Smart buildings is a new way we realize, integrate and control our homes inorder to make them more efficient and sustainable, using locally available renewable energy sources controlled in a predictable way and able to manage demand-side energy consumption profile - day and night - in a reliable and secure way.
Smart buildings are a major sector where match the EU targets for 2020 and over. It accounts for about 40% of overall energy consumption in Europe and for the biggest contribution to the global warming (41,5% in Europe and 48% in US, where buildings are consuming 78% of overall energy produced by power plants).
It is so fundamental to address this sector improving our buildings environmental and sustainability profiles.
Even as the simpler node of the grid, the building is a very complex entity. It integrates a large amount of sources, technologies, energy flows, energy strategies, interlinked with a local district, connected to an extended urban context and to the macro – grid itself.
The Smart building can be summarized as a structure provided, among others, of the following characteristics:
- a new design of modular developed homes in a multidisciplinary approach;
- home not only built with sustainable materials and that uses green energy, but also takes full advantage of all the digital world to offer a building that can respond to its environment and to the needs of its inhabitants more intelligently;
- employs the latest in what we know about artificial intelligence, as well as advanced robotics, to improve the quality of life for those who live in the home;
- a home that by its very existence and the way it works optimizes human behavior and thus promotes social sustainability.
The improvement of sustainability profile for buildings must follow a prioritization approach, divided mainly in these steps:
- Passive energy systems: improve insulation, reduce energy dissipation and consumption by passive measures (e.g. enhanced materials);
- Active control systems: increase the energy efficiency of heating, ventilation, cooling and energy distribution technologies. ICT can play a major role by introducing predictive models, loop controlled technologies, smart motors, sensors and actuators, in a centrally controlled environment;
- Distributed and local integrated renewable energy sources: this can cover the remaining and reduced energy need.
- Energy storage and power-to-power backup: due to the mismatch in generation from Variable electrical energy sources (VRES) and load consumption profiles, energy storage technologies are indeed necessary to backup VRES.
EDEN AS A SMART BUILDING FULLY INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY
EDEN can be configured as a fully integrated power-to-power system for grid connected or off-grid solutions. In grid-connected mode, it can either configure itself as a virtual backup station or as a virtual power plant for grid regulation and balance. In the off-grid mode, it can make VRES fully dispatchable at the local level of the building, of the local community or of a city. It is provided of intelligence and control, adapting to the end-user needs.