Project Description

UNICAL AND ITS SMART CAMPUS: INNOVATION IN PURSUIT OF SUSTAINABILITY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY MARCHES ON AT THE UNIVERSITY WITH ITS NEW SMART BUILDING PROJECT.

UNICAL holds among its records that of being the greenest and most sustainable campus in Italy thanks to energy saving work carried out over the years with an ambitious goal of saving about 900,000.00 Euro per year and reducing consumption by about 5,000 MWh and 3,000 CO2 ton per year.

This record of sustainability has also been recognised by its 2019 THE (Times Higher Education) University Impact Rankings, which measures the compliance of 500 universities from around the world with sustainability goals adopted by the UN for 2030.

In recent years, the University of Calabria has sought to rationalise the consumption of resources, improve energy efficiency and building security, reduce power leakage and increase energy production from renewable sources. To achieve these goals, the university decided to work on several fronts: investing in energy production plants based on renewable sources as well as in improving energy efficiency; adopting LED technology and transforming its buildings into “Smart Buildings” based on SITE S.p.A.’s KIRETI platform.

Upon completion of the conversion of all lighting systems to the use of LED technology (carried out earlier in partnership with SITE as well), UNICAL decided to transform 82 of the more than 120 campus buildings with up to 10 floors each to “Smart Buildings”.

This transformation involved the use of smart building systems along with sensors that detect human presence on each floor; the installation of power metering and energy monitoring systems inside the MT/LT cabinets; and the integration and configuration of these KIRETI devices as well as of the existing subsystems for direct control over lighting.

  • Client: University of Calabria

  • Sector: Education

  • Project area: 82 campus buildings distributed over 200 hectares near Arcavacata di Rende (CS)

  • Type of operation: Installation of sensors and configuration of the KIRETI Smart Building platform with a focus on energy monitoring, building security and lighting management.

  • Smart Building projects started: installation of an automated lighting system and LED relamping of over 33,000 new lighting fixtures.

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PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  • Improve energy efficiency and provide a system that controls the entire campus in function of the number of persons present daily in the buildings for academic activities, and thus avoid energy waste which is often caused by leaving lights on in empty classrooms, laboratories, offices, etc.;
  • Strengthen security inside certain buildings against unauthorised entry and outside of authorised hours;
  • Have a single system capable of integrating all installed devices and subsystems; collecting and processing the complex data output by them along with the data collected from the subsystem controlling the 33,000 LED lighting fixtures of the new system.
  • Obtain all useful and actual data in order to optimise energy consumption; identify causes of electrical leakage or critical conditions; carry out predictive maintenance and optimise workload distribution among campus technicians.

CHALLENGES

  • The client had no energy monitoring system that could provide continuous control or consumption reports through data collection and processing in order to accurately measure and evaluate energy performance.
  • The highly complex campus – which is frequented daily by more than 30,000 people, spanning over 200 hectares with buildings that rise up to 10 floors – did not allow Unical to monitor the presence of personnel or students inside those buildings or common areas during the times they were closed to the public, nor monitor and cut waste of energy.
  • One aspect that had to be taken into consideration during the design phase was the need to avoid information overload when trying to collect and process data in order to produce useful statistics to facilitate decision-making and optimise energy consumption.
  • In order to manage the high volume of data and adjust it to fit system specifications and hardware resources, we needed to find the right level of granularity so as to avoid the collection of data that would never be required for a true analysis and decision-making.

SOLUTIONS

To meet the needs of UNICAL, SITE has specially configured its KIRETI Smart Building platform to make it capable of handling over 7,000 variables; it has adjusted its capacity providing a system whose number of controllable objects had no limits; finally, it has customised the graphical interfaces to make them easy to operate by employees when controlling the university 82 buildings.

ATTENDANCE DETECTION

In order to strengthen security in the 82 buildings using a non-invasive but functional control to warn operators in case of unauthorised human presence and outside of authorised hours, 486 detectors and 75 smart building systems were installed. A smart programmable and multi-functional system was thus installed in each building or cubicle to help manage the field devices according to a given Business Management logic.  KIRETI thus acquires the status of the individual sensors, displays in case of an alarm condition a message on the operator panel at the area of interest. Practically, the system triggers the “light activation” scenario in the building area that is affected by the event that has triggered the alarm, displays a message on the supervisor’s control panel as well as sends an email message to the assigned operator.

LIGHTING MANAGEMENT SUBSYSTEM INTEGRATION AND CONTROL

In case a human presence has been detected in a building outside of authorised hours, the KIRETI platform interfaces with the existing lighting management subsystem to automatically switch on the lights in the building and simultaneously trigger an alert status, noting the specific area of interest. The campus supervisor can then investigate the event by using the system and run the preconfigured verification procedures by alerting the security guards.

ENERGY MONITORING OF 23 MT/LT CABINETS

KIRETI operates following a data acquisition process that allows monitoring and logging of power consumption by all the transformer cabinets that are part of the campus medium-voltage supply network, all in order to simplify energy consumption management. In order to optimise energy consumption and identify causes of leakage or critical conditions, 251 meters and 63 energy quality analysers have been installed in 23 medium and low voltage cabinets to provide direct control over energy consumption in each building. Viewable by using a special menu are pre-configured graphical reports of power consumption by each monitored energy consuming device as measured at any desired frequency. This way, energy consumption efficiency of each device can be measured over time and compared to expected performance. Graphical reports are delivered and stored n XLS format. Operators can easily interact with the system to read energy quality data and indicators.

RESULTS

Using KIRETI will help Unical to:

  • Manage lighting smartly by eliminating inefficiencies; progressively optimise consumption patterns and habits based on an analysis of data provided by the platform; contribute to further annual reduction in energy consumption by an estimated 10% to 15%.
  • Analyse the energy parameters acquired by the platform and implement a continuous quality improvement model (PCDA) using targeted actions that will allow UNICAL to implement additional energy saving practices in the future.
  • Have a centralised control over energy consumption and campus security with a real-time picture of actual consumption and human flows in buildings to facilitate targeted and effective verification work.
  • Have a state-of-the-art, fully scalable and modular IoT system already prepared for any other future applications related to security, energy saving, monitoring and maintenance, including the integration of video surveillance and access control systems, etc. In the specific case of Unical, the Kireti platform can support 1024 communication channels and for each of them 8192 installed and configured devices.
  • Use a simplified HMI (Human-Machine Interface) based on a customisable dashboard which can provide a perfect picture of current conditions and allow the user to control and interact with the various systems, all rendered graphically on the display to prevent errors of interpretation or errors caused by the complexity of required command procedures.
  • Receive automated reports that allow you to catalogue and filter each piece of information in a timely manner so you can view summarised scenarios that are easy to compare with other monitoring units on campus as well as consumption trends.