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For cities, keeping the energy bill affordable is a challenge. Howest is assisting Kortrijk city in this regard. Through pilot projects in Kortrijk Weide and Transfo Zwevegem, the Smart Technology Energy lab is developing a data architecture for smart control of energy systems.

The energy transition and energy crisis challenge cities to keep their costs in check. One approach is optimizing energy flows through intelligent real-time controls. However, flexibility via Energy Management Systems (EMS) is still in its infancy and has barely made its way into cities.

This project, originating from the pilot projects at Kortrijk Weide and Transfo Zwevegem, is developing a data architecture for smart control of energy systems for entire sites. The hardware is largely in place. The challenge involves building EMS systems, including linking numerous sources with real-time energy data at building and installation levels (production, consumption, storage) and contextual data (energy prices, climate, occupancy and usage, indoor climate, ventilation, etc.). The data is first visualized based on user needs. After designing intelligent algorithms and control strategies, the EMS can make decisions. Through artificial intelligence, the system can recognize patterns and further optimize.

From the pilot projects, we transition to public assets. A first set of buildings in Harelbeke and Kortrijk will be equipped with hardware and integrated into the EMS platform. A business model for energy management via EMS is being developed.