Projects in Cluster Digital Twins


EU Heatwise
The HEATWISE project aims to tackle various thermal management challenges in tertiary buildings with a significant IT load. The project has specific objectives to develop and validate (to TRL 4 and 5) its technological innovation in two interrelated aspects: for IT system equipment in facility rooms and for a complete building management level. The innovation toward achieving energy efficiency and thermal management optimization follows up on a detailed thermal need analysis framework and theoretical validation, and is fulfilled through four novel solutions: i) Hybrid future-proof cooling hardware solution for high-density data processing based on two-phase dielectric liquid cooling and air immersion ii) Digital twin-supported holistic high-density data processing management system with a smart workload orchestration system, iii) Integrated multi-objective building energy management system covering both IT equipment needs and human presence, and iv) Self-assessment tool for energy management needs in tertiary buildings with power-intensive IT systems. On top of that, the project will develop a knowledge-sharing platform to showcase potential improvement pathways in energy optimization of tertiary buildings and maximize the project's impact.
Our Lab's involvement in the Project: Lead WP7 "Developing integrated, multi-objective energy management systems" WP7 Objectives: The main goal of WP7 is to design a novel, integrated, multi-objective energy management system for waste heat utilisation of power intensive IT systems and their host buildings. The multi-objective includes optimization of costs, emissions, comfort, etc. The objectives of WP7 are as follows: (i) to define key performance objectives and indicators for efficient energy management system (ii) to analyse and design the energy management system considering server rooms and multi-vector interactions, (iii) to develop and validate optimal control strategies considering heat gain from various sources (appliances, humans, data centres) (iv) to provide guidelines and recommendation for the design, implementation and control of novel multi-objective energy management systems with server rooms and micro data centres.
Funding body: SBFI, EU
Contact: Philipp Heer


EU Reformers
Renewable energy valleys are understood as decentralised renewable energy systems that offer a viable and efficient solution to energy transition challenges. By implementing a high degree of renewable energy sources as well as storage technologies and intelligent management algorithms for synergetic use of a wide variety of technologies, they can be 100% self-sufficient on a yearly basis. For the next 5 years, the REFORMERS project aims to develop, implement an exploit such an energy valley in the Boekelermeer next to the city of Alkmaar in the Netherlands, that serves as a living lab for testing and validating technologies, business models, stakeholder ecosystems, including industrial partners, DSO, the municipality, and residents, and user acceptance in real-life circumstances, in a peri-urban and industrial environment. Furthermore, the project aims to support the deployment of multiple self-sufficient energy valleys throughout Europe beyond the flagship in the Netherlands. Therefore, it will deliver a roll-out blue print and replication toolbox that encompass: (i) Energy System Design, (ii) Environmental Impact Assessment, (iii), Stakeholder Engagement and Social impact assessment, (iv) Governance and policy assessment, and (v) Business modelling, and allow other sites and regions to develop a pathway towards a carbon neutral and self-sufficient energy valley, that can be fed into e.g., a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan.
In this project our Lab has a Task lead "T5.2 Energy data space: past, present, future" : The objective of this task is to develop an ontology and definitions for an energy data space for energy valleys with the purpose to store historic data, manage operational data in close to real-time, and keep track of various demand and renewable energy and price forecasts, in a cyber-safe environment. In addition, the data space keeps the results of analytical model-based studies, in this way enabling, among other things, exploratory scenario analysis. The results of the Digicities ERA-NET project will be extended upon. Additionally: we contribute to other Tasks in WP5 "Digital twin for energy valleys" lead by TUDelft
Funding body: SBFI, EU
Partner: VUB, NEW ENERGY COALITION, AIT, Duurzaam Heiloo, CERTH, CIRCE, MIASTO-KONIN, DDS, EUREC, NAPE, RISE, TNO, DEEP BLUE, ANDORRA MUN, TU Delft, MoK, Holzwelt Murau, ALLIANDER, Gem. Alkmaar, NV HVC, HYnoca Alkmaar, InVesta, Sustenso, REPOWERED, methetnet, NXT Mobility, STOFF2 GmbH
Contact: Philipp Heer


The energy efficiency of buildings is strongly dependent on the quality of its automation systems and its continuous adaption. Great potential lies in the optimization of heating systems, more specifically optimally parametrized heating curves. In this project, we are adapting and validating a well-known, data-driven, fully automatic and sample-efficient method for optimizing the heating curve in terms of room comfort, energy demand of a building and facility management effort. Next to NEST, two residential buildings operated by Lippuner AG will serve as pilot and validation cases to showcase the applicability of the approach in real life.
Funding body: BFE, Industry
Partner: Lippuner AG
Contact: Michael Locher


Pathways to Net Zero utilizing an Empa Campus digital twin for control application in energy and building automation (Empa DT-CEB)
Digital Twins often represent vrtual instances of real life object to visualize and analyze properties of the real instance in simulation. The DT-CEB project goes two steps further, as a digital twin will becrafted to accurately reflect changes in energy management and building control. This project aims at achieving two goals: 1) the project will develop and make available a high fidelity digital twin of the Empa Campus Dübendorf consisting of the buildings of the campus and the interconnecting energy system and energy system components. 2) Several analyses utilizing the digital twin will bring insights in the net zero potential of the Empa Campus. This net zero potential will focus on operational changes to the available and foreseen infrastructure including selected design cases.
Finish Date:  12/2025
Funding body: ETH Domain and Empa Board
Partners: Empa Real Estate Department
Contact: Philipp Heer 


Urban Digital Layers to Support the Energy Transition of Cities – Digicities
The energy transition requires a paradigm shift in how we generate and use energy. Increasing interconnectivity and the rise of Industry 4.0 means that more data is available but there is still a lack of semantic interoperability between datasets. This restricts the development of scalable energy-oriented applications. The Digicities project aims to overcome the barriers to accessibility and exchange of data for decision-making at a utility and municipality scale. A data architecture will be developed around structured, interconnected digital layers that will be used in the projection of energy demands. A framework for the processing, storage and use of data sources will be demonstrated in a living lab in each partner country. The project consortium has stakeholders from each stage of the value chain. This approach considers the impact of technological advancements and regulatory changes to develop a solution that will accelerate the energy transition to a net-zero energy system.
Finish Date:  05/2025
Funding body: BFE & FFG as part of the ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems Joint Call 2020
Partners: AIT, SUPSI, Cividi, Lugano Living Lab
Contact: James Allan