Testing Platforms as Drivers for Positive-Energy Living Laboratories

Silvia Soutullo, Laura Aelenei, Per Sieverts Nielsen, Jose Antonio Ferrer, Helder Gonçalves

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The development of city-driven urban laboratories was considered a priority by the European Commission through Action 3.2 of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan. In this context, positive-energy districts laboratories could take the role of urban drivers toward innovation and sustainability in cities. These urban labs can provide real-life facilities with innovative co-creation processes and, at the same time, provide testing, experimenting, and prototyping of innovative technologies. In this scope, the authors of this work want to share the very first results of an empirical study using the testing facilities provided by the members of the Joint Program on Smart Cities of the European Energy Research Alliance as positive-energy districts laboratories. Six climatic regions are studied as boundary conditions, covering temperate and continental climates. Four scales of action are analyzed: Building, campus, urban, and virtual, with building and campus scales being the most frequent. Most of these laboratories focus on energy applications followed by networks, storage systems, and energy loads characterization. Many of these laboratories are regulated by ICT technologies but few of them consider social aspects, lighting, waste, and water systems. A SWOT analysis is performed to highlight the critical points of the testing facilities in order to replicate optimized configurations under other conditions. This statistical study provides guidelines on integration, localization, functionality, and technology modularity aspects. The use of these guidelines will ensure optimal replications, as well as identify possibilities and opportunities to share testing facilities of/between the positive-energy district laboratories.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5621
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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