Smart City Aspern – Vienna Goes Smart

An optimized energy system is foundational for sustainable smart city concepts.
Published: Thu 29 Oct 2015

The urban lakeside development of Aspern on the northeast side of Vienna is at the heart of the city’s efforts to transition to a smart city. Covering an area of approximately 2.4 million m2, it is a new mixed use development with apartments, offices, shops, restaurants and other facilities for about 20,000 residents and 20,000 workers in which new social, environmental and other concepts for urban settlements are being tested.

Foundational for the development is a state-of-the-art urban energy system, which is being undertaken by Siemens in a partnership with ASCR (Aspern Smart City Research), a joint venture between the local energy service company Wien Energie and network operator Wiener Netze as well as the developer Wien 3420 Aspern Development and Business Agency Wien.

“The aim is to move from today’s energy system to an optimal and future-proof system,” says Alexander Schenk, Principal Key Expert - Smart Distribution Grids at Siemens AG of the 5-year project.

Smart city research domains

“The new energy system is based on four key domains, smart buildings, smart users (prosumers), smart markets and smart grids, and these are interlinked with a smart ICT platform for processing and exchange of data,” says Mr Schenk, who introduces the Aspern initiative in an Engerati briefing, Seestadt Aspern a showcase for the migration to a smart urban energy system.

In the smart buildings and smart users domains the focus is on the roles and options available to each in a smart energy system. The primary R&D topics address predictive optimization to optimize energy use, handling of flexible energy tariffs, provisioning of building flexibility to market partners, data analytics to improve processes and integration of smart users as active players in the system.

In the smart markets domain the focus is on making flexibility available to markets through the interconnecting and optimizing role these play between the smart buildings/prosumers and smart grid and how new opportunities are enabled.

In the smart grid domain the focus is on the distribution grid as the facilitator for smart energy systems. Primary R&D topics focus on data provisioning and grid monitoring, grid planning based on big data and business analytics and active grid management.

In the briefing, an in-depth dive into each of the R&D domains is presented by Siemens colleagues Lukas Krammer, Senior expert - Automation Networks and Smart Buildings (smart buildings and prosumers), Jaroslaw Kussyk, Innovation Manager - Smart Grid Architect and Senior Key Expert (smart markets and smart grids), and Gerhard Engelbrecht, Key Expert - Data Analytics (smart ICT).

Research testbeds

Mr Schenk says that in addition to optimizing the technologies in the individual domains they need to be optimized from a holistic perspective. To this end testbeds for the research domains have been set up.

The smart buildings testbed comprises several large buildings testing combinations of technologies including heat pumps, solar PV, storage and automation technologies.

The smart grid testbed comprises 12 transformer stations with 23 transformers, grid monitoring devices, smart meters and a grid control center..

The smart ICT testbed includes data warehousing and data analytics.

Commenting on Siemens’ perspective on the project, Mr Schenk says that today there is a complex overlap between the development of new technologies and possible energy market developments. That leeds to the fact that nobody is able any more to predict exactly how the energy system will look like in 10 to 15 years.

“Together these bring challenges for all market players and so it is important that solutions are developed that allow step by step migration of the existing infrastructure to a new system which is open for new market models. Our opinion is that optimal solutions can only be developed in scenarios working together with these market players and the industry.”

To learn more about the Aspern Smart City Research (ASCR) initiative, register for the briefing.

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