RWTH Energy Data Management System
Using Monitoring to Bring About Climate Neutrality
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What's it About?
Climate change and rising energy prices are current challenges. RWTH Aachen University has committed itself to becoming climate neutral by 2030.
In a university-wide, participatory process, a sustainability roadmap is being developed. This will formulate goals and identify measures to make operations more sustainable.
One of the goals is to reduce resource and energy consumption. In order to be able to measure and verifiably reduce consumption, a solid data basis is required. Department 10.0 – Facility Management is therefore developing and implementing a central Energy Data Management System, EDMS for short.
However, this platform is not only used to collect data; rather, it provides all University members with sustainability-related information.
That is why we are asking for your support.
What is our goal?
The goal is to develop a central, powerful and future-proof solution for the University. This solution must satisfy all stakeholders and, in particular, ensure constant operation. The energy data management system should offer the following advantages:
- User-friendliness: specific visual dashboards, powerful interfaces
- Transparency: user-friendly access and consistent reporting
- Reduction of consumption: prioritization, planning and control of measures
- Economy: Laying the groundwork to apply for investment funds.
- Cost-cutting: Optimization of energy purchasing and consumption
- Safeguarding operations: Optimizing building and infrastructure operations
- Legal compliance: fulfillment of operator obligations, and much more
- High-performance: Scalable to large data volumes, also for research and teaching
How can we achieve this goal?
To this end, all relevant stakeholders were identified and their requirements for the system jointly defined with the help of workshops and interviews. Institutes, higher education institutions, and the central university administration were invited to contribute their expertise on the respective topic area. Two experienced consulting offices supported the process.
Use Case 1 - Measurement, Planning, and Optimization
Measurement data acquisition and processing, energy demand planning and optimization of generation and consumption
- Development of measurement and communication concepts across all media
- Technical installation of the meters and data transmission technology
- Acquisition of energy data from all sites and media
- Implementation of the interface to the building control system
- Evaluation of consumption or generation and identification of optimization potentials
- Derivation of key figures to achieve climate neutrality
- Development and implementation of measures to achieve the energy targets
Use Case 2 - Energy Purchasing and Emissions Trading
Planning and procurement security with simultaneous cost optimization and fulfillment of legal requirements in emissions trading
- Creation of realistic demand forecasts for all media
- Support portfolio/risk management with regard to:
- Market (price) observation for procurement optimization purposes
- Communication processes with market partners
- Monitoring of consumption quantities with planned/actual comparison for portfolio management purposes
- Recording and quantification of installations subject to emissions trading
- Establishment of emission volumes to support certificate trading
Use Case 3 - Power Generation and Renewable Energy Potentials
Optimization and expansion of own generation using all available potentials and optimization of energy costs
- Creation of generation forecasts
- Recording of locations and assessment of potentials
- Mapping of measures for the exploitation of potentials
- Monitoring of generation volumes with planned/actual comparison for portfolio management purposes
- Utilization of possible Power Purchase Agreement benefits (in cooperation with the purchasing department)
Use Case 4 - Division Concepts and Improving Self-Sufficiency
Maximizing generation and flexibility potentials to achieve energy-optimized neighborhoods and energy self-sufficient islands.
- Recording of individual buildings or neighborhoods
- Assessment of potentials using flexibilities in controllable consumption and generation as well as in the use of storage systems
- Mapping of measures for the exploitation of potentials
- Monitoring of the degree of self-sufficiency with the help of a plan/actual comparison to optimize energy management
Use Case 5 - Reporting, Balancing of Energy and Greenhouse Gas
Provision of user-oriented information and analyses
- Flexible representation of balance areas and clusters
- Presentation of consumption, generation, and emission data in resolution specific to their use
- Preparation of relevant data for:
- RWTH Energy Report,
- University-internal communications,
- Support of publication obligations,
- Annual greenhouse gas balancing,
- Reporting to the German Emissions Trading Authority
Use Case 6 - Budget Planning for Refurbishment and Operation
Obtaining target figures for budgets for energy-efficient refurbishment and consideration of energy costs in third-party funding applications.
- Preparation of energy data for identification and prioritization of refurbishment objects
- Underpinning of refurbishment measures by quantification of current and future energy requirements and costs
- Preparation of energy data for:
- Application and accounting of third-party funded projects
- Internal university accounting
Use Case 7 – Energy Compliance
Compliance with political and legal requirements and timely fulfillment of publication obligations
- Implementation of a roadmap for the fulfillment of external and internal obligations
- Reminders of approaching deadlines
- Development of targets and target figures for achieving climate neutrality
- Derivation of specifications for new buildings as well as network and plant operation
The requirements were collected in the first half of 2023. The energy data management system is now being implemented on this basis. The system is based on a modular software concept. In an agile approach, the individual user groups are provided with “small-scale solutions” specifically tailored to their needs. Based on their feedback, the partial solutions will be further developed and subsequently integrated within an overall system.