The Royal Borough of Greenwich has been using a digital twin to simulate the impacts of energy saving measures in social housing.
The initiative has been one of those within the EU backed Sharing Cities programme, aimed at developing smart city solutions that can be shared by authorities across the continent.
Representatives of the borough outlined details at a Sharing Cities event in London, saying the digital twin – a digital replica of physical assets, processes, people, places and systems – has been used in assessing a 50-day impact in financial and CO2 savings from the use of a sustainable energy management system and retrofitting social housing with internet of things devices.
The simulation was run to establish how to best optimise the use of the system and devices.
Victor Sellwood, senior consultant in power technologies at Siemens, which was involved in the project, said the digital twin is now up and running and available for use by other authorities
“Using a digital twin provides the benefit of being able to do a design and test it before making all of the investments at ground level,” he said. “We can do all the simulations and begin to build up a picture of the impacts.”
He said it can now be rolled out to other applications and that a process of engagement is getting under way.
Among the learnings from the project were the need to consider the specific energy challenges for the location, to identify the intended benefits and the main beneficiaries, and to define the information requirements.
The representatives also emphasised the need to design the system on the principles of openness and ease of integration.
Image: Sérgio Valle Duarte, CC BY 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons