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Nomination for AIT project „Smart Grids Modellregion Salzburg – Häuser als interaktive Teilnehmer im Smart Grid“ at this year’s state prize

Nov 18

The AIT departments Energy and Innovation Systems were nominated for this year’s state prize “Umwelt- und Energietechnologie 2015”, category “Research & Innovation”. Their project „Smart Grids Modellregion Salzburg – Häuser als interaktive Teilnehmer im Smart Grid“ was one of three nominated projects out of 122 submissions.

The project, which was initiated together with Salzburg AG für Energie, Verkehr und Telekommunikation, with Salzburg Wohnbau GmbH and with Siemens AG Österreich, focussed on energy-efficient housing. The first part of the project was the construction of a smart grids-friendly residential complex, called „Rosa Zukunft”. The building exemplarily represents a realistic implementation of smart grids-friendly concepts.
By combining generators, storage and consumers with a building automation system, the residential complex provides usable flexibilities and thereby serves as the basis for the second part of the project “HiT Begleitforschung”.

The goal was to evaluate the residential complex in a one-year longitudinal study from the perspective of both the building and its inhabitants. The results allowed for a deepened and integrated understanding of implementing smart-grids friendly concepts.

Accompanying research
34 of 129 flats were equipped with innovative interaction technologies: The most important interaction device was a tablet with a so called „smart center“, which included apps for energy feedback, home automation and car sharing, as well as the FORE watch, which predicted information about time-variable tariffs. During a one-year longitudinal field study, the AIT Innovation Systems Department evaluated the residential complex with online surveys, focus groups, interviews, and diary studies. The evaluation focused on acceptance of the implemented technologies and possible changes in the inhabitants’ energy consumption. „The purpose of the applied methods was to develop further understanding of the inhabitant’s daily life with the applied technology, behaviour patterns concerning energy consumption, as well as the reasons behind“, says Manfred Tscheligi, Head of Business UnitTechnology Experience“ in AIT’s Innovation Systems Department. „Different surveys were conducted throughout the year and due to the constant occupation with the topic the inhabitants’ awareness of their energy consumption increased“, Tscheligi explains.
Indeed: The combination of innovative interaction technologies and interventions during the study resulted in a reduction of consumed energy of 14.8% and showed noticeable learning effects.