Umeå eNews - June 2017

The University district: A lesson of cooperation

Our smart solutions are all at various stages of implementation, some are being installed while others are only at the planning stage. Isolated from each other, they all hold a high degree of complexity, but it is the connection between them that will make them truly smart. The same principle applies to our partnership. We have agreed that in order to reach our Smart City vision, we all need to work together rather than for what might be best for each individual partner. We share the understanding, that what’s best for our innovation area is also best for each one of us. Together we are still trying to figure out what our Smart City will become, but I do not think that there will be an end state of being a Smart City. Perhaps the smartness lies in the cooperation process, trying to get there? In that case, I see bright prospects for us.

Carina Aschan , RUGGEDISED project manager, City of Umeå

PROJECT TIMING: Month 6 / 60


BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE

The tight collaboration and team work within our Smart City governance group


BIGGEST CHALLENGE

Involve all stakeholders, also the ones outside Ruggedised and keep it meaningful for them to participate.

SMART THERMAL GRID

125 drill holes, each one 250 metres deep, with a total gross area of 345 000 m², this is one of the top 30 largest geothermal energy systems in the world and provides 95% of the required cooling and 20% of the heat for the Regional University Hospital. The owner, Vasterbotten County Council, together with the partners Umeå Energy and Akademiska Hus, are at the moment investigating how the storage could be used in the district heating network to achieve the most effective outcome for the area as a whole – the goal is a business model for sharing instead of individual gains. Questions discussed at the moment are; What technical solutions could help us to make the most of the effectiveness? How can the solution be implemented in other areas in the region?

SMART ELECTRICITY GRID AND E-MOBILITY

Photovoltaic plants, along with energy storage and advanced monitoring and governing systems, will reduce the building energy consumption and electricity at peak loads. The new E-charging hub that Akademiska Hus AB is building at the moment will include the new electric-cargo bike-sharing-system of Umeå. The City of Umeå is engaging citizens to become “test pilots” for evaluation of the e-bikes. Umeå Energi is testing photovoltaics to explore the possibility of integrating small-scale PVs with the overall system, and upscaling the battery storage. At the moment we are investigating the possibility of including a showroom and learning space in the building. The ambition is to display the smart technologies in the innovation area in order to engage for example the students and scientists in the Smart City. How can we make this an interesting building for people in the area? What other functions does it have to include to become a true learning environment? Where can we seek inspiration?

ENERGY MANAGEMENT AND ICT

With more than 250 000 m² of indoor area, the University of Umeå needs to look at every little possibility of energy saving. One of these actions could generate up to 10% energy savings with a simple question; Can we use people as part of the heating system? Gatherings of people in a building makes the temperature go up and down depending on the number of people and their schedules. We want the temperature to stay at a constant level and prevent the rise and fall in temperature, but then we need to know how to count individuals in the University buildings. We can do that with data from Wi-Fi or sensors for Lora or a combination. If we know more about the flow of people, and can validate the data by behavioural and informatics studies, we can adapt the services and even manage behaviours to lower energy consumption, especially during the hours when facilities are off-peak. From our current discussions at the moment it emerged that we do not want to manage this by closing off areas with locked doors; instead we want to make certain areas more attractive for people to gather, in order to be able to put the other areas into an “energy saving mode”. For this we need to involve the students. How can they become an active part of this solution?

NEWS AND EVENTS - Stakeholders meeting in the Smart innovation area

12 May 2017 - Our Smart City group, with all Umeå partners, invited all actors in the innovation area to a stakeholders meeting to discuss the Smart City development. The interest to participate was much larger than I could have imagined – every single organisation that we invited participated in the meeting. There were scientists, student organisations, other Universities (there are two in the area), land- and estate owners, start-ups organisations, companies etc. We talked about the Ruggedised project and some other development projects, discussed the Smart City vision and how to keep up the information flow between us all. We all agreed that we will keep on meeting in this large group every 6 month, and we will also form thematic working groups that will meet more often. What positive feeling it gave me to know that the interest and engagement for the innovation area is so wide – our Smart City vision of a “vibrant and living” smart area seems so much closer!