Intervention carried out by using funding POR - Objective "Increase in business innovation activity" Part ERDF European regional development fund 2014-2020.
ACTION 1.1.4 “Support for collaborative R&D activities for the development of new sustainable technologies, products and services”.
The issue of energy efficiency of plants and more generally energy optimization intended as a reduction of waste and consumption is becoming increasingly important, both in terms of reducing emissions into the atmosphere and in terms of the consumption of resources and the reduction of management costs. Often, however, waste and consumption are exaggerated as most of the time there is no complete knowledge of the environment. Since all environments linked to human activities are now equipped with technological systems (lighting, air conditioning, etc.), adapt the operation of these systems based on dynamic rules that take into account all possible environmental variables (presence, times of activities, weather conditions , etc), possibly also in a forecasting manner, can significantly reduce the use of energy resources necessary for the operation of the plants themselves.
The PERSICO project aims in particular to manage the problem of energy efficiency in the residential and large-scale retail sector (GDO).
In fact, it aims to create a platform capable of performing the aforementioned functions and consisting of:
→ a cloud system for managing the infrastructural part;
→ a web platform for the management of the application part;
→ by a data collection and control unit for interfacing with the sensors installed in the system.
This integrated solution will allow both system control based on automatic decision rules, artificial intelligence rules, and direct control by the operators who manage or use the system itself.
The project idea therefore provides for improving energy efficiency in various areas (residential and commercial) through the use of ICT and electronic technologies thanks to distributed networks of sensors that collect data analyzed by artificial intelligence algorithms, which then allow to act on the system to improve its energy yield.
The project includes two phases: the 1st phase (from 05-08-2019 to 15-07-2020), completed, and the 2nd phase (from 16-07-2019 to 01-02-2021) still in progress realization.
The project includes the following condensed structure of Work Package (WP):
The innovativeness of the PERSICO project concerning the classification techniques used for data analysis is provided by their application in the problem of optimizing energy efficiency. These techniques are not normally used in the world of control engineering, but several studies at the University of Verona have made it possible to obtain excellent results in this field as well.
For example, consider the ways in which customers flow into a large-scale retail outlet based on both historical and operational data available on the ERP (presence of promotions, seasonality of products and their storage, peak times) combined with monitoring and control in real time of the systems allows to adapt the functioning of the same in a dynamic way thus allowing a considerable saving of resources, both in terms of energy and wear.
The system that will be obtained at the end of PERSICO's activities can be applied (with appropriate adjustments) to other industrial sectors that present similar needs; in addition to energy efficiency, it is however conceivable that the precise knowledge of environmental parameters can contribute to a better quality of life inside both residential and industrial buildings.
It is also conceivable that the system, by varying the automatic decision rules and the part of sensors / actuators, can find application, for example in the agricultural field, allowing for example to optimize irrigation based on both meteorological and environmental parameters
in the industrial field, as well as for the energy efficiency part, also for what concerns the quality of the working environment.
The project, launched in August 2019, involves three companies and the University of Verona: EDALAB Srl (leader), MANUTHERM Srl, TEKSERVICE Srl.
The project was awarded a total contribution of € 289,460.20 against an expense of € 299,460.20 for the duration of the entire project expected to be 18 months.