Blog

Read our articles to learn more about data visualisation and its applications

Smart Grid Visualization

2021-10-18

The Netherlands is known for it's innovative agricultural sector. Priva is a company that supplies software and hardware for climate control installations in greenhouses and buildings. One of their newest innovations is called Priva Energy & Comfort Optimiser (Priva ECO). It uses predictive algorithms to optimise the internal climate of buildings and reduce costs. To explain to potential clients how this system works, an interactive visualisation has been developed.

Digital Twin of a Building

Priva ECO analyses a building's characteristics over a period of time and uses this information to construct a digital twin of a building. Hosted in the cloud on Azure Digital Twin, it contains information about the different climate zones in the building and their reaction to heating and cooling.

Priva ECO also knows about renewable energy sources that are available, like solar panels and wind turbines. Using weather forecasts, Priva ECO predicts what the output of these renewable sources will be during the next 24 hours and schedules the climate control installation to make optimal use of this renewable energy. The weather forecast is used to predict what the energy demands of the building will be.

In essence, Priva ECO tries to align production and demand of energy by intelligently controlling climate control installations. Doing this right is crucial in maximising the output of renewable resources.

Digital Twin of a Smart Grid

When developing new or existing urban areas, Priva ECO can be installed in multiple connected buildings. These buildings can then share energy intelligently to minimise the total energy consumption of a whole urban area. This makes Priva ECO one of the only solutions to facilitate true smart grids. To explain this concept, an interactive visualisation of a small smart grid was made such that this concept of energy sharing could be explained to governments and urban developers.

3D Visualisations

The demo grid was simulated in Priva ECO and the generated data was imported into a 3D environment. The data could then be used to animate various parts within this 3D environment, making the data come to life. We started with visualising a simple building connected to a wind turbine.

This proof-of-concept showed that it was viable to load the digital twin data and visualise it as a 3D world. We then simulated a larger smart grid which had a stadium, office, houses and a greenhouse.

The smart grid we had made turned out to be too complex for new people to understand directly. This made us boil it right down to the essence. We realised we only needed two buildings to explain the idea of energy sharing.

Final Visualisation

This visualisation is completely driven by Priva ECO and shows four different configurations. In each configuration, extra functionality is added to reduce the total energy consumption. This allows Priva representatives to explain Priva ECO step by step. The visualisation acts like a talking point that everyone can point to and ask questions about. It gives all parties a common ground so that they can constructively discuss various aspects of this new technology.

categories

client

Priva Building Automation

deliverable

A 3D Digital Twin that offers potential clients a step by step explanation of a smart grid control system.