Unlocking the Future of Energy: SYNERGY’s Open Call Winner – R&D NESTER

In the ever-evolving landscape of the energy sector, innovation and collaboration have become paramount. The SYNERGY Open Call has emerged as a catalyst for ground-breaking developments in the field, inviting pioneers to share their ingenious solutions. Among the remarkable participants, the INTERCAST App shines as a beacon of innovation, offering a unique perspective on energy forecasting. In this article, we delve into an insightful interview with the minds behind INTERCAST, exploring the app’s distinctive features, its role in the SYNERGY project, and its potential to reshape the energy sector.

Can you start by giving us an overview of the app developed for the SYNERGY Open Call? What sets your app apart from other proposals in the Open Call, and what unique benefits does it bring to the energy sector?

“The INTERCAST App provides day-ahead forecasting for network interconnections, such as TSO/DSO substations or DSO/Consumer delivery points. These forecasts are made using an ensemble of Machine Learning models, in which a set of base learners train on historical data and whose predictions are used to train an ensemble model, which will generate the final predictions. One of the advantages of INTERCAST and its inclusion in the SYNERGY Platform is the fact that any pre-trained forecasting model can be included in the ensemble, improving both the pre-trained model and the ensemble itself. As more and more uncertainty gets introduced into the power system, it is important for all players in the energy field to have an accurate picture of the network operation in the near future. Therefore, an app such as INTERCAST is an important tool to have for anyone who needs accurate day ahead information on the electrical system, be it for market or operational purposes. It uses near real-time data to provide accurate actual day-ahead forecasts and it could also be incorporated in the other SYNERGY Open Call apps, as most (if not all) included a forecast as a preliminary step.”

What motivated you to participate in the SYNERGY Open Call, and how do you believe your service contributed to the overall objectives of the project?

“We were motivated to participate in the SYNERGY Open Call due to our internal developments in the field of forecasting analytics aligning with SYNERGY’s core topic 1: Innovative tools for optimized electricity grid monitoring and operation. It provided us with a platform to further develop our tool, while at the same time valuing SYNERGY’s Platform. Throughout our participation, we believe that INTERCAST fully aligned with the open call objectives of expanding the outreach of the SYNERGY platform and analytics. Our service offered an innovative and valuable energy service that complemented those provided as part of the SYNERGY implementation. By contributing our forecasting capabilities, we aimed to enhance the overall objectives of the project, facilitating more efficient energy management and grid operation.”

How the activities in SYNERGY Open Call allows you to innovate in your business?

“As we are a Research Centre, being able to access and take advantage of the SYNERGY Platform, via the Open Call was immensely valuable to us. Elevating a previously developed solution using the analytic and computational power of SYNERGY in combination with its Marketplace with access to real and updated data, allowed it to reach a higher TRL, being validated in a real-life pilot. We also developed new skills internally during the project, related to web-app design and full stack development.”

Which category or group of stakeholders can benefit from your SYNERGY App?

“Any stakeholder that does day-ahead planning, whether these are operating grid assets, or participating in energy markets. They can be used by DSOs, TSOs, or market agents, such as renewable energy producers, aggregators, flexibility service providers, energy community managers, or even energy management service providers. Having accurate consumption or generation forecasts leads to a more optimised operation and better outcomes for these stakeholders.”

How do you plan to leverage the services developed in SYNERGY in your daily business?

“We will continue to develop and refine our forecasting model, using the lessons learnt from the SYNERGY Open Call to improve our tools in this field. We will also leverage our acquired skills in web development to potentially release web service versions of tools previously developed in research projects and turn them into commercially viable products. We will certainly be on the lookout for platforms similar to SYNERGY (or a final commercial release of SYNERGY itself) to develop our services on, acquire data and create new apps that allows to create a smart energy future.”

The SYNERGY project aims to develop a Big Energy Data Platform and AI Analytics Marketplace. How do you think this platform will revolutionize the energy sector, and what role does your developed app play in this transformation?

“It has been said many times that Data is the gold of the 21st century. If so, AI Analytics are the craftsmen that turn this gold into fine (and useable) jewellery. Platforms like SYNERGY establish a bridge connecting players from across the energy data value-chain, allowing for different stakeholders to monetize and extract valuable insights from data. INTERCAST is a piece of this interaction, as companies with access to metering data can now use it to plan their activities for the day ahead and other app developers can take advantage of these forecasts as well, improving their developed services with accurate forecasts.”

Conclusion

As we conclude our interview with the creators of INTERCAST, we are left with a profound understanding of the transformative power of innovation and collaboration within the energy sector. The SYNERGY Open Call has proven to be a breeding ground for ingenious solutions, and INTERCAST stands as a testament to this collaborative spirit. With its advanced forecasting capabilities and commitment to enhancing energy management and grid operation, INTERCAST exemplifies the promise of a smarter, more efficient energy future. In the grand tapestry of the SYNERGY project, INTERCAST is a vital thread, weaving together stakeholders, data, and analytics, paving the way for a revolution in the energy sector. As we move forward, the SYNERGY project and apps like INTERCAST remind us that data is indeed the gold of the 21st century, and with the right tools and collaborations, we can craft it into a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

Unlocking the Future of Energy: SYNERGY’s Open Call Winner – Maps SpA

In an era defined by innovation and sustainable development, the energy sector stands at the forefront of transformation. The global pursuit of cleaner, more efficient energy solutions has spurred advancements that rely heavily on data-driven insights and cutting-edge technologies. At the heart of this transformative movement lies the SYNERGY H2020 project, a venture aimed at revolutionizing the energy landscape through the convergence of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

The SYNERGY project, funded by the EU, is a visionary endeavour that seeks to construct a monumental Big Energy Data Platform and AI Analytics Marketplace. This ground-breaking platform is designed to establish a reference Big Data ecosystem, aggregating information from a myriad of energy-related sources, including IoT statistics, sensor data, and energy market data. Furthermore, it aims to empower and enhance the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence, weaving its intelligence into the very fabric of our energy systems. With a vision as vast as its potential impact, SYNERGY is poised to reshape the future of energy.

