The project

COntrol and ManageMent systems using Information and communications Technologies FOR ZERO Energy Buildings

Sistemas de Control y Gestión usando Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación para edificios de energía cero



Key Words

Optimal resources management, users comfort control, Model-based Predictive Control, cooperative control, distributed control, zero energy buildings.


The rise of certain fossil fuels, such as gas and oil, in the European markets reference indices, is pushing on the price of electricity in the electricity markets both at the national level and in other countries of the European Union. This increase in the cost at the continental level is due to various factors that do not have to be mutually exclusive:

  • The fact that it has been possible to reach the production peak of the main gas suppliers at the European level.
  • To various geopolitical tensions that affect supply.
  • Logistics and transportation problems due to the energy demand rebound once the pandemic caused by Covid-19 has been left behind.

These factors are accelerating the energy change from a model dependent on fossil fuels that are limited, polluting, and in the hands of a few countries, to another energy model where renewable energies cover, if not all, a significant part of energy demand. In developed countries, the energy expenditure associated with residential or tertiary sector buildings is approximately one-third of the total energy consumed. This demand can be covered by renewable energies through the support of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that allow managing both the energy demand of the building and the energy production by the renewable energies integrated with such building. All the data acquired, saved, and sent through ICT can serve as the basis for the development of advanced control systems that cover the energy needs of a building at various levels:

  • Room or enclosure level while maintaining the users comfort.
  • Several rooms or enclosures of the building level where they must take into account the shared resources of the air conditioning systems.
  • Building level where controllers will be designed to manage the energy produced and consumed by the building.

This project proposes the development of advanced controllers for the three levels listed in the previously that will be validated in a bioclimatic building, the CIESOL building, which is placed at the campus of the University of Almería. This building uses ICT to monitor various physical variables in most of its enclosures, as well as the production and consumption of each of its components. The developed controllers will be validated with real tests, for which it will be necessary:

  • To develop a digital twin of the building that allows modelling and predicting the production and consumption of the different systems that make up the building.
  • The analysis of thermal and electrical consumptions within the building and the production by the systems based on renewable energies that the building has integrated (flat solar collectors and photovoltaic panels). Specific integration and optimization options that result in a preponderant use of such systems will be evaluated.
  • The development of advanced controllers to manage the building energy at various levels in order to overlap the building demand and production curves, maximizing the energy produced by renewable energy sources whereas energy consumption from the electrical grid is minimized.