Autonomous Management System Developed for Building and District Levels

Final AMBASSADOR press release

AMB 3Four years after project launch, AMBASSADOR research project presents its developments for energy efficient districts

Grenoble, October 5th 2016

The AMBASSADOR project will end by end of October after 4 years of research on energy for Smart Districts. 15 partners have been contributing to the results of the project, with an overall budget of 10 MEUR, and 6.5 MEUR funding from European Commission in the frame of FP7 framework.

The major objective of the AMBASSADOR project was to develop energy solutions for Smart Districts, both for electric and district heating networks. In addition to technology developments, works have been dedicated to better capture business aspects, understand who the actors in place are, and what the very first business opportunities that are foreseen.

The overall concept of AMBASSADOR is giving the opportunity to any organization in the District to define and implement optimization strategies serving its business objectives. Depending on the organization profile, the business objective can be energy cost optimization, CO2 emissions reduction, self consumption, increased resiliency, or a combination of different objectives.

In addition to the business objective of each single organization, AMBASSADOR has developed a system introducing coordination at district level: the District Energy Management and Information System. The DEMIS coordinates each actor of the district, in order to implement a new mission for the whole district.

In the very early stages of the project, the business framework was defined providing structural inputs to system architecture and control. In the case of a private campus, all assets and buildings are owned by a single organization. Thus one can concentrate all the necessary knowledge in a single controller which will decide the optimal strategy for the campus. Another business case much more challenging is the “local utility” business case where the system needs to consider multiple organization, without being intrusive. This brings strong constraints to the DEMIS that needs to coordinate sub-systems without any information on the nature of the sub-system.

Solution demonstration and potentials evaluation have been conducted through three demonstration sites and a dedicated District Simulation Platform. The demonstration sites are BedZED in Sutton, UK – CEA Ines in Chambéry, France and the Lavrion Technological and Cultural Park in Lavrion, Greece. The solution has been deployed on two of the demonstration sites. The District Simulation Platform and the BedZED demonstration site have been used through simulation in order to evaluate solution potentials.

The solutions developed within AMBASSADOR have demonstrated that flexibility is key in the process of energy optimization. Flexibility embedded into the systems will be exploited on priority. Heating or cooling in buildings is an example of flexibility that is exploited, without compromising occupants comfort. In the case of electrical vehicles, the batteries combined with the understanding of car usage provide important flexibility for optimization. Finally, when flexibility embedded into the process in not sufficient to reach business objectives, energy storage can be added.

In terms of impact, AMBASSADOR has demonstrated:

  • capacity to maximize self consumption of local renewable energy, while limiting peak consumption;
  • capacity to define optimal charging schedule of electric vehicle fleet;
  • at building level, achievable energy savings ranging from 10 to 40%;
  • at district level, 20% of impact on cost thanks to smart algorithms.

AMBASSADOR has also made some recommendations that should contribute to boost Smart Districts deployment:

  • price on CO2, along with energy mix prediction ;
  • support self consumption – energy positive districts ;
  • support introduction of renewable energy sources and storage for more flexibility ;
  • develop the concept of smart grid ready “thing”.

Finally, new business opportunities already emerge for AMBASSADOR industrial partners:

The complete press release is available for download here.