One of the project’s most exciting aspects is its commitment to real-world applicability. To this end, the SYNERGY project introduced an Open Call, which primarily focused on selecting forward-thinking experiments and services to be rigorously tested and validated in live, real-world conditions. These experiments would harness real data provided by the project’s esteemed demo partners, thereby broadening the scope and enriching the service portfolio to be ultimately delivered by the project’s technology partners to the energy market actors and stakeholders. These services are being meticulously crafted in harmony with the SYNERGY platform, ultimately accelerating their applicability and extending their reach.

In this article, we delve into the story of one of the Open Call’s winners, Maps SpA. As they recount their Open Call journey, they provide a detailed glimpse into their project’s innovative nature and the profound impact it promises to have on the energy sector.

Can you start by giving us an overview of the app developed for the SYNERGY Open Call? What sets your app apart from other proposals in the Open Call, and what unique benefits does it bring to the energy sector?

“A Renewable Energy Community (REC) aggregates consumers, producers from renewable sources, and prosumers of electrical energy. RECs aim to minimise their energy bills by increasing energy self-consumption, using efficiently their energy storage assets, and exploiting best market conditions or remunerations due to regulatory incentives. EU Directive 2018/2001, known as RED II, grants various incentives that each EU member state is expected to implement. Additionally, RECs also have a role in improving the stability of the grid, thus addressing the needs of Distribution System Operators (DSO) of minimising unbalances of energy flows in the grid. For these reasons, RECs have an increasing need of intelligent management systems that leverage technical, market, and regulatory information to optimise the REC’s usage of its assets.

Within the above summarised context, and thanks to SYNERGY project support and the tools of the SYNERGY platform, BRAIN has addressed the specific need of practically demonstrating that storages can be key assets of RECs. We have developed optimal storage planning algorithms, which consider both the incentive on energy sharing and the valorisation of energy injected with the goal of maximizing the economic performance of the community.

Even if compared with state-of-art publications, BRAIN is better at solving the RECs energy cost minimization where the (virtual) self-consumed energy between Community members is an additional variable to be considered.

The SYNERGY data and platform tools have been employed to construct and train machine learning models for predicting electricity prices, PV production, and consumption. These predictions serve as essential components for validating BRAIN optimization algorithms.

The results obtained highlight that by using BRAIN there can be an increase of more than 45% in energy sharing and of approximately 10% of the energy valorisation revenue as well as, thanks to local energy sharing, a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions due to minor network losses.”

What motivated you to participate in the SYNERGY Open Call, and how do you believe your service contributed to the overall objectives of the project?

“The main motivation resided in the interesting combination of data and analytics that SYNERGY was developing, promoting, and making available to the open-call projects.

These are the main indicators (in terms of total number) of resources accessed or delivered within the platform with the BRAIN project:

  • Datasets acquired through the SYNERGY Marketplace: 21
  • Models trained: 14
  • Analytic pipelines created: 64
  • Queries used to retrieve the data for the app: 82

We reckon that BRAIN contributes to the objectives of the SYNERGY project by demonstrating the usefulness of the SYNERGY platform for the development of new intelligent services.”

How the activities in SYNERGY Open Call allows you to innovate in your business?

“We set to ourselves the task of solving the problem of maximising the benefits of a REC that is rewarded for the energy shared by the REC members and for the energy produced and sold to the market.

To our knowledge there currently is no similar solution that explicitly includes in its objectives the implementation of RED II directive for RECs.

We then plan to bring to the market a solution, currently missing, for the optimal management of RECs aligned with the current regulations.

In particular the current implementation is based on Italian implementation of RED II directive, but we are not limited to the Italian market as the solution is designed and implemented with configurability as a central element.

This ensures adaptability to changing rules and, more important, enable a short time-to-market for the implementation of nation-specific RECs management solutions.”

Which category or group of stakeholders can benefit from your SYNERGY App?

“The outcome of BRAIN optimisations generates mainly benefits for REC members. Operationally the users of BRAIN are REC representatives, that are nominated managers of RECs or the REC members themselves in case of RECs that do not make use of management services.”

How do you plan to leverage the services developed in SYNERGY in your daily business?

“In the coming years, small and medium-sized storage is expected to increasingly penetrate the electric market, particularly in distributed self-consumption configurations such as RECs. However, this penetration is only possible if these storage facilities are managed by intelligent solutions such as those developed in the BRAIN project. These assets could shift peaks of produced energy to times of day when energy is most needed by community members.

Our plan is to first integrate BRAIN algorithms within Maps Group’s ROSE software solution for intelligent management of Energy Communities. These algorithms will then be validated in live contexts, starting from the Italian market and later in other European countries.

Furthermore, these algorithms will be evolved to support and optimize other flexible energy assets, such as electric charging infrastructure in the Vehicle to Grid framework, and thermal energy production systems such as electric, geothermal, heat pumps or HVAC exploiting the thermal inertia of buildings.

All market scenarios will be evaluated to extend the algorithms with the aim of addressing the local flexibility scenarios being implemented in several European countries in accordance with the IEM directive (EU/2019/944) e and the electricity market reform being discussed by the European Commission.”

The SYNERGY project aims to develop a Big Energy Data Platform and AI Analytics Marketplace. How do you think this platform will revolutionize the energy sector, and what role does your developed app play in this transformation?

“SYNERGY vision is very appealing. The availability at large of trustworthy, complete, and clean energy data is crucial for the scaling of the development of innovative data-driven services in this sector. In our understanding SYNERGY demonstrates the feasibility for the existence of such energy data and analytics marketplaces. In this context, we see BRAIN as the demonstration of the usefulness of data and analytics market platforms such as SYNERGY.”

Conclusion

In the ever-evolving energy sector, SYNERGY’s Big Energy Data Platform and AI Analytics Marketplace, exemplified by Maps SpA’s innovative app BRAIN, represent a paradigm shift. BRAIN’s unique approach to managing Renewable Energy Communities (RECs), optimizing energy usage and maximizing economic benefits, mirrors SYNERGY’s mission to revolutionize the industry through data and analytics. Beyond its immediate application, BRAIN’s algorithms hold promise for the broader energy landscape, reinforcing sustainability goals. Together, SYNERGY and ground-breaking solutions like BRAIN illuminate a path towards a more efficient and sustainable energy future.

Synergy Building/District-level Analytics for Optimized Energy Performance Management Suite

The Building/ District-level Analytics for Optimized Energy Performance Management suite developed in SYNERGY (WP7) includes the following applications and tools. 

Advanced Renovation Decision Support 

The availability of near-real-time data on energy performance is opening new opportunities to optimize buildings’ energy efficiency and flexibility capabilities and to support the decision making and planning process of building renovation infrastructure investment. Existing tools can support retrofitting design and energy performance contracting. However, there are well-recognized shortcomings of these tools related to their usability, complexity, and ability to perform calculations based on the real-time energy performance of buildings. To address this gap, the Advanced Renovation Decision Support tool is developed in the SYNERGY project.   

Advanced Renovation Support

The Renovation Decision Support tool utilizes real-time, automatically collected history data of building energy consumption, occupants’ comfort profiles. The genetic algorithms are used to learn building parameters and building energy consumption baseline. In case the measured building energy consumption data is not available, the web-based GUI allows users to import the default building parameters. The user is supported with setting the renovation targets and the selection of renovation actions. The main outputs of the tool presented for the user are heating, hot water, cooling & electricity consumption for studied retrofitting actions. Additionally, payback time, investment costs, energy costs, and carbon footprint are calculated by reading country-level background data (Figure above). 

To learn more about this tool, refer to the article titled “Decision Support Tool to Enable Real-Time Data-Driven Building Energy Retrofitting Design” by Piira, K.; Kantorovitch, J.; Kannari, L.; Piippo, J.; Vu Hoang, N., published in Energies in 2022, volume 15, page 5408. The article can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155408.

Check the tool: https://renovationsupport.synergy-bigdata.eu/synergy-renovation-tool/

Urban Energy Monitoring and Planning Support  

An ambitious new strategy sets 2035 as the year when the city will be carbon-neutral, but how to ensure that along the way mobility is not hindered, energy security remains guaranteed and local economy will not suffer. The Urban Energy Monitoring and Planning Support application is developed to chart and compare different possible decision pathways and “what if” scenarios to recognize the optimal paths towards the realization of short-term and long-term objectives for energy efficiency and urban sustainability to meet SECAP targets. In comparison to existing simulation support, apart from energy aspects, system dynamics-based approach taken in SYNERGY can take into consideration the existing interdependencies among social, ecological, economic, and other subsystems and their indicators to support long-term planning. 

Urban Energy Monitoring and Planning Support

Set of developed system dynamics simulation models seeks to explain a selected energy efficiency related long-term development indicators as a function of area energy production and demand, PV installations and EV use. Furthermore, the causal theories for both PV installations and EV adoption processes feature non-linear drivers and various potential bottlenecks. Key indicators used for comparing the chosen interventions and assumptions are CO2 emissions and area energy positive index. The predicted energy consumption and energy production for the studied area is taken into the simulation models as a baseline estimates. 

A version of the application is accessible at https://urbanplanningsupport.synergy-bigdata.eu/uemps/ 

Facility Management Energy Analytics, Self-consumption Optimization  & Predictive Maintenance Toolbox   

The Facility Management Monitoring Engine comprised of a highly effective set of features allows Facility Managers to get a deep and comprehensive understanding of the energy-related behaviour of the facilities under their responsibility, through the calculation and proper visualization of relevant metrics and KPIs.  

Group of buildings selection and optimization inputs

The developed services allow to design appropriate flexibility control strategies and interacting mechanisms at the building- and district levels in order to be able to maximize self-consumption and reduce energy costs without compromising occupants’ requirements for comfort at building level in presence of distributed renewable technology and storage solutions. Services are complemented with Predictive Maintenance features which facilitate predictive maintenance tasks for large energy HVAC systems installed in buildings. The toolset is based on the Digital Twin technology, and it provides neutral network (autoencoder/Feedforward) and energy signature- based malfunctions, inefficiencies, and optimization possibilities detection. 

