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Energy Consumption in a Smart City

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "G1: Smart Cities and Urban Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 34142

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

1. Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2628 XE Delft, The Netherlands
2. Quantia Consulting, 22066 Mariano Comense, Italy
Interests: data science; web engineering; applied machine learning; human-centered artificial intelligence; human-computation
Department of Planning, Design & Technology of Architecture, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Flaminia 72, 00196 Rome, Italy
Interests: building physics; building services engineering; building simulation; renewable energy technologies; indoor environmental quality; open data & energy analytics; energy efficiency; zero energy buildings; power-to-X solutions; buildings, district and national energy systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban areas account for ~80% of world energy consumption. For this reason, to achieve Europe's 2030 Energy Strategy target of a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels and at least 35.5% improvement in energy efficiency, it is crucial to reduce the energy impact of cities. To do so, it is necessary to involve all the stakeholders: energy providers, policymakers in the municipality, facility managers, and the citizens themselves, as energy consumption is influenced by this interconnected network of actors. Citizens need to be incentivized or educated to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, policymakers require detailed information about the city to develop better policies, facility managers would benefit from data about the usage of buildings, and finally, energy providers could optimize the supply of energy to reduce waste.

A Smart City is the perfect environment to study and exploit the interactions between those actors because its architecture already integrates elements to collect data and connect to the citizens. Furthermore, the proliferation of Web platforms (e.g., social media, Web fora) and the increased affordability of sensors and IoT devices (e.g., smart meters) make data related to a large and diverse set of users accessible, as their activities in the digital world reflect their real-life actions. These new technologies can be of great use for the stakeholders as, on one hand, it provides them with semantically rich inputs and frequent updates at a relatively cheap cost and, on the other, it allows them to have a direct channel of communication with the citizens. 

To fully exploit these new data sources, we need both novel computational methods (e.g., AI, data mining algorithms, knowledge representation) that are suitable for analyzing and understanding the dynamic behind energy consumption, but also a deeper understanding of how these methods can be integrated into the existing design and decision processes (e.g., human-in-the-loop processes).

Therefore, this Special Issue welcomes original multidisciplinary research works about AI, data science methods, and their integration with existing design/decision-making processes in the domain of energy consumption in a Smart City.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • New data sources for energy consumption modeling in a Smart City;
  • Novel computational methods and applications to support data-driven energy planning and policymaking in a Smart City;
  • Tools and applications to engage with the citizen to either raise awareness on energy consumption or involve them in the decision-making process;
  • Use cases;
  • Smart architecture of the energy systems.

Dr. Andrea Mauri
Dr. Benedetto Nastasi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • smart city
  • sustainable city
  • data-driven policy making
  • human-computation
  • open data
  • applied machine learning

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 174 KiB  
Editorial
Energy Consumption in a Smart City
Energies 2022, 15(20), 7555; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15207555 - 13 Oct 2022
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Increasing and inexorable urbanization calls for the involvement of all the stakeholders [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)

