Tag: University Students

ElCity+

ElCity+ is a map-based board game that was created by NTNU to illustrate energy exchanges that will take place in Trondheim and nearby areas. In these areas, there will be several buildings with energy demands. The players are able to connect to these buildings and sell energy to them, but in order to sell energy to them, they will have to invest first in renewable energy sources (RES), for example solar and wind energy, and also in energy storage and refurbishment. The more buildings the players will connect to, the higher the energy demand they will have to satisfy, and the more renewable energy sources they need to invest in. The player that connects the most buildings creates the biggest district and can supply these buildings with their own RES. The player who ends up with the biggest positive energy district ( a district with more energy production than its own energy demand) is declared the winner. A Positive Energy Block (PEB) is a block that produces its own local energy that surpasses its needs. Several Positive Energy Blocks form a Positive Energy District. To become the owner of a positive energy block, a player needs to invest strategically in different energy technologies such as production, storage and refurbishment. While creating a PEB, connecting to buildings and investing in energy production, the players will be confronted with situations where they either don’t have enough or they have too much energy production, and need to buy or sell energy. In such situations, the players have to negotiate on the energy market with the other players and the Distribution System Operator (DSO), who can be either a natural or a legal person responsible for operating, ensuring the maintenance of and developing the distribution system in a given area. The players can trade with the DSO or with other players (in this case, peer-to-peer trading) to supply a particular district. The game is challenging the players to acquire the necessary technical and business skills to transform Trondheim into a big positive energy city while accumulating  positive energy blocks and creating positive energy districts. A number of 9 participants were involved in a face-to-face game play session and provided their own comments and suggestions for improvement. The session took place on 21 July 2020.

Positive Cities and Distribution Grids (PCDG)

The deployment of distributed energy generation technologies, especially solar photovoltaic energy production, has turned regular consumers into active contributors to the local supply of electricity. This development, along with the digitalisation of power distribution grids (smart grids) are setting the scene for a new paradigm: peer-to-peer electricity trading and the emergence of local flexibility markets. Microgrids, small communities or individual buildings can become net positive producers. This has led to the creation of multiple mathematical models and simulation environments to represent the interactions of positive buildings and distribution grids. In this regard, the Positive Cities and Distribution Grids (PCDG) model provides a user-friendly window to analyse the end-user benefits on engaging in peer-to-peer trade, the role of battery storage, allowing to showcase and quantify P2P trade benefits among buildings, and to analyse the overall benefit for the community. NTNU has developed an app that allows the user to analyse one’s district energy trade, as well as investigate the economic benefits of investing in renewable power generation for their own home. To use the app, the users will need some data about the district they live in, specifically the energy demand of each building over a particular time period and the energy price over the respective period. Additionally, the user can specify if any buildings have solar panels or wind turbines installed, as well as the amount of power generated over the particular period. Batteries may also be included in the configuration. The app was launched in November 2020.

Training-Through-Research

This is an ongoing activity that is part of the facility management and civil engineering education programme for bachelor and master level students at NTNU in Trondheim. Every year, a group of approximately 20 students are tasked to find out about citizens’ attitudes towards making investments in sustainable refurbishments, the motivations and rationales behind their thinking. The students are sent into the field to practice quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques through surveys, interviews and observations, and present findings in presentations, playbooks, etc. Students build upon the material and knowledge gained from specific districts in each iteration of the study. The results are communicated to various stakeholder groups,  including facility managers and municipality.

Nordic Edge Next Generation

A one-day youth conference was held in November 2019, in the organisation of Trondheim Kommune, together with Nordic Edge, YMCA Global and other actors involved in youth activities in Trondheim and Norway, with the purpose of bringing young people together to discuss topics related to smart cities and sustainable development. Representatives from Limerick City and County Council, as well as from Stavanger, Bodø, Oslo, Accra took part in the event.

The conference included a full day programme, consisting of lectures, a show and tell session, sustainability games and a co-creation workshop. The participants discussed the challenges of behaviour change to support a more sustainable future, co-creating solutions among themselves and in groups where youth and adults were mixed. As a result, the young participants gave their take on what the cities and the government should do to give young people a seat at the table when discussing sustainability. Approximately 80 people were involved.

Citizen Energy Monitoring Lab

Our Spanish partner Colaborativa organised an online workshop during the September 2020 CityEngage Week in Limerick for those interested to learn how to make and use open hardware home energy monitoring devices. The workshop focused on preparing the participants to start measuring energy usage in their own homes, sharing data within their community and experimenting with these devices. The event was also aimed at bringing together members of the public with an interest in potential shared uses of the data generated. The event brought together 25 participants.