data transmission to the cloud
Additionally, EAP has developed visualisation software based on GIS, so that data is also presented on the TV screen. The visualisation service can be also applied to websites and apps.
Figure - EAP visualisation software for the prosumer buildings in Plovdiv
iURBAN SmartHome System Showroom
In summer 2015, EAP introduced SmartHome system in its premises with the aim to showcase the iURBAN solutions for management of domestic equipment.
EAP installed a complete package of iURBAN smart plugs to its office equipment (lighting, heating/cooling system, communication servers, printing machine, TV screen, electric kettle, water and coffee machines, microwave, fridge) to simulate their work in real-life domestic environment. The LDSS data is displayed on a TV screen in the EAP office so that visitors can see it and have a real-life experience with the smart management equipment.
All of the EAP visitors (businesses, experts, and citizens) are invited to explore and test the equipment; they are also provided with technical information and support.
Figure - iURBAN SmartHome is accessible to see it in action. The iURBAN Platform is available on a PC to be explored by the potential interested users
iURBAN Smart Heating System Pilot in a Prosumer Kindergarten
Based on a thorough overview of all heating systems in the kindergartens, a choice was made for a kindergarten with new heating system, compatible with the iURBAN actuators; however, only the kids’ playrooms and supporting premises were equipped with iURBAN Smart Heating. The decision was made due to the high number of radiators in the kindergarten. At the same time, the most important rooms are the kids’ playrooms, because heating regulation is not automatic and there are regulations for a certain temperature that must be kept during the workdays.
Thus, the iURBAN Smart Heating systems facilitate automatic keeping of the required temperature, and draw savings from workday/night and weekend regulation patterns. Additional added value comes from increased indoors comfort.
Energo and the City of Rijeka had acquired a new remote metering system that has been installed in 26 objects. This system enables a real-time readings of energy meters and water, based on 1-minute reading interval. The system consist of terminal and communication equipment installed in every object and a software solution installed in the Data centre owned by City of Rijeka.
The system modules are collecting data (pulse values) from energy meters and water meters for each of 26 buildings.
- Electrical energy – energy meters equipped with pulse outputs for consumed active energy (kilowatthour – kWh) and consumed reactive energy (kilovoltampere-reactive-hour – kvarh).
- Renewable energy sources – PVs and/or cogeneration plants - electrical energy meters with pulse outputs for produced active energy (kilowatthours – kWh).
- Gas – gas meters combined with gas flow corrector units that have pulse outputs for cubic meters (m3).
- Heating energy – energy meters with pulse outputs for consumed heating energy (in kilowatthours – kWh)
- Extra light heating oil – flow meters for inbound and outbound oil flow with pulse outputs (liters per hour – l/h).
- Water flow meters equipped with pulse outputs for cubic meters (m3).
Figure - infrastructure in Rijeka for iURBAN project – 26 public buildings
Eight customers to which Energo provides gas services and who have decided to install a smart home system as a part of their participation in the iURBAN project. The smart home devices enables monitoring and managing of the consumption for the following forms of energy: heating (regardless of whether it is district heating or gas heating) and electricity (managing of larger consumers and air conditioners). Practice showed that implementation of such systems decreases consumption for approximately 10%, and our presumption is that saving potential is even higher.
The Smart Heating system of the LDSS is a way, iURBAN provides to end users, to modify at any time the target temperature of their homes. The following figure represents a home with 5 rooms with a physical thermostat in each room. As in the main thermostat, the user can set the target temperature individually, and if the physical devices allows it, it can switch on and off each individual thermostat.
Figure - Example of an apartment with 5 rooms
Exchange of Experience between Pilots
Exchange of experience between the pilot cities of Plovdiv and Rijeka happens during the Consortium Plenary Meetings when experts from various departments from the pilot meetings attend. Within the plenary meetings, we had considered the technical parameters of the installations, types of devices, equipment for data metering and upload, customer engagement.