Research

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20 pages, 2302 KiB  
Article
Do Smart Cities Restrict the Carbon Emission Intensity of Enterprises? Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in China
Energies 2022, 15(15), 5527; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155527 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
The concept of “smart cities” plays a positive role in the overall green and sustainable development of a nation. However, it is still debated whether smart cities can restrain the carbon emission intensity at the micro-level and promote the green transformation of enterprises. [...] Read more.
The concept of “smart cities” plays a positive role in the overall green and sustainable development of a nation. However, it is still debated whether smart cities can restrain the carbon emission intensity at the micro-level and promote the green transformation of enterprises. To this end, based on China’s smart city policy (SCP) and regional enterprise data from 2008 to 2015, we study the impact of SCP on the carbon emission intensity of local enterprises, using the difference-in-differences method. The results show that SCP significantly reduces the carbon emission intensity of enterprises, and the estimated results remain significant after the propensity score matching. The mechanism analysis finds that digital transformation, innovation by enterprises, and urban green innovation all strengthen the impact of SCP on the carbon emission intensity of enterprises. The conclusions extend the scope of the existing research and provide suggestions for micro-enterprises to take advantage of SCP for better development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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21 pages, 35650 KiB  
Article
Creating Comparability among European Neighbourhoods to Enable the Transition of District Energy Infrastructures towards Positive Energy Districts
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4720; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134720 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1957
Abstract
Planning the required energy infrastructure for the energy transition is a crucial task for various neighbourhood concepts, such as positive energy districts. However, energy planning often comes with the challenges of data shortages and a lack of comparability among solutions for different districts. [...] Read more.
Planning the required energy infrastructure for the energy transition is a crucial task for various neighbourhood concepts, such as positive energy districts. However, energy planning often comes with the challenges of data shortages and a lack of comparability among solutions for different districts. This work aims to enable this comparability by introducing an approach for categorising districts according to parameters that are relevant for the planning of neighbourhood energy infrastructures. Four parameters (climate, floor space index, heating demand and share of residential buildings) and their respective ranges (bands) were derived from the literature. Additionally, this work visualised the combination of all parameter bands across Europe to conveniently showcase districts that are comparable according to the selected parameters. This approach and its visualisation could be used in urban planning to share knowledge from existing energy district projects with those planned in comparable districts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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25 pages, 2857 KiB  
Article
Investigation on Performance of Various Power Control Strategies with Bifilar Coil for Induction Surface Melting Application
Energies 2022, 15(9), 3301; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15093301 - 30 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
In recent years, induction heating applications assisted by electronic power control have been very appealing. For melting applications, induction heating is widely used as it seems to be appropriate and provides higher efficiency, zero pollutants, non-contamination of material, etc. in comparison with conventional [...] Read more.
In recent years, induction heating applications assisted by electronic power control have been very appealing. For melting applications, induction heating is widely used as it seems to be appropriate and provides higher efficiency, zero pollutants, non-contamination of material, etc. in comparison with conventional heating. The conventional variable frequency control scheme is not sufficient for melting applications because of its high switching loss, low efficiency, and lower heat rate. A superlative control technique is required to control the output power smoothly, for a high heating rate with minimum power loss, and to lower the number of components. In this paper, a capacitorless self-resonating bifilar coil is proposed for induction surface melting applications. The performance of the system in terms of modular losses, heat rate, and efficiency is analyzed for various power methods such as pulse duty cycle control, phase shift control, pulse density modulation control, and asymmetric duty cycle control. An experimental validation is performed for the 1 kW prototype, and the heating rate, efficiency, and modular losses are calculated. The control technique is digitally validated using a PIC16F877A microcontroller with 30 kHz switching frequency. The temperature distribution is analyzed using a FLIR thermal imager. Among the tested methods, pulse density modulation-based control provides smooth and varied power control from 0% to 100% with minimum modular losses. The efficiency of the system is 89% at a rated output power and is greater than 85% for pulse density modulation control with a fast heating rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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24 pages, 5353 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy System Controlled by Open-Source Tools and Digital Twin Model: Zero Energy Port Area in Italy
Energies 2022, 15(5), 1817; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15051817 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4319
Abstract
The present paper deals with an infrastructure digitization policy to optimize maintenance processes and energy efficiency to transform port areas to ZED (Zero Energy District). The Lazio Region started the process for all its ports in 2020. The Anzio port started and developed [...] Read more.
The present paper deals with an infrastructure digitization policy to optimize maintenance processes and energy efficiency to transform port areas to ZED (Zero Energy District). The Lazio Region started the process for all its ports in 2020. The Anzio port started and developed as a pilot project as it is a particularly representative sample for the Mediterranean Sea reality due to its geomorphological conformation. The study aimed to develop energy-saving procedures and strategies and integrate production systems from Renewable Energy Systems (RESs) for sustainable mobility. In the article, these strategies are described in detail and energy analysis is carried out, starting from the current state and demonstrating the potential energy self-sufficiency of the infrastructure. Finally, the investigation’s potential utilizing a Digital Twin (DT) of the area is highlighted. Furthermore, the BIM (Building Information Modeling) and GIS (Geographic Information System) combining possibility to maximize the energy efficiency measures beneficial impact are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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26 pages, 10736 KiB  
Article
Transforming a Historic Public Office Building in the Centre of Rome into nZEB: Limits and Potentials
Energies 2022, 15(3), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030697 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2088
Abstract
According to the last census of 2019, about two million Italian buildings are more than 100 years old. Building energy retrofitting involves a diverse mix of influencing factors, depending on history, intended use, and construction techniques. This paper aims to assess the energy [...] Read more.
According to the last census of 2019, about two million Italian buildings are more than 100 years old. Building energy retrofitting involves a diverse mix of influencing factors, depending on history, intended use, and construction techniques. This paper aims to assess the energy needs of a historic building by evaluating the variability of climatic conditions and internal loads, as well as the thermal capacity of the building envelope. The energy analysis was conducted using dynamic simulation systems (TRNSYS). The purpose of the study is to provide an analysis of the current energy conditions of the building to identify the main critical issues and suggest the most suitable interventions to be implemented. All the transformations were conducted to meet the nZEB requirements and evaluate technical and economic feasibility, compatibility with architectural and landscape constraints, and large-scale replicability. Specifically, to reach the proposed targets, a 36 kWp PV system was implemented for an area of 210 m2, in addition to the Air Handling Unit (AHU) already present. The profit index is above the unit, and it yields a time range between three and four years. Therefore, fully respecting the energy performance parameters required by the Italian legislation, the study demonstrated the unattainability of the nZEB class for a listed building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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17 pages, 10723 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Daily Energy Demand for Cooling in Buildings with Different Comfort Categories—Case Study