Group of buildings – optimization results

To learn more about this tool check https://hvac-predictivemaintenance.synergy-bigdata.eu/HVACpredictivemaintenance/ 

A version of the application is accessible at https://facilitymanagement.synergy-bigdata.eu/

enhanced Display Energy Certificates (eDECs) application 

The eDECs application delivers dynamic certificates of building energy performance in variant resolutions (e.g. annual, monthly, daily), for the building as a whole or per designated zone. It utilizes real-time field data of the building (consumption, production.), static building data and benchmark values and dynamically calculates the energy performance indicators associated with the Display Energy Performance certificate as per the adopted standards.

enhanced Display Energy Certificates

The application automatically retrieves as much input data as possible from the different datasets uploaded by the facility managers to the SYNERGY Platform (e.g. the time series of meter readings), thus minimizing the efforts required to introduce all required inputs to the benchmark models. Facility managers are able to add any missing piece of data (mainly static properties of the facilities under study) also directly to the eDECs application, by using the corresponding forms on the user interface. 

A version of the application is accessible at  https://facilitymanagement.synergy-bigdata.eu/edec  

Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) application  

The SRI app delivers the “smart-readiness” assessment of a building by calculating the capability of the building to a) apply energy savings techniques b) respond to user needs and c) offer services to the grid. The tool utilizes static building data and benchmark values and calculates various indicators (disaggregated and building total) as per the SRI methodology published by the EU. 

Inputs’ Tab

The SRI assessment tool has been built by the EU in an excel based format and allows facility managers and building owners to perform their smart readiness assessment. Our tool adds-on to the existing ones by giving the users the flexibility to perform the smart readiness assessment of the building by either conducting the assessment from scratch or by using available information already uploaded in SYNERGY platform. The assessment is performed in a user-friendly online environment and, when using data uploaded in the platform, the time needed for the assessment is significantly reduced. 

Outputs’ Tab

A version of the application is accessible at   https://facilitymanagement.synergy-bigdata.eu/srilist 

In conclusion, The article discusses the Building/District-level Analytics for Optimized Energy Performance Management Suite developed under WP7 of the SYNERGY project. The suite comprises several energy applications: Advanced renovation support, Urban Energy Monitoring and Planning Support, Facility Management Energy Analytics, Self-Consumption Optimization & Predictive Maintenance and Real-time Building Energy Performance and Smart Readiness Certification. The article highlights the potential benefits of the SYNERGY tool suite in improving energy efficiency, reducing energy costs, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts, etc.

Read more about the SYNERGY Applications:

Energy as a Service Tool Suite: Flexibility Analytics and Consumer-Centric DR Optimization Application, and DR Smart Contract Monitoring, Handling, Settlement and Remuneration Platform Application

WP6 of SYNERGY project has developed a tool-suite targeting Electricity Retailers and Aggregators. This tool-suite is composed by four different but complementary applications aimed at enabling the full exploitation of the flexibility capacity, namely: 1) Portfolio Analytics and Management, 2) Personalized Energy Analytics; 3) Flexibility Analytics and Consumer-Centric DR Optimization, and 4) DR Smart Contract Monitoring, Handling, Settlement and Remuneration Platform. This article will elaborate on last two of these apps.

Flexibility Analytics and Consumer-Centric DR Optimization

The Flexibility Analytics and Consumer-Centric DR Optimization Application implements the necessary functionalities to allow DER aggregators to provide better and added value flexibility-related services. By analysing the flexibility potential of portfolio assets, the application facilitates the optimal placement of these assets in different Demand Side Management strategies as triggered by 3rd party electricity stakeholders requesting for ancillary services. 

Portfolio segmentation from the Flexibility Analytics and Consumer-Centric DR Optimization Application

Aggregator Portfolio Manager in charge of facilitating aggregators to continuously have a clear picture and management of their portfolio’s performance, in order to be able to deliver the required flexibility to network operators taking into account the flexibility characteristics of their customers. 

VPP enrolment in Demand Response Campaigns

VPP Configuration engine provides advanced Decision Support System (DSS) functionalities towards creating ad-hoc dynamic Virtual Power Plants (VPP) considering the type of service requested by the network operator and the flexibility characteristics of its underlying portfolio.

A version of the application is accessible at https://flexibility-analytics.synergy-bigdata.eu/

DR Smart Contract Monitoring, Handling, Settlement and Remuneration Platform 

DR Smart Contract Monitoring, Handling, Settlement and Remuneration Platform implements all necessary functionalities to allow DER Aggregators and Flexible Asset Managers to come into a common marketplace and negotiate the enrolment of the flexibility assets in different flexibility services through a contractual process. Apart from the contractual part, the settlement and remuneration of the different flexible assets for their participation in the flexibility services is supported by this application.

Contractual Offer and Negotiation process 

This application consists of four different components:

The Flexibility Marketplace Search Engine to facilitate DER aggregators to search from a pool of flexibility assets with specific operational characteristics that fit their business objectives and needs.

The Flexibility Contracts Manager which manages the contractual process between DER aggregators and Flexible Asset Managers. The DER aggregators make a contractual offer to a flexibility asset manager specifying the terms and conditions for the asset enrolment which then can be accepted, declined or further renegotiated.

Contract Management from the DR Smart Contract Monitoring, Handling, Settlement and Remuneration Platform

The Flexibility Settlement & Remuneration Engine to enable fair settlement and remuneration of the flexibility assets for participation in flexibility services. The overall settlement and remuneration are performed on the basis of innovative energy baseline techniques further complemented by appropriate adjustment and normalization methods.

