Technical visit in Aspern (Austria)

22 March 2022

On 17 March 2022, Roberto Zangrandi, E.DSO Secretary General, Tzeni Varfi, E.DSO Policy & Legal Director joined by Maximiliam Urban from Netz Noe, visited the Aspern Smart City Research (ASCR) in Austria. The technical visit was facilitated by Werner Hengst, Managing Director at Netz Noe and Michael Mollner, Senior Manager European and Public Affairs at Netz Noe. The E.DSO team was hosted and being introduced to the ASCR project by Alexander Schenk from Siemens.

ASCR is the Europe’s biggest energy research project based on applied research performed at the aspern Seestadt Urban development area since 2013 and expected to finish by 2023. It is the only research project of its kind in Europe, based in Vienna. The research association – a joint venture by Siemens Österreich, Wien Energie, Wiener Netze and the City of Vienna (Vienna Business Agency and Wien 3420) – pursues an integrated approach, with over 100 researchers from a range of different fields using vast quantities of real-time data to analyse interactions and correlations between user behaviour and building technology in energy-efficient buildings.

The main objective of ASCR is to develop market-oriented, scalable, and economical solutions for the energy future in urban areas and to make the energy system more efficient and more climate-friendly.

ASCR is currently using this “urban lab” for small-scale testing of 17 Smart City applications with the potential for future roll-out across Vienna and beyond. To date, ASCR has supplied answers to over 60 research questions, developed 15 prototype solutions in the fields of smart buildings and grid infrastructure, and filed applications for 11 patents. Another focus is on how a data-based smart grid can help match energy production across multiple buildings to the daily fluctuations in power consumption.

In line with the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy, ASCR analyses the production, distribution, storage, and consumption of energy from an integrated perspective:

Smart Building: A residential building, a student residence, a school campus, a modern workplace environment in the form of a technology centre, and an office building with a multifunctional in-house car park have been equipped with photovoltaic installations, solar thermal and hybrid systems, heat pumps and various thermal and electrical storage systems, meaning that they not only consume energy, but also produce and store it.

Smart Grid: 12 network stations, 24 transformers, 5 grid storage systems and numerous sensors form the basic infrastructure of the ASCR smart grid testbed. The aim here is to reduce grid operating costs, increase the number of renewable energy sources and maximise efficiency and security of supply for the prosumer, the building, and the market. Grid customers have substantially changed their behavior over the years compared with the original infrastructure planning assumptions. This includes feeding locally generated power and additional major loads such as electromobility and heat pumps, as well as the substantially higher peak loads arising from the simultaneity factors. The existing low and medium voltage grids are also currently being operated without any measurement and control systems.

Smart ICT: Complex ICT systems monitor and control the distribution, consumption, storage, and onward transmission of energy. In compliance with the data privacy legislation, these systems process all data collected from the buildings and the grid (temperature, airflow, power consumption, voltage, etc.), as well as third-party data (e.g. weather forecasts, etc.). 

Smart User: 111 participating households have explicitly consented to make their energy consumption data available for research purposes.  A team of social scientists are also involved in the research project. ASCR’s research aim in terms of Smart Users is to develop practicable solutions for everyday use that create true added value for residents while helping them save energy.

To get more familiar with this exciting project, you are kindly invited to visit the homepage via this link: https://www.ascr.at/en/publications/