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4694; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154694 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Climate change has a potential impact on the number of hot and torrid days in the summer period. Due to the occupants’ comfort needs, and because of the high heat loads during the summer period, in several European countries, the energy used for [...] Read more.
Climate change has a potential impact on the number of hot and torrid days in the summer period. Due to the occupants’ comfort needs, and because of the high heat loads during the summer period, in several European countries, the energy used for air conditioning in buildings increased. With multiple environmental monitoring systems (Testo Saveris) in two similar offices, having west and east orientation of glazing, 1920 data (internal air, mean radiant temperature) related to operative temperature were collected in order to show the differences between heat loads of rooms with similar geometry in the same building. Data were measured in a 15 min interval. The diffuse and direct solar radiation had been determined for the horizontal and vertical surfaces, using the measured hourly global radiation (Debrecen, Hungary) data for the analyzed days (summer, hot, and torrid days). The local climatic results were compared with other climatic days used in different national standards. The daily energy need for cooling for different building comfort categories was also determined in the case of the representative days. The maximum daily energy need for cooling can be even 2.3 times higher for east orientation in comparison to the west orientation of the facades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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17 pages, 2167 KiB  
Article
The Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Building Energy Consumption in Poland
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4084; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144084 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3544
Abstract
A substantial share of the building sector in global energy demand has attracted scholars to focus on the energy efficiency of the building sector. The building’s energy consumption has been projected to increase due to mass urbanization, high living comfort standards, and, more [...] Read more.
A substantial share of the building sector in global energy demand has attracted scholars to focus on the energy efficiency of the building sector. The building’s energy consumption has been projected to increase due to mass urbanization, high living comfort standards, and, more importantly, climate change. While climate change has potential impacts on the rate of energy consumption in buildings, several studies have shown that these impacts differ from one region to another. In response, this paper aimed to investigate the impact of climate change on the heating and cooling energy demands of buildings as influential variables in building energy consumption in the city of Poznan, Poland. In this sense, through the statistical downscaling method and considering the most recent Typical Meteorological Year (2004–2018) as the baseline, the future weather data for 2050 and 2080 of the city of Poznan were produced according to the HadCM3 and A2 GHG scenario. These generated files were then used to simulate the energy demands in 16 building prototypes of the ASHRAE 90.1 standard. The results indicate an average increase in cooling load and a decrease in heating load at 135% and 40%, respectively, by 2080. Due to the higher share of heating load, the total thermal load of the buildings decreased within the study period. Therefore, while the total thermal load is currently under the decrease, to avoid its rise in the future, serious measures should be taken to control the increased cooling demand and, consequently, thermal load and GHG emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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24 pages, 5104 KiB  
Article
Acquiring the Foremost Window Allocation Strategy to Achieve the Best Trade-Off among Energy, Environmental, and Comfort Criteria in a Building
Energies 2021, 14(13), 3962; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14133962 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
The purpose of this investigation is to propose a way for acquiring the foremost window allocation scheme to have the best trade-off among energy, environmental, and comfort criteria in a building. An advanced decision-making tool, named the technique for order preference by similarity [...] Read more.
The purpose of this investigation is to propose a way for acquiring the foremost window allocation scheme to have the best trade-off among energy, environmental, and comfort criteria in a building. An advanced decision-making tool, named the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS), is utilized to find the best building amongst different alternatives for having windows on the building façades. Three conditions, namely two parallel, two perpendicular, and three façades, considered as A, B, and C types, respectively, are investigated. For each type, four possible orientations are studied. Heating, cooling, and lighting energy demands in addition to carbon dioxide equivalent emission and thermal and visual comfort are taken into account as the investigated criteria, and they are all evaluated in a simulation environment. The results show that for the modular residential buildings chosen as the case study and located in Tehran, Iran, having windows on the north and east façades is the best scheme. This alternative, which belongs to the B type, has about 40% and 37% lower heating and cooling energy demands than the C type’s foremost alternative. It is also able to provide about 10% better CO2 equivalent emission and 28% higher thermal comfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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25 pages, 4740 KiB  
Article
Occupants’ Satisfaction toward Indoor Environment Quality of Platinum Green-Certified Office Buildings in Tropical Climate
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082264 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3066
Abstract
The quality of the indoor environment has become a vital component for buildings due to the time spent indoors. To this extent, the performance of the indoor environment is considered as part of the greenery criteria by green rating schemes such as the [...] Read more.
The quality of the indoor environment has become a vital component for buildings due to the time spent indoors. To this extent, the performance of the indoor environment is considered as part of the greenery criteria by green rating schemes such as the Green Building Index in Malaysia. This study aims to investigate and assess the quality of the indoor environment of Platinum-certified office buildings in a tropical climate. This research applied a case study approach over two Platinum-certified office buildings. Post-occupancy evaluation is employed integrating full-scale measurement with an occupants’ survey. The measurement was carried out from May to August, and 112 questionnaires were retrieved to evaluate occupants’ satisfaction with aspects of the indoor environment. Thermal comfort, indoor air quality, acoustic, lighting, furniture, and cleanliness are considered as the main study variables. The findings of full-scale measurement indicated high relative humidity, and low air velocity and illuminance. While occupants reported overall indoor environment quality (IEQ) comfort, a significant correlation of variables was observed. The main sources of dissatisfaction were identified as overcooling around 24 °C, high relative humidity (RH), around 70% RH, glare, and background noise around 51.9 dB. Statistically, a significant difference between occupants’ responses to IEQ of two cases was identified, although both buildings are labelled with a Platinum certificate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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16 pages, 5231 KiB  
Article
Load Shifting and Peak Clipping for Reducing Energy Consumption in an Indian University Campus
Energies 2021, 14(3), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030558 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3563
Abstract
This paper analyzes the intelligent use of time-varying electrical load via developing efficient energy utilization patterns using demand-side management (DSM) strategies. This approach helps distribution utilities decrease maximum demand and electrical energy billing costs. A case study of DSM implementation of electric energy [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the intelligent use of time-varying electrical load via developing efficient energy utilization patterns using demand-side management (DSM) strategies. This approach helps distribution utilities decrease maximum demand and electrical energy billing costs. A case study of DSM implementation of electric energy utility for an educational building Alagappa Chettiar Government College of Engineering and Technology (ACGCET) campus was simulated. The new optimum energy load model was established for peak and off-peak periods from the system’s existing load profile using peak clipping and load shifting DSM techniques. The result reflects a significant reduction in maximum demand from 189 kW to 170 kW and a reduction in annual electricity billing cost from $11,340 to $10,200 (approximately 10%) in the upgraded system. This work highlights the importance of time of day (TOD) tariff structure consumers that aid reduction in their distribution system’s maximum demand and demand charges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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Review

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36 pages, 2997 KiB  
Review
Extended Reality for Smart Building Operation and Maintenance: A Review
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3785; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103785 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6350
Abstract
The operation and maintenance (O&M) of buildings and infrastructure represent a strategic activity to ensure they perform as expected over time and to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs at the urban and building scale. With the increasing diffusion of BIM, IoT devices, [...] Read more.
The operation and maintenance (O&M) of buildings and infrastructure represent a strategic activity to ensure they perform as expected over time and to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs at the urban and building scale. With the increasing diffusion of BIM, IoT devices, and AI, the future of O&M is represented by digital twin technology. To effectively take advantage of this digital revolution, thus enabling data-driven energy control, proactive maintenance, and predictive daily operations, it is vital that smart building management exploits the opportunities offered by the extended reality (XR) technologies. Nevertheless, in consideration of the novelty of XR in the AECO sector and its rapid and ongoing evolution, knowledge of the specific possibilities and the methods of integration into the building process workflow is still piecemeal and sparse. With the goal to bridge this gap, the article presents a thorough review of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies and applications for smart building operation and maintenance. After defining VR, AR, and MR, the article provides a detailed review that analyzes, categorizes, and summarizes state-of-the-art XR technologies and their possible applications for building O&M along with their relative advantages and disadvantages. The article concludes that the application of XR in building and city management is showing promising results in enhancing human performance in technical O&M tasks, in understanding and controlling the energy efficiency, comfort, and safety of building and infrastructures, and in supporting strategic decision making for the future smart city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption in a Smart City)
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