Prototyping and Pilot Phase Testing
The other WP will provide scientific research results that will be incorporated in the pilots developed by the industrial partners in this WP. This should therefore prepare the experimental pilots for two different contexts: urban and rural . Alternative mechanisms to store the energy produced by water systems in places where there is no electricity grid to receive it will be also evaluated (GB SOLAR, UP).
- Prototype for energy and water systems integration in urban context
An urban pilot will aims to integrate the management of energy and water resources within the city. A solar and wind installation will produce energy that is stored in city’s water distribution system. The energy produced will be used to illuminate the public road during night time. The figure represents the pilot in its most basic configuration. Two water reservoirs are managed throughout the day taking into account two factors: The need for water by consumers and maximizing the energy storage capacity in the upper level reservoir. It should also be noted that to boost water, from the energy production view, the lower level deposit should be prepared in terms of capacity to receive water during production. The energy produced is used in street lighting implemented using LED low power consumption. The project will be conducted in two phases. In the first stage, the concept will be tested and developed methodologies for the management of energy and water resources. In a second stage, the results from the other working packages are introduced into the pilot. The aim is to quantify the increase in efficiency introduced by these changes.
– Prototype for Energy and Water systems integration in rural context
The rural prototype will allow intelligent irrigation in an agriculture field to optimize both the water and energy use. The process is based on the information supplied by a network of fixed and mobile wireless sensors. The power required by each network node to operate is obtained from the environment by energy harvesting procedures. The network of wireless sensors will transmits both the level of humidity in the air and in the soil for different spots covered by the supervisory system. The irrigation system will make a decision based on the needs (type of crop, period of the year, soil type, etc) and resources (energy availability and water. The power required by pumps and other electric devices is obtained from solar and wind sources whenever available. The hydraulic storage in natural or artificial reservoirs allows to set aside a potential energy during phases when electricity needs are low and high production (phases of strong sunshine or wind) which can then be converted into electricity during phases of low production. Like the hydraulic storage, production of hydrogen by electrolysis of water can be used to store energy. The following figure shows an example of the possibilities of integration:
– Renewable energy production and storage
In some cases the energy produced by the renewable sources (solar, wind or micro-hydric) can’t be promptly used neither stored. This situation requires the introduction of adapted technologies to store the energy such as: hydrogen, flywheel, or compressed air. This task will research about the best practices related with energy storage to be applied in rural and urban areas.