Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - EAGLE (Development and demonstration of a dynamic, web-based, renewable energy rating platform)

Executive Summary:
At the conception of the project it was considered that in order for the EC to achieve ambitious renewable energy targets there was a strong need to accelerate market penetration of Renewable Energy Systems (RES). However, despite steady market growth, these technologies were making up only a small fraction of total household energy supply. One of the main reasons for this was the initial investment required, coupled with uncertainty over return on investment. This was compounded by the range of available products and a lack of objective information relating to system performance. Hence, consumers were often confused and unable to make informed decisions. In addition, installation companies often experience difficulties when advising customers on the various options and their respective benefits. Hence, despite considerable technological advancements, there existed a significant knowledge and confidence barrier that restricted the market.
In order to address these problems, the Eagle project proposed to develop a system that could provide accurate and objective information about the suitability of a renewable energy technology for a given scenario. The system was to be intuitive and easy to use employing a unique dynamic grading technology. This would enable consumers to make better informed decisions and will allow for significantly increased market penetration and generate revenues for the SME AG membership and SMEs involved in the design, manufacture and installation of domestic renewable energy technologies.
The project proposal was accepted by the EC and the work started at the end of 2011. Although the project was aimed to help and benefit the SME AGs and SMEs involved in the project, the objectives within the project were very technical and the SMEs could not fully comprehend just what the RTDs were doing in order to provide the end result of a useful website.
The work of the RTDs was very enthusiastic and thorough resulting in a very good demonstration website that was made available to the consortium members. Although invitations were frequently sent, only a handful of potential users from the consortium tried out the demonstration website and completed a short questionnaire. Despite the response being poor in quantity, it was very good in terms of the number of comments and their diversity. So from the feedback the website was modified and refined to produce the final prototype that can be used at http://eaglesolar.eu
To promote the output from the project beyond the Eagle consortium, a number of dissemination methods were used including a video. The full video is available on the Project Website (http://www.eagle-fp7.eu/promo/ ) and an edited version was entered into the Solar Thermal Video competition in September 2014 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqZL4rPSDIw ). The videos have generated a few contacts from people and companies who are keen to provide links to Eagle or use it for solar evaluations.
In the final months of the project other solar evaluation websites and apps started to become available and by the end of the project there were many available. Most of the competing systems were free to use and had limited application, but in general they were far less accurate than Eagle. So, Eagle would have been in a good place to succeed if were not for other external factors. The rise in the interest in shale gas and the related fracking meant that many countries now saw increased reserves of gas that could be simply used in the existing infrastructures; this made renewables less attractive. Throughout the project the subsidies and incentives provided by Governments had decreased and the cost of solar panels had plummeted. This has reduced the need for accurate solar estimation as people now simply maximise the output from any site by installing as many panels that will fit.
In the future, Eagle may be developed to be applied to other renewable energies, for example, LiDAR is now being used for determining the siting and control of wind turbines. However, in the solar market it has arrived at least 6 months too late.
Although Eagle has provided the tools to enable; solar evaluations to be undertaken and return on investment calculations linked to providers and installers of systems in an area, the benefits to the SME AGs and SMEs have generally not yet been realised due to external forces. The members now all know about solar and other forms of renewable energy, but the opportunities to build on that knowledge and generate income have not materialised due to worldwide economic and resource issues.

