Jordi Cipriano of CIMNE is working on the pilot site in Sant Cugat, Spain. Here, he outlines the plans for the buildings and residents, gives an update on the work carried out so far, and talks about attending the European Utility Week on behalf of Sim4blocks.

There are three partners engaged in the project at the Spanish pilot site. Promusa is a social housing organisation that owns the buildings. 70 per cent of the households in the buildings are rented homes, and so Promusa manages all the contracts with the people in these homes.

Energea is an energy service company. They are responsible for the energy management for thermal uses in all of the dwellings in the buildings. They are also responsible for managing the bills and contracts. In one of the buildings, all of the existing mechanical meters are going to be removed, and will be replaced by a single meter working at block level. This will be managed by Energea.

CIMNE, the organisation that I am from, is providing the software platforms to manage all the data coming from the users. We are also developing the algorithms and artificial intelligence that will help to implement demand response services.


Progress in Sant Cugat 

So far we have managed to get contracts with around 50 per cent of the inhabitants in the buildings, and we have had them fill in surveys on social information and other details. They have also signed letters confirming participations in the project.

Monitoring equipment is being installed in the buildings, without which we would not be able to implement demand response services.

CIMNE is now developing the algorithms that will be the basis for the services. These are being developed based on data we have from previous projects. We want to implement a big data architecture that has been developed by us in previous projects. We are currently managing huge amounts of data coming from smart meters from other regions of Spain, and we are using this data to inform the development of the algorithms that will be applied in the pilot site in Sant Cugat.

European Utility Week

Laura Garcia of Energea and myself visited European Utility Week on 15-17th November in Barcelona, where we had a meeting with a company called POWERHOUSE from the Netherlands. They create software tools for energy companies. This software is quite powerful and includes several packages, including some related to user engagement and some related to dealing with the electricity market.  POWERHOUSE have agreed to let us use their demand response software in Sant Cugat so we can validate it and demonstrate how it can work in the Spanish market. Energea will have access to it via the cloud, and in return for its use will present their experience with it to POWERHOUSE after the pilot is finished.