mySMARTLife: IMT Atlantique researchers combine digital technology and energy to better manage heating networks

Combining digital technology  and energy to make the management of a heating network as close as possible to the aspirations and constraints of users(local authorities, network managers and subscribers) is possible now with the decision support platform currently being developed by a team of five researchers from IMT Atlantic as part of the European mySMARTLife project. Their work was presented at the last meeting of the consortium* in Nantes in early March.

presentation consortium mySMARTLife

Admittedly, in a project to optimise heating networks, the objective is to make improvements in terms of energy performance, and to reduce CO2 emissions, etc., but human factors are also very important. This is why the researchers have endeavoured to take into account other parameters than just technical aspects, in particular the interactions between users  in different situations.  The systemic approach was made possible by combining the expertise of five researchers from the Departments of Usage Logic, Social Sciences and Information (LUSSI) and Energy and Environment Systems (DSEE) to oproduce an original and interesting approach: energy expertise combined with that of decision support. Patrick Meyer, researcher in the LUSSI department (DECIDE / Lab-STICC UMR CNRS 6285 team): "We are developing algorithms that will model human preferences and integrate them into resolution algorithms by taking into account the selection criteria of each of the stakeholders. On the other hand, unlike some AI techniques, we do not want to replace decision-makers. We provide assistance to inform a decision-making process».

Modeling and decision support

Since the launch of the mySMARTLife project in December 2016, the team has taken into account the technical specificities of the Centre Loire network (380 substations) in Ile de Nantes, met with the various stakeholders (Nantes Métropole, ERENA manager and subscribers) to offer them support and highlight their constraints. "From the various data, we then explored various innovative energy management solutions, ensuring that the priorities of the various stakeholders were faithfully integrated," explains Bruno Lacarrière, researcher at the DSEE (OSE/Gepea UMR CNRS 6144 team). "Our deliverable will therefore include network modeling, a methodology and a decision support tool, in conjunction with the urban data platform, another aspect of the project».

Within the mySMARTlife consortium they are the only ones  working on the subject of heating networks to offer more than an expert technical approach. Their proposal is all the more original because the methodological support will be replicable. After formalization and testing, they are now entering the deployment phase, which is scheduled to end in November 2019.
*IMT Atlantique is a partner in the "mySMARTLife" project focused on so-called "smart" cities, selected by the European Commission as part of the European H2020 programme. This 5-year project (2016-2020), focuses in particular on the implementation of innovative solutions in the fields of digital technology, energy and mobility. It will allow us to share, at a European level, the expertise of the Nantes metropolis and its partners, and also to experiment with innovative solutions for a more sober city.

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Published on 25.03.2019

by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT