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Nottingham uses open source tech to develop intelligent energy system

The data management platform will help managers maximise the use of locally generated renewable energy and cut carbon emissions as well as reduce costs associated with charging EVs.

The pilot project will run at the Nottingham's Eastcroft depot
The pilot project will run at the Nottingham's Eastcroft depot

The City of Nottingham in the UK is developing an intelligent energy management system (iEMS) for its Clean Mobil Energy project using OpenRemote’s open source Internet of Things (IoT) platform.


This new data management platform will control the distribution of power between all system components, including a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs), battery storage and solar power.


It will enable the city’s energy managers to maximise the use of locally produced renewable energy and cut carbon emissions and costs associated with charging EVs.


Pilot site


Nottingham’s pilot site at the Eastcroft Depot will combine three main elements: solar panels to generate electricity, a large lithium-Ion battery for energy storage, and a fleet of 40 EVs. Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology will enable the EVs to be charged and discharged for operational purposes as well as providing additional short-term energy storage and grid balancing.


OpenRemote is an open source IoT project, which aims to overcome the challenges of integrating many different communication protocols and data sources into a single data management solution. The OpenRemote platform integrates all data, sensors, and controls to access them centrally.


City managers can also access an energy dashboard to gain insight into the performance of each component and monitor key performance indicators such as local energy, self-consumption and saved costs. A mobile app allows managers or maintenance crews to evaluate the system performance on the go. They are notified by the system in the event of malfunctioning or uncommon behaviour, enabling them to take immediate corrective action.

“The iEMS will increase the economic value of renewable energy and significantly reduce CO2 emissions”

“Nottingham has set the UK’s most ambitious carbon neutral target and we are leading the way when it comes to green transport,” said Laura Chippendale, energy projects manager for Nottingham City Council.


“Our aim is to maximise the use of locally generated renewable energy and cut carbon emissions. Thanks to OpenRemote’s advanced IoT solution, the city’s fleet of electric vehicles can be charged with 100 per cent renewable energy offered at an optimum price. The iEMS will increase the economic value of renewable energy and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.”


To manage the fleet of EVs, the iEMS can establish optimum charging schedules for EVs based on desired parameters such as lowest cost or highest share of renewable energy. EVs are charged to their minimum mileage or beyond the minimum mileage at times of surplus green electricity or low electricity tariffs.


The system allows fleet managers to define minimum mileage per fleet, while providing important insights in the day-to-day operations, performance and total energy use of each group of vehicles.


“Energy management requires monitoring and controlling energy generation, energy consumption, and short-term storage systems to strive for maximum financial benefits or carbon savings”, explained Pierre Kil, CEO of OpenRemote.


He added: “With an open source IoT platform you can connect all assets regardless of brand and protocol. OpenRemote’s advanced IoT capabilities ensure smart optimisation to meet set targets. The system forecasts solar power generation, consumption and electricity pricing for the upcoming 24 hours to define the optimal charging and discharging cycles for the EV batteries. The optimisation reduces withdrawals from the main electricity supply grid and maximises use of locally produced energy.


Clean Mobil Energy is a three-year, European funded project which involves a number of partners across north-west Europe working together to develop a smart energy management system, integrating renewable energy and electric vehicles.


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