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Smart Cities: Buildings of the Future

Smart cities can be characterized by power nets balancing electricity demand and supply. The buildings will get to know to the energy needs of their owner, respond to weather conditions changes and also change their behavior automatically for maximizing energy. Is it going to happen in the nearest future?

Did you know that the most advanced buildings in the world have brains – like a central nervous system balancing on competing interests: comfort of the owner, minimization and stability? Siemens company has already presented an automation system for buildings that can do that: known as Desigo CC, it appears to be the first management station integrating the building systems into one platform which can be controlled intuitively.
 
Today such buildings systems as ventilation, heat, fire protection and lightning are still controlled individually. Desigo CC brings them all together and displays the status of each of them in real time. The only thing required is to train the staff to use it - this is done by installing the system in schools, hospitals, airports, offices and shopping centers. Despite the success of the system, it is just the beginning of smart buildings era.

Cars and buildings smart communication

A good question for scientists was how urban power nets would cope with a great number of electric vehicles. For now, the question has been resolved. Siemens researchers presented the way electric vehicles could be integrated into building management playing the role of energy storage units. For instance, the vehicle arrives at building in the morning, connects to charging stations and during the day delivers electricity to the building.

The basis for this served Internet of Energy where vehicles interact with charging stations. Thus the building management receives info from the stations and then uses it together with climate control and heating units for generating energy forecast for tomorrow.

US smart opportunities

There is a number of power plants located in the USA which produce electricity just for a couple of hours a year for preventing net overloads during the peak. They are actually quite expensive so there is the need of cheapest alternatives. The first attempt to provide such an alternative happened a few years ago: a team tried to equip the building with smart energy box in such way lowering demand of energy in peak load phases and saving money. 

Researchers from Siemens went further on this idea and connected the whole building complex in the US Army Academy to smart energy box. It is also possible to make the entire urban districts the part of this smart net which can communicate and enable better optimization. 

Smart future

The above mentioned examples describe the peak of the smart future. They will be able to manage the demand of energy more accurately and unite with other buildings forming micronets. They will use such storage units as
•    electric vehicles;
•    flywheels;
•    water tanks.

Experts from MacBlogger emphasize that the control will become even more digital (smartphones control), costs will become lower and the systems will not require any staff.

Juana Adler's picture

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