Last but not least, the role of the Blockchain Wallet is to act as the user registry and management layer to enable the end user’s interaction with the smart contract monitoring, handling, settlement and remuneration platform.

A version of the application is accessible at https://flexibility-marketplace.synergy-bigdata.eu/

In conclusion, the Energy as a Service Tool Suite developed under WP6 of the SYNERGY project provides advanced and personalised energy portfolio analytics and energy efficiency optimization techniques targeting electricity business stakeholders (Electricity Retailers and Aggregators) as well as active energy prosumers. The tool suite provides better and added value services to consumers and prosumers, enhanced information about energy usage habits centralized contractual services as well as providing portfolio flexibility details. The applications are provided as different services that are available in a web-based form.

Read more about the SYNERGY Applications:

Energy as a Service Tool Suite: Portfolio Analytics and Management Application and Personalized Energy Analytics Application

WP6 of SYNERGY project has developed a tool-suite targeting Electricity Retailers and Aggregators. This tool-suite is composed by four different but complementary applications aimed at enabling the full exploitation of the flexibility capacity, namely: 1) Portfolio Analytics and Management, 2) Personalized Energy Analytics; 3) Flexibility Analytics and Consumer-Centric DR Optimization, and 4) DR Smart Contract Monitoring, Handling, Settlement and Remuneration Platform. This article will elaborate on first two of these apps.

Portfolio Analytics and Management Application 

The Portfolio Analytics and Management Application implements necessary functions to enable retailers and aggregators to provide better and added value services. This application performs a detailed analysis based on the behaviour of a portfolio of customers. Target users gain useful insights to segment customers and enable new strategies to address the energy requirements of a determined portfolio. Dynamic price-based, Demand Side Management strategies, and optimal operation in short and long-term energy markets are examples of the functionalities provided.

Market positioning from the Portfolio Analytics and Management Application
Market positioning from the Portfolio Analytics and Management Application

The application consists of diverse components hereby described:

The Portfolio Pattern Forecasting Engine is responsible for identifying patterns in the behaviour towards consumers and forecasting energy use. This component provides predictive models that are used by other components of the application. 

The Customer Segmentation Engine performs sectorization based on different criteria such as energy-related behaviour patterns, socioeconomic profiles or elasticity-based information. This data is used to gain an understanding on the composition of the customers’ portfolio with respect to a variety of parameters. A set of further analytic-based services is provided to the customers allowing retailers to better position themselves in the various energy markets. 

Figure 2: PPA optimization from the Portfolio Analytics and Management Application
PPA optimization from the Portfolio Analytics and Management Application

The Wholesale Market Participation Decision Support System uses information provided by the Portfolio Pattern Forecasting Engine and The Customer segmentation Engine to enable dynamic price-based DSM strategies with the final objective of tackling and reducing penalties faced due to deviations in the participation of the energy markets. 

The Market Positioning Optimization Tool helps RES generation aggregators to estimate the optimum allocation of the forecasted production in the different short-term energy markets. 

The PPA Optimization Tool aids demand aggregators to estimate the optimal sizing of the generation power plant to reduce the price that an energy community would pay once the IRR of the project has been determined. 

A version of the application is accessible at https://portfolioanalytics.synergy-bigdata.eu/

Personalized Energy Analytics Application 

Personalized Energy Analytics Application implements services to prosumers identified in the Portfolio Analytics and Management Application. On one hand, this application provides enhanced information about energy consumptions, and hints that encourage better behaviours towards more sustainable energy demand patterns. On the other hand, this module provides advanced services for the optimum operation of smart appliances so that a proper balance between comfort and energy-saving can be achieved. 

Personalized Energy Analytics Application
Personalized Energy Analytics Application

The application consists of two components: 

Personalized Energy Analytics Engine oversees obtaining, analysing and presenting to the customers insights of their energy-related behaviour, peer-comparison and energy and cost-saving tips. 

Smart Home Integration Engine component implements the functionalities to enable Intelligent control and automation features of Smart Home assets, towards facilitating sustainable and long-term energy behaviours, while reducing the intrusiveness of energy consumers. This component is the umbrella that communicates with the different assets at home and uploads all the monitored data to the SYNERGY platform. The data is merged with demanded data (obtained from the AMI of the corresponding retailer/aggregators) [US1] to build comfort-centric flexibility profiles for each combination of customers and assets. 

A version of the application is accessible at https://personalizedanalytics.synergy-bigdata.eu/

In conclusion, the Energy as a Service Tool Suite developed under WP6 of the SYNERGY project comprises four applications, two of which have been explained in this article: Portfolio Analytics and Management, and Personalized Energy Analytics Applications.

Stay tuned for the next article on Flexibility Analytics and Consumer-Centric DR Optimization, and DR Smart Contract Monitoring, Handling, Settlement and Remuneration Platform Applications.

Read more about the SYNERGY Applications:

Asset Management Tool Suite: Advanced Performance Monitoring/Forecasting and Predictive Maintenance and Asset Management Optimization for Power Grids Applications

WP5 of SYNERGY project aims to develop Advanced Grid-level Analytics for Optimized Network and Asset Management Services and Applications, targeting network operators as well as DER aggregators and RES operators. The Asset Management Tool Suite is eventually delivered, which comprises four applications two of which will be explained in this article.

Advanced Performance Monitoring/Forecasting and Predictive Maintenance Application

The main aim of this innovative tool for the management of RES plants is ensuring their optimal operation, predictive maintenance and proactive avoidance of equipment faults. The tool steps on the forecasting and predictive analytics baseline algorithms and appropriate machine learning techniques towards identifying in real-time predictive maintenance needs, increasing PV technology reliability and efficiency and improving power trading functions on the plant operator side.

The app presents three main functionalities: 

  • The Enhanced Performance Monitor (EPM) module is similar of a control centre of the performance of a PV plant. 
  • The Fault Occurrence Inspector and Maintenance Optimizer (FOIMO) module aims to introduce new approaches for fault diagnosis and predictive maintenance of PV plants.
  • The Operational Scheduling Optimizer (OSO) is responsible for forecasting the energy production for different time horizons.
FOIMO

The application consists of two components:

The Network Performance Assessment Engine (NPAE) is responsible for the simulation of the operation of the network and assesses the state of the network in terms of performance, and power quality metrics. The assessment involves the evaluation of the electricity network steady state aspects using power flow calculations. Congestion issues and operational constraints, such as voltage violations, line/transformer over-loadings are considered in the assessment. The component involves the assessment of various operating conditions, incorporating the analysis of stochastic demand and generation profiles.

OSO

The app provides an efficient and centralized tool for monitoring, optimizing, and maintaining the performance of a PV plant. With the EPM module, operators can easily track and visualize the key production parameters and KPIs, which can help them quickly identify any issues or areas for improvement. The FOIMO module can help reduce downtime and maintenance costs by predicting and diagnosing faults before they occur. The OSO can help optimize energy production and scheduling, which can increase revenue and reduce operational costs. 

The app offers features such as centralized monitoring and visualization of key performance parameters, predictive maintenance capabilities, and energy production forecasting. By using the app, operators can quickly identify and correct issues, reduce downtime and maintenance costs, optimize energy production and scheduling, increase revenue, and support sustainability goals.

Next steps

The next steps for the app would be to collect and analyze new data to train and refine predictive models and seek feedback from stakeholders to identify additional KPIs. The emphasis should be on ongoing improvement and innovation, with a focus on providing a more accurate and useful tool for monitoring, optimizing, and maintaining the performance of PV plants.

One can access the app through the following link

https://performancemonitoring.synergy-bigdata.eu/

Asset Management Optimization for Power Grids Application

The Asset Management Optimization for Power Grids Application implements different components that target the maintenance responsible operators of DSOs and TSOs, with the objective of providing different models that optimize the maintenance management by enriching the available data with the results of a number of analytics and forecasts.

Asset Management Optimization for Power Grids Application

The application consists of two components:

The Network Asset Health Estimator component will, based on the different measurements available for a given asset type, model the overall health score of each asset instance under maintenance, providing automated assistance in the evaluation of asset status by maintenance staff, and an additional indicator to properly prioritize the scheduled maintenance operations.

The Network Predictive Maintenance Manager component will provide models to forecast failures of assets, based on the flows of data monitored from those assets and by considering also the effect of cascading effects (i.e. how an asset can be indirectly affected by failures detected on other assets of the grid)

Asset Management Optimization for Power Grids Application

Next Steps

In order to be able to use the application, following configuration steps need to be taken for every new DSO/TSO that wishes to integrate with the application:

  • DSO and TSO are required to be registered as users of the SYNERGY Platform
  • DSO and TSO are required to configure the necessary data check-in jobs, so required datasets get accessible through the platform

A version of the application is accessible at  https://assetmanagement.synergy-bigdata.eu/

Four energy applications consisting the Asset Management tool suite have been presented (Check the article on Infrastructure Sizing and Grid Planning and Flexibility based Network Management and DSO-TSO Common Operational Scheduling Applications below).  The applications process grid data and measurements in order to perform critical power system functionalities, like optimal network planning, DSO/TSO coordination, performance monitoring and asset management optimization. The applications are provided as services to the different network operators and are available in a web-based form.

Read more about the SYNERGY Applications:

Asset Management Tool Suite: Infrastructure Sizing and Grid Planning and Flexibility based Network Management and DSO-TSO common operational scheduling Applications

WP5 of SYNERGY project aims to develop Advanced Grid-level Analytics for Optimized Network and Asset Management Services and Applications, targeting network operators as well as DER aggregators and RES operators. The Asset Management Tool Suite is eventually delivered, which comprises four applications.

Infrastructure Sizing and Grid Planning Application

The Infrastructure Sizing and Grid planning Application implements different features that target the operation and planning responsible operators of DSOs and TSOs, with the objective of providing valuable insights in terms of capacity and sizing requirements of network assets. The application utilizes available historical data and statistics such as expected next year forecasts of peak demand/generation data to create stochastic scenarios of demand and generation and perform power flow calculations to provide suggestions for optimal sizing and planning.  

Infrastructure Sizing and Grid Planning App

The application consists of two components:

The Network Performance Assessment Engine (NPAE) is responsible for the simulation of the operation of the network and assesses the state of the network in terms of performance, and power quality metrics. The assessment involves the evaluation of the electricity network steady state aspects using power flow calculations. Congestion issues and operational constraints, such as voltage violations, line/transformer over-loadings are considered in the assessment. The component involves the assessment of various operating conditions, incorporating the analysis of stochastic demand and generation profiles.

Infrastructure Sizing and Grid Planning App

The Network Assets Sizing Engine (NASE) is responsible for providing solutions regarding optimal planning and sizing of the network assets. Solutions shall involve optimal capacity for new substations and lines in case further reinforcements are needed, as well as optimal sizing of new demand connections or DERs.  The NASE is a complementary component to the NPAE, exploiting results such as reinforcement and flexibility needs to propose operational planning solutions in the mid-term (up to a month ahead) and in the long term (up to a year) for the provision of critical services such as congestion management in medium voltage distribution grids.

Next steps

In order to be able to use the application, following configuration steps need to be taken for every new DSO/TSO that wishes to integrate with the application:

  • DSO and TSO are required to be registered as users of the SYNERGY Platform
  • DSO and TSO are required to configure the necessary data check-in jobs, so required datasets get accessible through the platform

A version of the application is accessible at  https://grid-planning.synergy-bigdata.eu

Flexibility based Network Management and DSO-TSO Common Operational Scheduling Application

The Flexibility based Network Management and DSO-TSO common operational scheduling Application implements all necessary features to allow network operators to optimally and securely schedule the available resources including flexible demand for the intra-day and day ahead in a coordinated manner. By exploiting all available data, including the flexibility potential of aggregators’ portfolio, the application facilitates the optimal scheduling of the flexible assets by TSOs and DSOs who aim to request specific congestion management and balancing services.

Flexibility based Network Management and DSO-TSO Common Operational Scheduling App

The Flexibility-Based Network Manager is responsible for assisting network operators to perform their short-term planning activities by utilizing available flexibility. The manager involves the process of data ingestion regarding flexibility availability from flexibility providers, identification of aggregated flexibility in substation and feeders’ level, calculation of flexibility deficit periods and calculation of flexibility requirements for network operators to facilitate their short-term planning and needs for congestion management and balancing.

Flexibility based Network Management and DSO-TSO Common Operational Scheduling App

The DSO-TSO Common Operational Scheduler is responsible for providing a common interface for the DSO and the TSO to facilitate common operational scheduling, considering the flexibility requirements for both actors for congestion management needs, balancing needs and other relevant ancillary services.  The scheduler also proposes an appropriate coordination scheme clarifying the sequence of actions between the two operators and identifies the definite short term operational scheduling for both actors.

Next Steps

In order to be able to use the application, following configuration steps need to be taken for every new DSO/TSO that wishes to integrate with the application:

  • DSO and TSO are required to be registered as users of the SYNERGY Platform
  • DSO and TSO are required to configure the necessary data check-in jobs, so required datasets get accessible through the platform

A version of the application is accessible at  https://flexibility-mng-coordination.synergy-bigdata.eu

In conclusion, the Asset Management Tool Suite developed under WP5 of the SYNERGY project provides advanced grid-level analytics for optimized network and asset management services and applications. The suite comprises four applications, two of which have been explained in this article. These applications are two valuable tools for DSOs and TSOs to optimize their networks, assess network performance, and schedule resources efficiently. By utilizing available data, these applications provide valuable insights into network assets’ capacity and sizing requirements and facilitate optimal scheduling of flexible assets for congestion management and balancing needs. The applications require DSOs and TSOs to be registered as users of the SYNERGY platform and configure necessary data check-in jobs. Overall, these applications have the potential to improve the performance and efficiency of electricity networks significantly.

Stay tuned for the next article on Advanced Performance Monitoring/Forecasting and Predictive Maintenance and Asset Management Optimization for Power Grids Applications.

SYNERGY at ENLIT Europe 2022: Insights and Outcomes.

ENLIT Europe is one of the biggest industry fairs and conferences in the area of energy in Europe that addresses every aspect of the energy agenda. In 2022, the event was held in Frankfurt, Germany, from 29 November to 1 December. The event hosted over 18,000 visitors, 700 international exhibitors, more than 250 international utilities, 14 country pavilions, and 113 countries. 55 EU-funded R&I projects took part in the event and were displayed in the EU Project Zone – a meeting place for all energy-related projects.

SYNERGY at ENLIT

Ugo Stecchi of ETRA I+D, SYNERGY’s project coordinator, has provided us with overview of the ENLIT participation and the hopes for the coming year.

What was the main objective of participating in the ENLIT Conference? 

“SYNERGY Project has renewed its participation at ENLIT conference again in 2022, as one of the most important events in Europe to meet all relevant stakeholders in the energy industry and present and share the results achieved so far in the project. From our Innovation Action project perspective, through the ENLIT participation it is possible on one hand to get in touch with the industry world, discover the technology trends and the off the shelf solutions at real-life problems. On the other hand, it is always interesting to be in a common forum with more European research and innovation projects and discuss about the state of the art in power and energy systems, while sharing visions and approaches to deal with current and upcoming challenges for the energy transition.”

How was the SYNERGY project presented at the ENLIT Conference?

We have been present to ENLIT with a project booth in the European Project Zone. Apart from ETRA as Project Coordinator, the event the Technical Coordinator Suite5 and the Communication and Dissemination Leader Smart Innovation Norway were present at the event as well, contributing to engage attendees and improve the communication to other stakeholders. 

Moreover, during the first day of the conference, it was my pleasure to present the main achievements of SYNERGY project in a workshop dedicated to the digitalization of the energy sector. The EU Commission is determined to make the union ‘Fit for the Digital Age’. During this decade, the EU will strengthen its position in the digital arena and set standards. Data and Digitalization have a huge impact on the entire energy value chain, from generation to transport, distribution and consumption. Projects like SYNERGY are therefore important to contribute in this kind of discussion in order to focus on the topic and provide the community with feasible solutions for all our needs.

Finally, SYNERGY has been involved in the ENLIT podcast interview, where it was possible to introduce the novel framework platform, in response to the need for “end-to-end” coordination between the electricity stakeholders. In a nutshell, the framework references significant data architecture that leverages data, coming from diverse sources, enabling advanced analytics and services at the core of new data-driven business opportunities.

What was the outcome (s) of this event participation for the project? 

As previously explained, it was a great opportunity to get in touch with other R&I projects and EC representatives to understand the current state of the energy transition and what are answers expected to the main problems for the next years. 

The main topic at the centre of all the discussions was the data. It was undoubtedly the most recurrent object of talk and debate in a direct or indirect way and under several perspectives. Privacy, federation, sovereignty and intelligence are only the most relevant words associated to the data and they are representative of the main topics of discussion. 

As a matter of fact data-driven power system modernization is a priority this year across the energy industry. But as the shift to renewables gathers pace, it must be ensured a proper and ethic use of all data generated. Therefore, energy sector in Europe should be able to face a double challenge at the same time: increase the renewables shares to meet the climate goals, while preserving the privacy of the data owners, that means ensuring IT infrastructure is fit for this complex purpose.

Why do you think participation in the ENLIT conference was significant?

ENLIT is the kind of place to be if you are working in such areas because of the participation of all actors and stakeholders involved in the energy sector. In recent year the presence of the EC representatives with delegates from many H2020 and Horizon Europe projects has enriched the event bringing the contribution of the R&I world and the vision of the European policy the point of view. Indeed it represents one of the main event in the energy domain and, as a big-data for energy project as SYNERGY is, it is definitely worth to participate share the main outcomes and lessons learnt from our project.

Thus, the SYNERGY project’s participation at ENLIT Europe 2022 provided a valuable opportunity to engage with the energy industry and R&I community, share our project outcomes, and learn about the latest technology trends and solutions. We look forward to continuing our engagement with the energy industry and collaborating with stakeholders to advance the energy transition.

SYNERGY at Enlit 2021: The potentialities of SYNERGY Big Data Platform

– Interview with Ugo Stecchi, the Project Coordinator of the SYNERGY project

by Ioana-Emilia Badea [GECO Global]


SYNERGY will attend Enlit Europe 2021 in Milan, Italy, at the end of this month. The three-day event will take place at Fiera di Milano from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December. Enlit, formerly known as European Utility Week, brings together collaboration and innovation to address some of the world’s most critical energy issues. SYNERGY is delighted to be a part of the Enlit community and to be able to attend the event in-person to present the projects’ development and the SYNERGY Big Data Platform.

Ugo Stecchi of ETRA I+D, SYNERGY’s project coordinator, provides us with a sneak peek at what SYNERGY contributes to Enlit and the hopes for the coming year.

What will SYNERGY be showcasing at Enlit more specifically?

The SYNERGY Big Data Platform’s capabilities will be showcased at Enlit. In particular, we’d like to share our achievements in terms of platform performance which can offer some crucial functionalities concerning interoperability, data sharing mechanisms, pre-trained analytics, AI big data sharing, etc. Moreover, additional services for final users, belonging to different categories of energy stakeholders, have been developed on an upper layer of the same platform. They were created to match with the most recent requirements of the energy market services, exploiting the platform’s tremendous potential, and they will be shown at Enlit as well.

What does SYNERGY hope to get out of the Enlit Europe 2021 event?

Ugo Stecchi – Project Manager Etra I+D

It is a great opportunity for us to be present at this event, likely the first big physical event in the energy domain after a long season of virtual meetings and isolation. We do hope to share our partial results achieved so far and receive profitable and effective feedbacks from engaged stakeholders and other colleagues and partners that are going to participate. We did a great job in the first period of the project, we are very motivated to share it with the rest of the scientific community, but also with the industrial world and Enlit is the place to be. We’d like also to promote our upcoming open call, it will be published at the beginning of 2022 and we hope to have onboard a talented start-up to collaborate with.

What is your hope for next year, in terms of in-person events?

Being able to return to a normal pre-covid situation is what everyone hopes for the near future and hopefully next year we would be able to recover the classic habits we initially use to design and set up the concept of SYNERGY.

It is not just a matter of having back presential meetings within our consortium, (or, why not, with the granted subjects from the Open Call too) that would be great news, but also of being able to get back in direct touch with other actors to exchange results, knowledge and experiences and contribute to the common development of the state of the art in this sector. On the other hand, SYNERGY has a strong vocation for interacting with external stakeholders through various mechanisms and tools; being able to cooperate face to face with these subjects would certainly be of great benefit to the results of the project.


You can meet us in Milan in person, in the EU project Zone, to find out more about our project and to discuss with us potential collaboration opportunities. Register on circdata.com to get your free three-day guest pass for the event.

SYNERGY will participate in Sustainable Places 2020

SYNERGY project will participate next October 29th in the workshop Sustainable Digital Tools for All-Energy Actors within the Sustainable Places 2020 event. Together with four other H2020 projects, we will discuss digital tools developed in order to provide ICT services and functionalities to the different actors of the energy value chain, which will make them more sustainable and efficient. The SYNERGY big data platform and the innovative tools built on top will be part of this interesting topic.

Sustainable Places showcases results coming out of the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme via the participation of cutting-edge research and innovation projects, the scope of Sustainable Places is captured directly in its name. It involves designing, building, and retrofitting the places we live and work in a more sustainable way. Thematic workshops & EU project clustering are on the scope of the relevant event that this year goes online.

Registration is open, allowing to interact with speakers & panelists: