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A reference big data platform implementation and AI analytics toolkit toward innovative data sharing-driven energy service ecosystems for the building sector and beyond

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BEYOND (A reference big data platform implementation and AI analytics toolkit toward innovative data sharing-driven energy service ecosystems for the building sector and beyond)

Reporting period: 2020-12-01 to 2022-05-31

The increasing growth of DERs, is continuously expanding the energy system “edge”, in terms of controllability, while increasing its operational complexity, since the amount of data is growing exponentially and “understanding” of the knowledge encapsulated in these big data streams will be critical for meeting operational requirements for high efficiency and for safeguarding business interests. The edge of the energy system is currently dominated by the building sector, not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of criticality for the envisaged energy transition, since buildings are the largest energy consumer worldwide (accounting for almost half of the world’s consumption). As technology advances and becomes more affordable, buildings are no longer perceived merely as depreciating assets, but are transforming themselves into smart buildings which are associated with the generation of vast amounts of data characterized by continuously increasing growth rate, multi-diverse spatio-temporal resolutions and huge volume.
Such large datasets provide significant opportunities for better and more efficient performance monitoring and optimization of smart buildings by enabling better understanding and offering further insights on all aspects affecting (directly or indirectly) their operation through Advanced Big Energy Data Analytics. Nevertheless, the real value of big data produced in the built environment is hidden in the sharing of such information with the totality of the energy market actors whose operations are directly or indirectly linked to the energy performance of buildings, spanning ESCOs, Public Authorities, the Construction Industry, Distribution System Operators, District Heating Network Operators, Energy Retailers and Aggregators, among others.
Data sharing needs to be built on robust principles of trust among data providers and data consumers addressing critical data sharing challenges like data privacy and sensitivity, security, IPR, licensing and ownership from technical, organizational, legal and commercial perspectives.
In response to the aforementioned needs, BEYOND introduces a novel framework and reference big data architecture and AI Analytics Toolkit that leverages data, primary or secondarily related to the building domain, coming from diverse sources to improve intelligence on building performance-related optimization functions through advanced AI-analytics-based services destined for the building sector and its energy performance optimization. Ultimately, BEYOND brings forward a reference Big Data Management Platform, integrated with an advanced AI analytics toolkit for the delivery of derivative data and intelligence out of a blend of real-life building data and relevant data coming from external sources. On top of the BEYOND Big Data Platform and AI Analytics Toolkit, a bundle of innovative energy applications and services will be configured, addressing not only intra-building energy performance optimization requirements, but also further business and optimization needs of the variety of energy actors involved in the energy system value chain (and in the BEYOND consortium).
BEYOND has identified the market need for: (I) trusted and fair data sharing, (II) insightful data analytics and (III) data-driven applications for optimizing buildings’ performance while improving operations across the value chain. The achievements of BEYOND project in the first 18 months of its implementation can be summarized:
· The BEYOND Architecture that stepped on a comprehensive design process involving a list of 16 Business Scenarios, 33 Use Cases and almost 300 requirements, and is built around 3 fundamental layers, (Cloud-based Platform, Private Infrastructure, End-User Tools), consists of over 40 core components and enables the realization of 4 core service journeys (data ingestion, data exploration, data trading and data analytics) and the provision of 9 end-user services through dedicated apps for the value chain stakeholders.
· The BEYOND PMV method for measuring and verifying energy savings and flexibility activations by relying on actual building data and AI analytics (forecasts) to define an accurate and objective baseline for further verification.
· The BEYOND Big Data Platform (at its beta release) incorporating a set of core functionalities that are logically organised into the 4 core service journeys of the BEYOND architecture.
· An extended semantic representation of the building and energy system sector, realized through a flexible and adjustable Data Model (BEYOND CIM), following the thorough investigation of relevant standards and adoption of required concepts to ensure compatibility with them.
· A bundle of AI analytics services addressing a variety of problems for the building sector and beyond through the design and availability of the respective pipelines in the BEYOND platform (14 models/ pipelines already elaborated, addressing both Personal and Industrial Analytics needs of the BEYOND stakeholders)
· Definition and analysis of 5 new data-driven business models for the BEYOND value chain stakeholders, introducing data-driven and data sharing-enabled operational practices towards transforming business-as-usual and facilitating evidence-based decision making for operational performance improvements.
In the first reporting period, BEYOND designed and developed the beta release of a unique big data and intelligence platform for the building (and energy) sector, taking into account the concrete stakeholders’ needs and requirements. Progress beyond the state-of-the art is substantiated along the following dimensions: (a) Effortless Data Management and Governance, enabling easy and workflow-instructed ingestion of data in the BEYOND platform, (b) Enhanced semantic interoperability by harmonizing a variety of available data models into a Common Information Model, (c) Trusted Data Sharing enabling the digital and data-driven transformation of stakeholders involved in the BEYOND value chain through increased data outreach and advanced intelligence features, (d) Advanced AI analytics, enabling the introduction of data intelligence in building operations (and beyond) for optimizing energy-related aspects and operations without compromising human well-being (e) Novel approaches for Performance Measurement and Verification, utilizing actual data and accurate forecasts for baselining and verifying energy savings and flexibility events.
Moreover, the core interest of the stakeholders that will utilize the core services of BEYOND is the optimization and further expansion of their business operations with the introduction of new and innovative energy services and products (for Energy Performance Optimization, Policy Planning, Infrastructure Sizing and Network Planning, EPC de-risking, Building Portfolio Management, Self-consumption and Predictive Maintenance, Human-Centric Building Control Optimization and Demand Side Management, Energy Performance Certification) in a data-driven and intelligence-enabled manner. Such novelty and added value of BEYOND has been acknowledged by both internal and external stakeholders involved in Living Lab activities (for validating concepts and solutions of the project). The potential impacts of the project for the different stakeholder categories remain valid and relevant, as originally described in the BEYOND DoA.
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