REFER Reducció Energètica i Flexibilitat en Edificis en Rehabilitació

Acronym REFER
Start date 01/06/2016        End date: 31/05/2019
Program Comunitats RIS3CAT
Subprogram Projectes col·laboratius de recerca industrial i innovació

The REFER project aims to improve the energy alternatives available for buildings, providing them with flexibility with several options to face the generation of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The main objective is to encourage energy reduction and efficiency of buildings. Due to the lack of a single typology of buildings, the framework of action has been divided into two branches, tertiary and residential buildings. The main improvement routes are different in each case, being very interesting energy management systems for tertiary buildings and improvements in air conditioning in residential buildings. In order to improve energy management, measurement, generation and storage systems will be implemented and communication systems will be created between the different elements in order to be able to manage the whole. Thus, the technologies implemented will be validated with different demonstrators: Tirant lo Blanc de Montgat library with regard to tertiary buildings and more than 300 users to analyze the results of the residential sector.

However, many other technologies not implemented by demonstrators and that can participate in the energy flexibilization of future buildings will be improved by introducing new concepts that will be validated in a work package for this purpose. In this sense, new concepts will be implemented to substantially improve photovoltaic solar panels and fuel cells technologies and new methodologies for the reuse of electric vehicle batteries in buildings. Finally, a dedicated software will be created to easily determine possible energy improvements in rehabilitation buildings.

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REFER website

The project is focused in two different scopes, according to different building typologies: Tertiary and Residential.

Tertiary buildings

It is intended to develop an interoperable system for managing the energy demand in buildings that allows optimizing consumption and improving efficiency. This is intended through:

  1. Develop a firmware that allows agile and flexible interoperability, in the field of buildings, among the following systems
    • BMS (Battery Management System)
    • HVAC comfort management systems (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning)
    • Aggregators/Managers of the energy demand
    • Management systems for electrical surpluses from renewable sources (photovoltaic, wind, etc.) for a self-consumption installation
  2. Development of an integrated solution in a single system, connecting storage systems, renewable technologies integrated in the building (geothermal, photovoltaic, etc.) and management of energy demand
  3. Ensure the interoperability of systems of different battery manufacturers/technologies, photovoltaic inverters as well as with different monitoring systems and/or Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS).
  4. Implement a communication interface with the SCADA system of the building
  5. Develop a communications system that interacts with the BEMS (Building Energy Management System) to receive operating instructions
  6. Develop a communications system with the BMS (Battery Management System) that will allow the connection of Lithium batteries to the micro-network manager (PCS)
  7. Build and validate a demonstrator of the four components:
    • The manager of the stoted energy, the Power Converter System ‐ PCS
    • The communication interface with the BEMS
    • The communication interface with the BMS
    • The Communication interface with the inverter
Residential buildings

The project will focus on:

  1. Develop energy efficiency solutions for A/C and centralised boilers focused on increasing the efficiency of the equipment and optimizing its use, management and maintenance.
  2. Launch technological solutions that can be integrated into air conditioning equipment and boilers of any manufacturer.
  3. Acquisition, processing and visualization of large amounts of data from HVAC systems in order to optimize maintenance and impact on a greater efficiency of climate systems.
  4. Incorporate all these elements into the demonstrative systems of 100 homes in the first stage and 350 in a second stage. Definition of the necessary requirements to implement game techniques, especially, in the communication tools with the end users.
  5. Definition of the necessary requirements so that game techniques can be implemented in solutions and, especially, in communication tools with end users.

Main Outputs

The BEE Group, together with BAXI, has developed a tool for users of BAXI boilers and thermostats, which allows users to keep track of their hot water consumption day by day. In this way, the user can compare between the days of the same month and detect the days with a higher consumption. InfoBAXI, as it is called the tool, also provides tips for optimizing consumption, and it is expected to incorporate, during the winter months, information on heating consumption.

InfoBAXI aims to empower users of the energy use of their home, through practical information on hot water and heating that allows them to detect deviations of consumption. In this way it is intended that users become aware of the use of energy to promote savings and efficiency.

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This project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ACCIÓ.

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