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Smart Cities in their most basic context are designed to allow several assets to collect and share data. This data is intended to be rationalised and acted upon to provide an increased level of awareness and opportunities to make improvements. Due to the rapid integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies smart cities are quickly evolving into the ecosystems of the future. Capula see the move towards a smart city infrastructure as being a gradual process, starting with specific use cases, i.e., the connected smart meter, smart lights, intelligent waste disposal and live car parking space monitoring.
With all these connected assets and systems, a big data approach can have huge benefits in a smart city. From energy and traffic management, to public safety. Big data helps in breaking down and sharing the information across different departments. Energy management is one of the most demanding issues within city centres owing to the complexity of the energy systems and their vital role. Smart cities are leading the way when it comes to reducing energy consumption via the use of big data. With cities now able to closely monitor energy use data via their grid system, they can highlight homes and/or buildings with a high degree of waste and offer remediation assistance.
Smart City Objectives
A positive quality of life involves enhancing every aspect of daily life. From streets to parks, from commutes to parking and from culture to personal spaces. A smart city should be used to create an environment that provides the best living experiences for its citizens.
Cities are recognised as important centres of trade, commerce and business that are primarily driven by diversity to help advance an innovative economy. Smart cities need to be business-friendly, ensuring that the cities are running operationally as efficiently as possible and that jobs, tax revenue, and desirability to both live and do business within the smart city continue to push forward the city as a platform for constant economic growth.
Ensures economic growth and quality of life need to be sustained, for current and future generations. Smart cities are key to promoting and ensuring sustainable consumption of natural resources, an understanding of the current scenarios and clear indicators or the direction that is being pursued.
Capula can assist our clients not only with delivering these objectives, but also by providing support for future use cases and improvements.
Some of the key challenges others are facing is that they approach it from a top down approach, which is great when dealing with a greenfields project and everything will be designed and built with the single vision in mind. But in reality, most smart cities will be built bottom up. And this is where Capula can be of benefit. Rather than trying to tackle the larger smart city problems, like building information modelling, controlling traffic, street lighting, we can focus on the smaller practical use cases. Like smart buildings, waste management, smart energy, etc. These “products/solutions” can then be connected up to the city wide smart systems via common APIs and Open Data standards.
Of smart cities use connected streetlights in everyday operations. Helping cities to decrease costs and become more sustainable.
Of smart cities have deployed smart water level or flood monitoring.
Of smart cities have deployed a traffic monitoring and management solution. Helping cities to monitor and manage traffic flows efficiently.
How we can help
We are a technology company with a system integrator history. We see all the elements on the previous page as being part of the solution, a smart cities system in this case.
Capula have worked in many of these areas already from energy monitoring in smart buildings, to wind-farm management and control, to electric vehicle load optimisation of the grid and demand side response of energy assets.
We have also developed a number of capabilities designed around internet of things use cases which we can apply. From providing thermostat, HVAC and CHP based on historic data and linking to environmental data, to forecasting likely energy consumption for visibility and planning of electricity networks.
We see green/sustainable energy performance as a key goal, not only for smart cities, energy savings and renewable initiatives but for the general well-being of the environment and all those that share it.
Some of the key projects that we have developed in this area are highlighted below.
We have a long tradition of working with and on behalf of clients to achieve their sustainability targets and helping clients improve further by focusing on sustainability programs such as:
We have built our own Energy Monitoring System (EMS) that is designed to provide a holistic view of energy consumption across a portfolio of sites and buildings in line with key performance indicators identified by clients.
With the Demand Side Response application we allow clients to maximise their return on investment from clean assets. Businesses who can be flexible with their consumption are rewarded for shifting or reducing demand, or by making capacity available through onsite generation, when needed.
DSR is designed to connect to systems controlling these asset and issue commands on behalf of the demand side response scheme the client has signed up to. Demand side response allows us to offer an intelligent way of optimising energy delivery when it’s needed, by using existing assets.
Demand Side Response is designed to get real time data from a variety of clean energy assets and as shown below gather and utilise them in the most efficient way possible. In all use cases the system is designed to connect to assets and monitor the current availability, forecasted generation against actual and to highlight the available capacity and load factor or frequency response.
Each connected asset can be assigned specific modes, that will optimise the suggested running of the asset based on the scheme’s setup and algorithms we have created. Whether that be a balancing mode, supplying internal vs external requirements, to a wholesale mode where all the electrical generation is being made available to the market, to triad management to reduce exposure to peak energy costs from the market. Different modes can be configured for a variety of use cases.
Schedules can then be established within the system where asset availability and use cases can be determined on a regular basis.
With the Network Visibility tool, we have connected several systems together to provide a holistic view of energy usage, with the key use case for future capacity planning. By bringing this data together from disparate systems, we provide a way of utilising big data to achieve optimisations of the energy network and ensure capacity and resilience vital to the running of a smart city.
We also realise that in smart cities, data quality is key. We have also built functionality that performs a series of data cleaning tasks, to ensure capacity planning is not skewed by erratic or incorrect data. An example use case is with the introduction of electric vehicle charging stations, and to provide an understand how this will impact the electricity availability within the city.
Distributed Network Visibility