Development of digital twins to optimize waste management using electric vehicles in urban environments

  • Smart energy management

Genius is a newly granted project that stands for “Empowering Clean-Energy Transition of Energy Intensive Industry Through Advanced and Innovative Digital-Tools”. It is funded under the “líneas estratégicas” call and held its kick-off meeting on December the 2nd, 2021.

In the project, a representative use case of an energy intensive industry in an urban environment has been selected for validating the concepts, methodologies and technologies required to ensure the effective and smooth transition of industries to a zero-emission scenario by the digitalisation of their processes, operations and infrastructures. Within its activities, Sorigué-CLD offers a wide range of services for urban environments including selective segregated municipal waste collection, cleaning and maintenance of urban infrastructure and management of municipal waste recycling points. For these purposes, the company aims at using only clean technologies to mitigate CO2 emissions in cities throughout its entire value chain, effectively contributing to reach the ambitious goals set in the Paris Agreement, the European Green Deal and other initiatives at European level, and in the PNIEC at national level. Then, the use of a 100% electric vehicle fleet is mandatory to carry out most of these activities, which implies a significant impact in the energy consumption, mainly associated to the recharge of these electric vehicles. Future plans of the corporation, also include the reuse of the exhausted batteries in a second life application as stationary storage for back-up power and flexibility of the microgrid.

Therefore, the transition to this new scenario implies big challenges which require the development of new solutions, concepts, methodologies and digital technologies to optimise energy consumption and resources, that allow to monitor and control the whole infrastructure, processes and operations in a holistic way, being able to anticipate to future events or situations, in order to provide better-informed decisions based in the application of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, considering economic aspects and sustainability.

The project has a total budget over 1M€ and will run for 3 years. The consortium is formed by 4 partners including CITCEA-UPC (leader), IREC, Sorigué and NVISION.

The main objective of GENIUS is to develop a complete digital twin embedded in an IoT platform running in the cloud for the

1) advanced monitoring and control

2) state estimation and prediction

3) active energy management of assets, systems and infrastructures

4) monitoring of carbon footprint and

5) dynamic economic analysis of energy intensive industries in urban environments.

These DT enable the development of innovative and effective tools and decision support systems based in artificial intelligence (IA) for optimising energy consumption, operation, dimensioning, cost-effectiveness and lifecycle of the energy assets and infrastructures as a whole, by maximising the synergies of local renewable power generation and electric vehicle fleets, towards the full decarbonisation of the entire value chain of these industries.

 Acknowledgements (in Spanish)

El proyecto Genius (PLEC2021-008152) está financiado por MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 y por la Unión Europea “NextGenerationEU”/PRTR.