The building sector is accountable for 40% of the energy consumed and 36% of carbon emissions in the EU. This translates into about 20 exajoules of energy per year – the rough equivalent of 3.5 billion barrels of oil. Approximately one-third of the buildings currently in use are more than 50 years old, having little or no renewable energy sources (RES) installed.
At the same time, EU has set ambitious energy targets for staying at the forefront of the clean energy domain, aiming at the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and reaching a 20% share of renewables by 2020 increasing to at least 27% share by 2030.
In this context, a technological as well as a policy-driven push is required for decarbonising the existing highly inefficient European building stock to re-establish cost-effectiveness and facilitate new investments for integration of Renewable Energy Technologies into buildings.
RE-COGNITION aims to tackle the building energy-autonomy conundrum by implementation of a holistic, end-to-end Renewable Technologies’ Integration Framework offering.
RE-COGNITION aims to pave the way for large-scale deployment of building-level Renewable Energy Sources and increase their share in the energy mix of EU in a safe and secure way for the grid.
The main ambition of the RE-COGNITION is to develop a future and technology-proof integrated solution aiming to maximise the utilisation of the energy that is locally produced by building-level renewable energy technologies, and to reduce implicitly and explicitly induced costs, towards Zero Energy Building’s realisation.
To this end, the project aims to deploy a Renewable Energy Integration Framework able to seamlessly incorporate existing, as well as newly developed Renewable Energy Sources and storage components, along with peripheral electrical and thermal loads (HVAC, chillers, ICT devices, EV chargers, conventional load equipment, etc.).
The energy generation capabilities, consumption profiles, and equipment installed are unique for each building; their operational characteristics and constraints can be treated as the building energy fingerprint.
Hence, the Integration Framework needs to be able to satisfy such parameters and constraints and enable optimal RES integration and interoperability between all building energy subsystems.
The RE-COGNITION Solution: Combined applications of different Renewable Energy Technologies resulting in carbon-neutral buildings.
The RE-COGNITION solution stands as an ICT integration framework, on-top of established and newly developed innovative Renewable Energy-based technologies, representing a highly inter-disciplinary concept for empowering the transition towards a renewable building landscape.
The solution planned to be developed within the project goes even a step further by setting the ambition towards zero-energy or even energy positive buildings, with emphasis on the small and medium-sized building stock in Europe.
The proposed solution will leverage energy production from multiple Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) and enable their optimal pairing with storage technologies to meet the buildings’ electricity, heating, cooling, and hot water demand efficiently and exactly when it is needed.
The project’s idea settles on two axes:
The main focus will be on the development of the non-intrusive and scalable Cross-Functional RES Integration Platform. In its heart, the Automated Cognitive Energy Management Engine (ACEME) along with an intelligent Gateway (iGateway) will be deployed, for optimally harnessing the energy generated from each of the available energy resources, taking into account real-time consumption, operation of storage units, and grid conditions.
RE-COGNITION will progress beyond the current State of the Art in the field of less mature renewable technologies (Building Integrated Photovoltaic, Vertical-Axis Variable Geometry Wind Turbine) and more established constant-source ones (micro-CHP based on biogas) for the building environment, along with optimally designed system peripherals (i.e. latent-heat thermal storage and hybrid system, driven from solar-thermal power for cooling purposes).
Envision and develop an ICT-based building-wide Automated Cognitive Engine that will monitor, predict, optimise and control the energy flow in-between the various supply and demand sub-systems aiming at maximising building self-consumption and RES utilisation.
Deliver breakthrough innovations in core RES technologies for the buildings’ sector in Europe, maximising the systems’ performance for a lower cost.
Enhance interoperability, resiliency and scalability through a hybrid MAS-based architecture.
Ensure optimal integration planning of RES and subsystems, based on a multi-criteria decision support tool facilitating installers’ and building owners’ decision-making process.
Small-Scale Testing and Validation of the final solution in close to real-life forward-looking scenarios.
Create and evaluate customer-centric business models that will effectively exploit the potential of the proposed solution in several energy markets in Europe.
RE-COGNITION Cross-Functional RES Integration Platform
RE-COGNITION also aims to progress on the current state-of-the-art in various RE and storage technologies for building integration: