BeyWatch is a 30-month research project supported by the European Commission (DG Information Society and Media) aiming at ICT tools for environmental management and energy efficiency. BeyWatch develops an energy-aware and user-centric solution, able to provide intelligent energy monitoring/control and power demand balancing at home/building & neighbourhood level.

BEYWATCH RESEARCH PROJECT

Florent Genoux

EarthToys Renewable Energy Article
BeyWatch is a 30-month research project supported by the European Commission (DG Information Society and Media) aiming at ICT tools for environmental management and energy efficiency. BeyWatch develops an energy-aware and user-centric solution, able to provide intelligent energy monitoring/control and power demand balancing at home/building & neighbourhood level.
BeyWatch Research Project

By Florent Genoux, Sigma Orionis


To reach its objectives, BeyWatch undertakes the following:

  • Design ultra-low energy-consumption white-goods
  • Implement methods, techniques and services to reduce the power consumption in smart/green homes/blocks/neighbours by intelligent control of electrical devices
  • Generate hot water and electricity from renewable energy sources at building level, leading to further power savings and energy consumption/production optimisation services
  • Elaborate business plans and business support system (BSS) applications that will help the users and providers to reach beneficiary contracts
  • Motivate user's awareness, towards less CO2 emissions on the whole energy value chain (production, transportation, distribution, supply) and cleaner environment.

BeyWatch overall vision

Energy is essential in almost every aspect of our lives and global emissions are having severe impacts on our climate and the global economy. We face two long-term energy challenges:

  1. tackling the global climate change by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and
  2. ensuring secure, clean and affordable energy, as most countries become increasingly dependent on imported fuel (oil or gas).

According to the World Energy Outlook the global energy demand is expected to be more than 50% higher in 2030 than today, with energy related greenhouse gas emissions around 55% higher.

In this context, BeyWatch actively supports the European Commission’s proposals to save 20% of the EU’s energy consumption through improved energy efficiency by 2020.

The starting point of the BeyWatch energy policy is to save energy by making users aware of their energy expenses and enabling them to intelligently control the home energy consumption (both hot water and electricity energy). As a second step, BeyWatch aims to efficiently distribute the home preserved/spare electricity energy at neighbouring level, allowing for electricity load balance and flexible electricity energy consumption contracts. Improving the energy efficiency of homes and neighbourhoods, BeyWatch aims to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the energy bills.

BeyWatch focus

According to the European Environment Agency statistics, the households’ energy consumption has increased by 17.4 % between 1990 and 2003 in EU. Energy saving policies currently in place are expected to reduce electricity consumption on a year by year basis. Nevertheless these policies seem not to be sufficient to reach European governments aims and better planning of energy consumption is required.


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Households’ energy consumption is a large percentage of the overall energy consumption. If we try to analyse the energy consumed by households, heating followed by water warming and household electricity are the major energy consumption categories. Moreover, the fridge, the washing machine and the dishwasher are among the major household electricity burdens covering more than 50% of the average electricity energy consumption. BeyWatch is focus on providing solutions that will lower both the energy consumed for warming water and the electricity energy consumed for the fridge, the dishwasher and the washing machine.

BeyWatch Concept & Research Areas

Efficient energy consumption, intelligent monitoring and interactive control of energy consumption in the office, residential and industrial environments, as well as the control of energy consumed outdoors, in public or private areas is a key factor to Europe's ambitious goals of sustainable development, reduction of energy demand peaks and activities related to avoidance of climate change effects.

Targeting environmental sustainability, energy efficiency and new power distribution business models, BeyWatch aims to design, develop and evaluate an innovative, energy-aware, flexible and user-centric solution, able to provide interactive energy monitoring, intelligent control and power demand balancing at home, block and neighbour level.

BeyWatch proposed solution combines innovation in six areas:

1

BeyWatch's solution to this problem is based on:

  • minimizing white goods' and consumer electronic devices' energy consumption
  • balancing energy distribution
  • thus saving energy and reducing the service cost of the power distribution network

The basic issue in energy control is the monitoring of the various energy consumption elements and devices, as well as the scheduling of their operation in order to minimize peaks, balance loads, and ultimately achieve predictable large-scale energy-consumption profiles. BeyWatch aims at the development of a user-friendly/consumer-centric interactive platform, for the control and scheduling of operation of energy-consuming appliances and service providers' access equipment. The application of BeyWatch will result in a much more balanced energy-consumption profile, and in considerable energy conservation gains, at local (flat, home, office or single-building) level, as well as for larger geographical region (large buildings, squares and neighbours). The project will implement a distributed appliance control system that will present options for optimizing appliances' operation and scheduling of events. It will also be able to act automatically in a single-building level depending of the model of the building embedded in the controller. One of the most important results will be the incorporation of the system in a large-scale energy consumption smoothing and power demand planning system, as well as the cooperation with external service centres that will allow the remote reprogramming of the controller with different models, profiles, and operational parameters.

2

In more details, the following qualified objectives are foreseen:

  • Study and specify the energy consumption and power demand models
  • Design and prototype three ultra-low power consumption white-products
  • Specify applicable services and develop the interconnection methods, the machine-to-machine (M2M) interfaces and the primitive-based communication techniques to allow communication-level ubiquitous networking and applicability of offering advanced energy-management and control services, bundled with other "smart-home" and "smart-building" services
  • Design and develop the BeyWatch "Agent" platform. This will be an HGi based, sophisticated, yet low-cost monitoring/remote-control platform, integrating both an intelligent electricity metering device, a remote-managed appliances/white-goods controller and a communication module
  • Design and implement an intelligent user-oriented software “Agent”
  • Design and implement the BeyWatch "Supervisor" system. This will be an open and distributed system/platform for the management and control of energy consumption and power demand at a local/square or urban geographical level.
  • Optimize, prototype and integrate an innovative combined photovoltaic/solar (CPS) system
  • Study, analyse, evaluate and validate the results, as well as the conduction of case studies and business models for the wider adoption of the platform and the proposed services
  • Participate and contribute in standardization efforts, special guidelines and regulations for the monitoring and control of energy consumption and power demand, aiming at the suppression of peaks and smooth out of consumption.

BeyWatch Consortium

To achieve its objective, a consortium of 8 key players in the field has been established, coordinated by Telefonica I+D, and including major service companies, manufacturers, technology companies, universities and SMEs.

3

 

More information about Beywatch can be found on www.beywatch.eu

Florent Genoux, Sigma Orionis
On behalf of the BeyWatch Consortium

 

BEYWATCH – FROM THE USER POINT OF VIEW – This can be illustrated by the cartoon on www.beywatch.eu

Emma and David have 3 young kids and a semi-detached house in a middle-class residential area in the mid-south of Europe. David works as a bank clerk and Emma is a nurse in a private health centre of their neighbourhood. She is really concerned about the environment in which their kids are growing and the planet we are leaving for them, and David is worried about all the expenses they have to face every month. These are the main two reasons that have made them buy smart white appliances, a photovoltaic-solar system to generate electricity and to get hot water, change their old electricity meter by a new smart one that can be read remotely, and subscribe BeyWatch  service, to benefit from an efficient global energy management at home.

They wake up every morning at 7:00 and have a shower. In the past, they needed gas or electricity to heat the water but now they make use of their new hybrid Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic system that provides enough hot water for them. In case the days are not sunny enough, BeyWatch takes care of looking for the optimum time for activating the boiler with external power, so that hot water supply is always guaranteed for them.

Then, they take the children to the school and go to the bank office and the clinic. Before leaving, they put the dirty clothes in the washing machine and fill it with soap and conditioner. When they set up their preferences in BeyWatch, they configured their approximate arrival time, so BeyWatch will try to meet this and have the clothes washed and ready by the time they come, also taking into account different hourly rates depending on the time of the day.

Their new BeyWatch dishwasher and washing machine also get benefit from the “green” hot water and through an efficient management save power consumption. And the same applies to their new freezer, that is also managed by BeyWatch in a highly efficient way, so the energy consumption is kept to a minimum – and this really satisfies David, who is happy to see how their electricity bill decreases! The utility company is happy too since it can rely on Emma and David’s house to “co-operate” by reducing power consumption during periods of peak usage or during planned or unplanned events that disturb the normal electricity grid capacity. “Co-operation” of course never subordinates user preferences to the needs of the utility company but there is always enough leeway to allow for a certain flexibility in meeting both user requirements and energy company requests. For instance the washing machine knows that the clothes should be ready by 18:00 so it can postpone starting the program to accommodate a request it received from the energy company. The energy company interacts with Emma’s and David’s home through two layers of intermediaries: the Agent who oversees all smart devices within their home and the Supervisor who is responsible for reporting and controlling aggregate consumption on a neighbourhood basis. As a result of David and Emma’s decision to adopt a more accommodative user profile (and thus granting the energy company a greater degree of control on the time pattern of their house’s power consumption), the energy company has offered them even better rates under a specially designed contract for BeyWatch users further decreasing their energy bill!

At the end of the day, the service informs them about the power consumption of each white good, global home consumption, gives them statistics and suggestions for cost and CO2 emissions optimization and enables the possibility of lowering the consumption coming from some home devices.

They also have the option of getting some cash when they sell photovoltaic generated power to the grid, and BeyWatch service informs them on the best contracts and timetables for their family’s consumption profiles. They may access the service through their TV set, PC and mobile phones. 

BeyWatch has made Emma &David home much more environmentally friendly and has reduced  their energy bill by about 15%.

On the other hand, their electricity supplier is also benefitting from BW: their new smart meter  sends periodical information about energy consumption at home though the home gateway. This information is very valuable as far as detailed statistics of consumption, with a ‘per-home’ granularity, can be obtained, optimizing energy generation, distribution and load balancing.


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