The digital interface is a medium to show the results of the calculations of the model in a neat and user-friendly manner. Since the physical model needs to be used by both stakeholders and people who use the campus, the interactions must be both informative, to support decision making, and entertaining, to invite passers-by to learn more about the energy grid of the campus. The interface is the link between the backend data model and the user.
The physical interface consists of a 3D scale model maquette of the buildings and our custom tokens. The buildings are to be placed on top of the large interactive touch screen (with a screen protector) on top of their “actual” position on the campus map. Each building model has a docking place on top of it which allows for the placement of a token on top of is.
The tokens are small electrical components that will be used as a representation of the different technologies you could want to implement. The user will be able to set the type of the technology as well as several parameters (e.g. Surface area, in the case of solar panels; or storage capacity for a battery). Once these parameters are set, the tokens can be placed directly on the building and the new scenario can be calculated. Through this physical layer of buildings and tokens, we hope to create a user-friendly and intuitive experience for modeling new energy scenarios.
The data model that Team RED is developing is intended to easily calculate changes in the energy system. The software uses building specification and electricity sensors data that we get from the university, as well as local weather data. The model can simulate the placement of energy assets of three different categories; generation, storage and sinks; and will then calculate the effect of these additions. The data model evaluates the impact by calculating the Net Present Value (NPV) and CO₂ savings within a certain timeframe. This is then used to give the average CO₂ savings per euro invested.
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