International Research Project Will Create a Digital Twin for the Energy System of the RTU Campus

14th of February
The ambitious project will develop a digital twin for the heating, power and ventilation systems of several buildings on the Ķīpsala campus. Photo: Elīna Karaseva, RTU

To foster smart, climate-neutral and energy-independent cities, a project under the European Union's «Horizon Europe» research and innovation programme will develop a digital twin for real-time monitoring and management of energy flows. The lead partner of this ambitious project is Riga Technical University (RTU), whose campus will serve as a pilot site for the development and implementation of the digital twin. It will provide practical guidance, reusable models, algorithms and training materials that will help other cities to develop such technologies in their own areas, thus promoting the widespread adoption of sustainable energy practices.

The project is implemented by 19 partners from Latvia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain, UK, Cyprus and Belgium, ranging from education and research organisations to businesses and public administrations. The Latvian partners are IT infrastructure company «DATI Group», Riga Digital Agency and Riga Energy Agency. The partners will hold their first meeting on 15 and 16 February at RTU and Riga City Hall.

Europe faces the challenge of making cities more sustainable, climate resilient, inclusive and safer in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the New European Bauhaus Initiative. The solution lies in the creation of Positive Energy Neighbourhoods, i.e. the development of cities, areas or agglomerations that produce more energy per year from renewable sources than they consume, without emitting carbon. «ExPEDite» aims to foster the emergence of such neighbourhoods.

Combining their competences, several institutes of the RTU Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology and Energy and the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology will develop a digital twin for the heating, power supply and ventilation systems of several buildings on the Ķīpsala campus. Riga's state city agencies will develop regulatory requirements for the digital twin so that it can be implemented in other Riga neighbourhoods and possibly in other municipalities. The technology will include a set of tools for modelling energy production and demand, optimising building performance, and simulating mobility and transport. This will help energy and urban planners to make data-driven decisions. In turn, public awareness and involvement in energy efficiency issues will be promoted through gaming and co-creation approaches.

By developing a digital twin, RTU campus buildings will become smarter, more energy efficient and less dependent on fluctuations in gas and electricity prices. It will also bring RTU closer to its ambitious plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 with little or no carbon emissions.

The project will run until 31 December 2026 under the Climate Neutral and Smart Cities mission of the EU's «Horizon Europe» research and innovation programme. It is funded under grant agreement No 101139527.

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14th of February at 12:27

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