Project Context and Objectives:
In order for the EC to achieve ambitious renewable energy targets there is a strong need to accelerate
market penetration of Renewable Energy Systems (RES) in both industrial and domestic sectors. The
domestic sector is of major significance, as it will reduce reliance on large centralized energy plants.
There are several domestic options including solar thermal, solar electric, heat pump and biomass
systems. Of these, solar and heat pump technologies have the widest potential application as they
require no physical feedstock. However, despite steady market growth, these technologies still make
up only a small fraction of total household energy supply.
One of the main reasons for this is the initial investment required, coupled with uncertainty over
return on investment. This is compounded by the huge range of available products and a lack of
objective information relating to system performance. As a result, consumers are often confused and
unable to make informed decisions. In addition, installation companies often experience difficulties
when advising customers on the various options and their respective benefits. Hence, despite
considerable technological advancements in terms of system performance and efficiency, there exists
a significant knowledge and confidence barrier that restricts increased market acceptance.
In order to address this problem, we propose to develop a system that can automatically provide
accurate and objective information about the suitability of a renewable energy technology for a given
user scenario. The system will be intuitive and easy to use employing a unique dynamic grading
technology. This will enable consumers to make better informed decisions and will allow our
membership to provide better service. This will help to significantly increase market penetration and
revenues for our pan-European membership involved in the design, manufacture and installation of
domestic renewable energy technologies.
The overall objective of the EAGLE project is to enable our 13,000 SME members increase their
market penetration in the design, manufacture and installation of Renewable Energy Technologies,
through an intelligent web-based, renewable energy rating platform. This will be met through the
following objectives:
1 Identification and characterisation of error sources in 3D roof space modelling.
2 Investigation of user interface requirements for efficient, comprehensive accommodation of all
stakeholders.
3 Design of algorithms to process sample data from the three sources under consideration: aerial
LIDAR and photogrammetric surveys and existing map data (O/S and Cadastre)
4 Development of resident self-learning capabilities, using self-organising map (SOM) and results
based feedback.
5 Consolidation of separate operations and processes and elimination of manual data transfer
between processing tasks
6 Develop data-import filters and routines, for all specified data sets, with ‘fill-in’ routines for
missing data.
7 Develop whole system data-handling engine, incorporating consolidated image processing core.
8 Design and creation of visual user interface for web-based deployment of EAGLE platform.
9 Limited-scale whole system operation, using real data acquired specifically for the purpose.
10 Fully web integrated EAGLE platform
11 Demonstrate EAGLE system functionality to stakeholders and illustrate cost saving potential.
Project Results:
The Scientific objectives were achieved in the following ways:
1 Identification and characterisation of error sources in 3D roof space modelling.- by research leading to production of deliverables
d1.1 Detailed specification of data sets and parametric interfacing requirements for EAGLE platform,
D2.1 Methodology for prototype image processing and roof space modelling algorithms and
D2.3 Automated program for roof space analysis and test report
2 Investigation of user interface requirements for efficient, comprehensive accommodation of all stakeholders. – by using questionnaires and direct communication with SME AG members to production of deliverable
D1.3 Report on stakeholder interface requirements
3 Design of algorithms to process sample data from the three sources under consideration: aerial LIDAR and photogrammetric surveys and existing map data (O/S and Cadastre) – by research leading to the production of deliverables
D1.2 Image processing and roof space modelling methodology and
D 2.1 – Methodology for prototype image processing and roof space modelling algorithms
4 Development of resident self-learning capabilities, using self-organising map (SOM) and results based feedback. – by research leading to the production of deliverables
D2.1 Methodology for prototype image processing and roof space modelling algorithms and
D2.2 Prototype image processing and roof space modelling algorithms


The Technical objectives were achieved in the following ways:
5 Consolidation of separate operations and processes and elimination of manual data transfer between processing tasks – by research leading to the production of deliverable
D3.1 Outline of EAGLE system Architecture prototype
6 Develop data-import filters and routines, for all specified data sets, with ‘fill-in’ routines for missing data. – by research leading to the production of deliverable D3.2 EAGLE system architecture prototype
7 Develop whole system data-handling engine, incorporating consolidated image processing core. – by research leading to the production of deliverables D3.2 EAGLE system architecture prototype and D3.3 Documented Platform and dataset specifications
8 Design and creation of visual user interface for web-based deployment of EAGLE platform. - by research and development leading to the production of demonstration website and deliverables D4.1 User input form report structure, D4.2 Web portal and GUI and D4.3 Report outlining approach for multi-lingual web portal
9 Limited-scale whole system operation, using real data acquired specifically for the purpose. – by research and the collection and processing of data leading to the production of deliverables D5.1 Web integrated EAGLE prototype system and D5.2 Operational test report

The Integrated objectives were achieved in the following ways:
10 Fully web integrated EAGLE platform – By the development of the demonstration site and through deliverable D 6.1 Demonstration datasets and validation report
11 Demonstrate EAGLE system functionality to stakeholders and illustrate cost saving potential – Through Webinar, videos, presentations and posters as well as deliverables D6.1 Demonstration datasets and validation report D 7.4 Production of project video and D 7.5 Training for SME membership



Potential Impact:
The intended impact of the project was to help the EC promote renewable energy; in particular solar. By increasing the penetration of solar energy the European economy would benefit with more manufacturing of equipment, more work for installers and reduce Europe's dependence on fossil fuels.
The project has been well disseminated over the last three years by the consortium members. The main routes have been via the partners websites, newsletters and Journals as well as through press releases a key points in the project. Conference slots have been taken to make presentations and display posters about the work. A project video was produced that has generated some interest and another video was entered in to the Solar Thermal Video competition.
List of Websites:
http://www.eagle-fp7.eu/

John Griggs BSc MSc FCIPHE
Project Coordinator
+44(0)1727 768603
jpjn99@gmail.com

Jan Kai Dobelmann
Exploitation Manager
+49 178 774 0000
dobelmann@dgs.de

James Eddy
Technical Manager
+44(0)1530 518545
james.eddy@bluesky-world.com

Reported by

THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PLUMBING & HEATING ENGINEERING
United Kingdom
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