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Minimising the performance gap

MOEEBIUS is a European project addressing the challenges construction and energy services industries face in meeting the increasing demand for energy efficient buildings. The recently finished project developed solutions to reduce the gap between predicted and actual energy performances and reduce the business risks that hindered the growth of the ESCO market. We spoke to Michele Vavallo, Ander Romero and Pablo de Agustín from MOEEBIUS.

© MOEBBIUS

What were the aims and objectives of the MOEEBIUS project? The inability of current modelling techniques to represent realistic use and operation of buildings was the motivation behind the project. MOEEBIUS aimed to develop a holistic energy performance optimisation framework that describes real-life building operation complexities in accurate simulation predictions and enhances the optimisation of building energy performance. In order to address the challenges, the project pursued five key objectives which focused on technical, environmental, social and business factors. Can you explain the work the project has done to meet these objectives and now, what’s next? The diverse nature of the objectives required the cooperation of all 15 project partners and the crosschecking with MOEEBIUS Living Lab members. End-users and business requirements were assessed, and new business models proposed prior to any technical development. The MOEEBIUS Holistic Energy Performance Optimisation Framework was then developed before finally being adapted to the pilot sites’ (UK, Portugal, Serbia) needs and validated. The project is now looking to make these components available on the market however, the technical readiness of them is varied and some are closer to the market than others. What were the main technical and market challenges MOEEBIUS had to overcome that will enable greater energy efficiency in buildings? Both the hardware and software components of the framework proved technically challenging, and the innovations presented in their development. MOEEBIUS also had to ensure interoperability and address the specific requirements of diverse business scenarios defined by building managers, ESCOs or aggregators. How are you addressing the energy performance gap in buildings – and what is new about the project’s approach? MOEEBIUS presents a holistic approach where the multiple and heterogenous factors in the use and operation of buildings are taken into account. A Building Energy Performance Simulation tool has been established to run the models and update them according to the inputs from other components (i.e. user behaviour profiles, weather forecasts). The Dynamic Assessment Engine also uses fault detection and diagnosis to recognise when the building is performing sub-optimally and identify the trends that could lead to performance deviations. What innovations is the project hoping to deliver to the energy market and what will be their impact on energy consumption? The MOEEBIUS-PIPE is just one of the components the project delivers innovation which draws on external data sources (weather, building energy management systems (BEMS), district heating) to provide enhanced analytics. For example, this mechanism is used in DR strategies, DR potential of domestic customers and real-time building operation optimisation through simulation-based automation. The project has also tested virtual reality for predictive maintenance support and an assessment framework for energy performance optimisation.If successful, MOEEBIUS is on the way to achieve one of its main objectives of reducing energy consumption. How has the project demonstrated the value of its solutions and how can end users still engage? Specific targets were laid out to validate MOEEBIUS objectives across the project life-span, the majority of which have been successfully accomplished. For example, some of the targets achieved include: deviations between forecasted and measured consumption below 10%; at least 10.000 occupants directly or indirectly involved in the pilot roll out activities in the 3 pilot sites. Others, such as the objective of achieving energy peak-demand reductions of at least 50% was only partially achieved at 28.5%. This article was written for Projects Magazine. You can find the full article at: http://www.projectsmagazine.eu.com/current_issue